Lewis and Clark Expedition
The Lewis and Clark Expedition from May 1804 to September 1806 known as the Corps of Discovery Expedition, was the first American expedition to cross the western portion of the United States. It began in Pittsburgh, Pa, made its way westward, passed through the Continental Divide of the Americas to reach the Pacific coast; the Corps of Discovery was a selected group of US Army volunteers under the command of Captain Meriwether Lewis and his close friend Second Lieutenant William Clark. President Thomas Jefferson commissioned the expedition shortly after the Louisiana Purchase in 1803 to explore and to map the newly acquired territory, to find a practical route across the western half of the continent, to establish an American presence in this territory before Britain and other European powers tried to claim it; the campaign's secondary objectives were scientific and economic: to study the area's plants, animal life, geography, to establish trade with local American Indian tribes. The expedition returned to St. Louis to report its findings to Jefferson, with maps and journals in hand.
One of Thomas Jefferson's goals was to find "the most direct and practicable water communication across this continent, for the purposes of commerce." He placed special importance on declaring US sovereignty over the land occupied by the many different Indian tribes along the Missouri River, getting an accurate sense of the resources in the completed Louisiana Purchase. The expedition made notable contributions to science, but scientific research was not the main goal of the mission. During the 19th century, references to Lewis and Clark "scarcely appeared" in history books during the United States Centennial in 1876, the expedition was forgotten. Lewis and Clark began to gain attention around the start of the 20th century. Both the 1904 Louisiana Purchase Exposition in St. Louis and the 1905 Lewis and Clark Centennial Exposition in Portland, Oregon showcased them as American pioneers. However, the story remained shallow until mid-century as a celebration of US conquest and personal adventures, but more the expedition has been more researched.
In 2004, a complete and reliable set of the expedition's journals was compiled by Gary E. Moulton. In the 2000s, the bicentennial of the expedition further elevated popular interest in Lewis and Clark; as of 1984, no US exploration party was more famous, no American expedition leaders are more recognizable by name. Jefferson met John Ledyard in Paris in the 1780s, they discussed a possible trip to the Pacific Northwest. Jefferson had read Captain James Cook's A Voyage to the Pacific Ocean, an account of Cook's third voyage, Le Page du Pratz's The History of Louisiana, all of which influenced his decision to send an expedition. Like Captain Cook, he wished to discover a practical route through the Northwest to the Pacific coast. Alexander Mackenzie had charted a route in his quest for the Pacific, following the Mackenzie River to the Arctic Ocean in 1789. Mackenzie and his party were the first to cross America north of Mexico to the Pacific when he arrived near Bella Coola, British Columbia in 1793—a dozen years before Lewis and Clark.
Mackenzie's accounts in Voyages from Montreal informed Jefferson of Britain's intent to control the lucrative fur trade of the Columbia River and convinced him of the importance of securing the territory as soon as possible. Two years into his presidency, Jefferson asked Congress to fund an expedition through the Louisiana territory to the Pacific Ocean, he did not attempt to make a secret of the Lewis and Clark expedition from Spanish and British officials, but rather claimed different reasons for the venture. He used a secret message to ask for funding due to poor relations with the opposition Federalist Party in Congress. In 1803, Jefferson commissioned the Corps of Discovery and named Army Captain Meriwether Lewis its leader, who selected William Clark as second in command. Lewis demonstrated remarkable skills and potential as a frontiersman, Jefferson made efforts to prepare him for the long journey ahead as the expedition was gaining approval and funding. Jefferson explained his choice of Lewis: It was impossible to find a character who to a complete science in botany, natural history, mineralogy & astronomy, joined the firmness of constitution & character, habits adapted to the woods & a familiarity with the Indian manners and character, requisite for this undertaking.
All the latter qualifications Capt. Lewis has. In 1803, Jefferson sent Lewis to Philadelphia to study medicinal cures under Benjamin Rush, a physician and humanitarian, he arranged for Lewis to be further educated by Andrew Ellicott, an astronomer who instructed him in the use of the sextant and other navigational instruments. Lewis, was not ignorant of science and had demonstrated a marked capacity to learn with Jefferson as his teacher. At Monticello, Jefferson possessed the largest library in the world on the subject of the geography of the North American continent, Lewis had full access to it, he spent time conferring with Jefferson. Lewis and Clark met near Louisville, Kentucky in October 1803 at the Falls of the Ohio and the core "Nine Young Men" were enlisted into the Corps of Discovery, their goals were to explore the vast territory acquired by the Louisiana Purchase and to establish trade and US sovereignty over the Indians along the Missouri River. Jefferson wanted to establish a US claim of "discovery" to the Pacific Northwest and Oregon territory by documenting an American presence there before European nations could claim the land.
According to some historians, Jefferson understood that he would have
Battle of Bear Paw
The Battle of Bear Paw was the final engagement of the Nez Perce War of 1877. Following a 1,200-mile running fight from western Idaho over the previous four months, the U. S. Army managed to corner most of the Nez Perce led by Chief Joseph in early October 1877 in northern Montana Territory, just 42 miles south of the border with Canada, where the Nez Perce intended to seek refuge from persecution by the U. S. government. Although some of the Nez Perce were able to escape to Canada, Chief Joseph was forced to surrender the majority of his followers to General Oliver O. Howard and Colonel Nelson A. Miles on October 5. Today, the battlefield is part of the Nez Perce National Historical Park and the Nez Perce National Historic Trail. In June 1877, several bands of the Nez Perce, resisting relocation from their traditional lands to a much smaller reservation in west-central Idaho Territory, attempted to escape to the east, following a route through present-day Idaho and Wyoming over the Rocky Mountains and onto the Great Plains.
The Nez Perce began their journey with the mistaken notion that after crossing the next mountain range or defeating the latest army sent to oppose them they would find a peaceful new home. They came to realize, that the only sanctuary available to them was in Saskatchewan, Canada alongside the Lakota led by Sitting Bull, who had found asylum there after the Great Sioux War of 1876. After passing through Yellowstone National Park, the Nez Perce headed north through the Montana Territory toward Canada. By late September, the Nez Perce, numbering about 800, including less than 200 warriors, had traveled more than one thousand miles and fought several battles in which they defeated or held off the U. S. Army forces pursuing them. In the most recent of those battles, on September 13, the Nez Perce eluded the attempt of Colonel Samuel D. Sturgis to capture them at the Battle of Canyon Creek near present-day Billings, Montana. However, the Crow and Bannock scouts of Sturgis captured about 400 of the Nez Perce horses which slowed them in their race to the Canada–U.
S. Border. Meeting up with Sturgis after the battle, General Howard continued the pursuit, following the Nez Perce trail northward. On September 12, Howard sent a message to Colonel Nelson A. Miles, stationed at Fort Keogh, requesting his assistance. On September 17, Miles received the message and replied that he would move northwest from the Yellowstone River with his soldiers in an attempt to intercept the Nez Perce and prevent what both officers feared: an alliance between the Nez Perce and the Lakota of Sitting Bull. To permit Miles the time he needed to get into position between the Nez Perce and the Canada–U. S. Border, Howard slowed down his pursuit; the Nez Perce, exhausted by their long ordeal slowed down their flight, believing themselves a safe distance ahead of Howard's forces. They were not aware of his approach toward them. On their journey north from Canyon Creek and through the Judith Basin near the present-day town of Lewistown, the Nez Perce raided several ranches for horses and food and killed one sheepherder.
The flight of the Nez Perce had incited sympathy among large segments of the American public, in the U. S. Army. After the Canyon Creek fight, an army surgeon said of the Nez Perce, "I am beginning to admire their bravery and endurance in the face of so many well-equipped enemies." Although they spoke favorably of the Nez Perce, Army commanders William Tecumseh Sherman and Philip Sheridan were determined to punish them to discourage other Indians who might consider rebelling against the rule of the United States. On September 23, the Nez Perce crossed the Missouri River near Cow Island Landing. Steamboats bound for Fort Benton, the local headquarters of Missouri River navigation, unloaded goods at Cow Island Landing late in the year, when the river's water levels dropped and the steamboats could not get up the river to Fort Benton. A small contingent of about a dozen soldiers under a sergeant were stationed at the landing to protect the stockpiled goods until they could be freighted on to Fort Benton by wagon train.
Upon the approach of the Nez Perce the outnumbered soldiers, along with two civilians, retreated into their camp, which had a low earth embankment built around it to protect it during rains. After crossing the river at some distance from the soldiers' camp, the main body of the Nez Perce went up Cow Creek for two miles and camped. A small delegation peacefully approached the small detachment of soldiers and asked for some of the stockpiled food. Upon being turned away with only a side of bacon and some hardtack, the Nez Perce waited until dark and pinned the soldiers down with rifle fire from bluffs overlooking their camp, they rifled the stockpiled supplies, which were located at some distance from the soldier's camp, set them afire. Sporadic gunfire left two civilians wounded; the Nez Perce proceeded upstream along Cow Creek the next morning. They were only 90 miles from the Canada–U. S. Border; the soldiers were able to send a message downriver informing Colonel Miles of the location of the Nez Perce.
Soon the Nez Perce encountered a wagon train with more supplies, which they looted and burned. They thwarted an effort by 50 soldiers and civilian volunteers under Major Guido Igles to pursue them. In their raids around Cow Creek, the Nez Perce killed five men and stole or destroyed at least 85 tons of military supplies. However, although they gained a cornucopia of supplies, they had lost a day of travel and historians have proposed that the delay might have been decisive in allowing the U. S. Army to catc
The Great Plains is the broad expanse of flat land, much of it covered in prairie and grassland, that lies west of the Mississippi River tallgrass prairie in the United States and east of the Rocky Mountains in the U. S. and Canada. It embraces: The entirety of the U. S. states of Kansas, North Dakota, South Dakota Parts of the states of Colorado, Minnesota, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Wyoming The southern portions of the Canadian provinces of Alberta and SaskatchewanThe region is known for supporting extensive cattle ranching and dry farming. The Canadian portion of the Plains is known as the Prairies, it covers much of Alberta and southern Saskatchewan, a narrow band of southern Manitoba. Despite covering a small geographic area, the Prairies are home to the majority of each of the three provinces' respective populations; the term "Great Plains" is used in the United States to describe a sub-section of the more vast Interior Plains physiographic division, which covers much of the interior of North America.
It has currency as a region of human geography, referring to the Plains Indians or the Plains States. In Canada the term is little used. There is no region referred to as the "Great Plains" in The Atlas of Canada. In terms of human geography, the term prairie is more used in Canada, the region is known as the Prairie Provinces or "the Prairies." The North American Environmental Atlas, produced by the Commission for Environmental Cooperation, a NAFTA agency composed of the geographical agencies of the Mexican and Canadian governments, uses the "Great Plains" as an ecoregion synonymous with predominant prairies and grasslands rather than as physiographic region defined by topography. The Great Plains ecoregion includes five sub-regions: Temperate Prairies, West-Central Semi-Arid Prairies, South-Central Semi-Arid Prairies, Texas Louisiana Coastal Plains, Tamaulipas-Texas Semi-Arid Plain, which overlap or expand upon other Great Plains designations; the region is about 500 mi east to 2,000 mi north to south.
Much of the region was home to American bison herds until they were hunted to near extinction during the mid/late-19th century. It has an area of 500,000 sq mi. Current thinking regarding the geographic boundaries of the Great Plains is shown by this map at the Center for Great Plains Studies, University of Nebraska–Lincoln; the term "Great Plains", for the region west of about the 96th and east of the Rocky Mountains, was not used before the early 20th century. Nevin Fenneman's 1916 study Physiographic Subdivision of the United States brought the term Great Plains into more widespread usage. Before that the region was invariably called the High Plains, in contrast to the lower Prairie Plains of the Midwestern states. Today the term "High Plains" is used for a subregion of the Great Plains; the Great Plains are the westernmost portion of the vast North American Interior Plains, which extend east to the Appalachian Plateau. The United States Geological Survey divides the Great Plains in the United States into ten physiographic subdivisions: Coteau du Missouri or Missouri Plateau, glaciated – east central South Dakota and eastern North Dakota and northeastern Montana.
The Great Plains consist of a broad stretch of country underlain by nearly horizontal strata extends westward from the 97th meridian west to the base of the Rocky Mountains, a distance of from 300 to 500 miles. It extends northward from the Mexican boundary far into Canada. Although the altitude of the plains increases from 600 or 1,200 ft on the east to 4,000–5,000 or 6,000 feet near the mountains, the local relief is small; the semi-arid climate opens far-reaching views. The plains are by no means a simple unit, they are of various stages of erosional development. They are interrupted by buttes and escarpments, they are broken by valleys. Yet on the whole, a broadly extended surface of moderate relief so prevails that the name, Great Plains, for the region as a whole is well-deserved; the western boundary of the plains is well-defined by the abrupt ascent of the mountains. The eastern boundary of the plains is more climatic than topographic; the line of 20 in. of annual rainfall trends a little east of northward near the 97th meridian.
If a boundary must be drawn where nature presents only a gradual transition, this rainfall line may be taken to divide the drier plains from the moister prairies. The plains may be described in northern, intermediate and southern sections, in relation to certain peculiar features; the northern section of the Great Plains, north of latitude 44°, including eastern Montana, north-eastern Wyomi
Nez Perce people
The Nez Perce are an Indigenous people of the Plateau who have lived on the Columbia River Plateau in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States for a long time. Members of the Sahaptin language group, the Niimíipuu were the dominant people of the Columbia Plateau for much of that time after acquiring the horses that led them to breed the appaloosa horse in the 18th century. Prior to "first contact" with Western civilization the Nimiipuu were economically and culturally influential in trade and war, interacting with other indigenous nations in a vast network from the western shores of Oregon and Washington, the high plains of Montana, the northern Great Basin in southern Idaho and northern Nevada. After first contact, the name "Nez Perce" was given to the Niimíipuu and the nearby Chinook people by French explorers and trappers; the name means "pierced nose", but only the Chinook used that form of decoration. Today they are a federally recognized tribe, the Nez Perce Tribe of Idaho, govern their Indian reservation in Idaho through a central government headquartered in Lapwai, Idaho known as the Nez Perce Tribal Executive Committee.
They are one of five federally recognized tribes in the state of Idaho. Some still speak their traditional language, the Tribe owns and operates two casinos along the Clearwater River in Idaho in Kamiah and outside of Lewiston, health clinics, a police force and court, community centers, salmon fisheries, radio station, other things that promote economic and cultural self-determination. Cut off from most of their horticultural sites throughout the Camas Prairie by an 1863 treaty, confinement to reservations in Idaho and Oklahoma Indian Territory after the Nez Perce War of 1877, Dawes Act of 1887 land allotments, the Nez Perce remain as a distinct culture and political economic influence within and outside their reservation. Today, hatching and eating salmon is an important cultural and economic strength of the Nez Perce through full ownership or co-management of various salmon fish hatcheries, such as the Kooskia National Fish Hatchery in Kooskia, Idaho or the Dworshak National Fish Hatchery in Orofino, Idaho.
Their name for themselves is Nimíipuu, meaning, "The People", in their language, part of the Sahaptin family. Nez Percé is an exonym given by French Canadian fur traders who visited the area in the late 18th century, meaning "pierced nose". English-speaking traders and settlers adopted the name in turn. Since the late 20th century, the Nez Perce identify most as Niimíipuu in Sahaptin; the Lakota/ Dakota named them the Watopala, or Canoe people, from Watopa. However, after Nez Perce became a more common name, they changed it to Watopahlute; this comes from pahlute, nasal passage and is a play on words. If translated it would come out as either "Nasal Passage of the Canoe" or "Nasal Passage of the Grass"; the tribe uses the term "Nez Perce", as does the United States Government in its official dealings with them, contemporary historians. Older historical ethnological works and documents use the French spelling of Nez Percé, with the diacritic; the original French pronunciation is, with three syllables.
The interpreter of the Lewis and Clark Expedition mistakenly identified this people as the Nez Perce when the team encountered the tribe in 1805. Writing in 1889, anthropologist Alice Fletcher, who the U. S. government had sent to Idaho to allot the Nez Perce Reservation, explained the mistaken naming. She wrote, It is never easy to come at the name of an Indian or of an Indian tribe. A tribe has always at least two names. All the tribes living west of the Rocky Mountains were called "Chupnit-pa-lu", which means people of the pierced noses; the tribes on the Columbia river used to pierce the nose and wear in it some ornament as you have seen some old fashioned white ladies wear in their ears. Lewis and Clark had with them an interpreter whose wife was a Shoshone or Snake woman and so it came about that when it was asked "What Indians are these?" the answer was "They are'Chupnit-pa-lu'" and it was written down in the journal. In his journals, William Clark referred to the people as the Chopunnish, a transliteration of a Sahaptin term.
According to D. E. Walker in 1998, writing for the Smithsonian, this term is an adaptation of the term cú·pŉitpeľu; the term is formed from cú · peľu. By contrast, the Nez Perce Language Dictionary has a different analysis than did Walker for the term cúpnitpelu; the prefix cú- means "in single file". This prefix, combined with the verb -piní, "to come out". With the suffix of -pelú, meaning "people or inhabitants of". Together, these three elements: cú- + -piní + pelú = cúpnitpelu, or "the People Walking Single File Out of the Forest". Nez Perce oral tradition indicates the name "Cuupn'itpel'uu" meant "we walked out of the woods or walked out of the mountains" and referred to the time before the Nez Perce had horses; the Nez Perce language, or Niimiipuutímt, is a Sahaptian language related to the several dialects of Sahaptin. The Sahaptian sub-family is one of the branches of the Plateau Penutian family, which in turn may be related to a larger Penutian g
The Missouri River is the longest river in North America. Rising in the Rocky Mountains of western Montana, the Missouri flows east and south for 2,341 miles before entering the Mississippi River north of St. Louis, Missouri; the river takes drainage from a sparsely populated, semi-arid watershed of more than half a million square miles, which includes parts of ten U. S. states and two Canadian provinces. When combined with the lower Mississippi River, it forms the world's fourth longest river system. For over 12,000 years, people have depended on the Missouri River and its tributaries as a source of sustenance and transportation. More than ten major groups of Native Americans populated the watershed, most leading a nomadic lifestyle and dependent on enormous bison herds that roamed through the Great Plains; the first Europeans encountered the river in the late seventeenth century, the region passed through Spanish and French hands before becoming part of the United States through the Louisiana Purchase.
The Missouri River was one of the main routes for the westward expansion of the United States during the 19th century. The growth of the fur trade in the early 19th century laid much of the groundwork as trappers explored the region and blazed trails. Pioneers headed west en masse beginning in the 1830s, first by covered wagon by the growing numbers of steamboats that entered service on the river. Settlers took over former Native American lands in the watershed, leading to some of the most longstanding and violent wars against indigenous peoples in American history. During the 20th century, the Missouri River basin was extensively developed for irrigation, flood control and the generation of hydroelectric power. Fifteen dams impound the main stem of the river, with hundreds more on tributaries. Meanders have been cut and the river channelized to improve navigation, reducing its length by 200 miles from pre-development times. Although the lower Missouri valley is now a populous and productive agricultural and industrial region, heavy development has taken its toll on wildlife and fish populations as well as water quality.
From the Rocky Mountains of Montana and Wyoming, three streams rise to form the headwaters of the Missouri River: the longest begins near Brower's Spring, 9,100 feet above sea level on the southeastern slopes of Mount Jefferson in the Centennial Mountains. From there it flows west north, it passes through Canyon Ferry Lake, a reservoir west of the Big Belt Mountains. Issuing from the mountains near Cascade, the river flows northeast to the city of Great Falls, where it drops over the Great Falls of the Missouri, a series of five substantial waterfalls, it winds east through a scenic region of canyons and badlands known as the Missouri Breaks, receiving the Marias River from the west widening into the Fort Peck Lake reservoir a few miles above the confluence with the Musselshell River. Farther on, the river passes through the Fort Peck Dam, downstream, the Milk River joins from the north. Flowing eastward through the plains of eastern Montana, the Missouri receives the Poplar River from the north before crossing into North Dakota where the Yellowstone River, its greatest tributary by volume, joins from the southwest.
At the confluence, the Yellowstone is the larger river. The Missouri meanders east past Williston and into Lake Sakakawea, the reservoir formed by Garrison Dam. Below the dam the Missouri receives the Knife River from the west and flows south to Bismarck, the capital of North Dakota, where the Heart River joins from the west, it slows into the Lake Oahe reservoir just before the Cannonball River confluence. While it continues south reaching Oahe Dam in South Dakota, the Grand and Cheyenne Rivers all join the Missouri from the west; the Missouri makes a bend to the southeast as it winds through the Great Plains, receiving the Niobrara River and many smaller tributaries from the southwest. It proceeds to form the boundary of South Dakota and Nebraska after being joined by the James River from the north, forms the Iowa–Nebraska boundary. At Sioux City the Big Sioux River comes in from the north; the Missouri flows south to the city of Omaha where it receives its longest tributary, the Platte River, from the west.
Downstream, it begins to define the Nebraska–Missouri border flows between Missouri and Kansas. The Missouri swings east at Kansas City, where the Kansas River enters from the west, so on into north-central Missouri. To the east of Kansas City, the Missouri receives, on the left side, the Grand River, it passes south of Columbia and receives the Osage and Gasconade Rivers from the south downstream of Jefferson City. The river rounds the northern side of St. Louis to join the Mississippi River on the border between Missouri and Illinois. With a drainage basin spanning 529,350 square miles, the Missouri River's catchment encompasses nearly one-sixth of the area of the United States or just over five percent of the continent of North America. Comparable to the size of the Canadian province of Quebec, the watershed encompasses most of the central Great Plains, stretching from the Rocky Mountains in the
Native Americans in the United States
Native Americans known as American Indians, Indigenous Americans and other terms, are the indigenous peoples of the United States, except Hawaii. There are over 500 federally recognized tribes within the US, about half of which are associated with Indian reservations; the term "American Indian" excludes Native Hawaiians and some Alaska Natives, while Native Americans are American Indians, plus Alaska Natives of all ethnicities. Native Hawaiians are not counted as Native Americans by the US Census, instead being included in the Census grouping of "Native Hawaiian and other Pacific Islander"; the ancestors of modern Native Americans arrived in what is now the United States at least 15,000 years ago much earlier, from Asia via Beringia. A vast variety of peoples and cultures subsequently developed. Native Americans were affected by the European colonization of the Americas, which began in 1492, their population declined precipitously due to introduced diseases as well as warfare, territorial confiscation and slavery.
After the founding of the United States, many Native American peoples were subjected to warfare and one-sided treaties, they continued to suffer from discriminatory government policies into the 20th century. Since the 1960s, Native American self-determination movements have resulted in changes to the lives of Native Americans, though there are still many contemporary issues faced by Native Americans. Today, there are over five million Native Americans in the United States, 78% of whom live outside reservations; when the United States was created, established Native American tribes were considered semi-independent nations, as they lived in communities separate from British settlers. The federal government signed treaties at a government-to-government level until the Indian Appropriations Act of 1871 ended recognition of independent native nations, started treating them as "domestic dependent nations" subject to federal law; this law did preserve the rights and privileges agreed to under the treaties, including a large degree of tribal sovereignty.
For this reason, many Native American reservations are still independent of state law and actions of tribal citizens on these reservations are subject only to tribal courts and federal law. The Indian Citizenship Act of 1924 granted U. S. citizenship to all Native Americans born in the United States. This emptied the "Indians not taxed" category established by the United States Constitution, allowed natives to vote in state and federal elections, extended the Fourteenth Amendment protections granted to people "subject to the jurisdiction" of the United States. However, some states continued to deny Native Americans voting rights for several decades. Bill of Rights protections do not apply to tribal governments, except for those mandated by the Indian Civil Rights Act of 1968. Since the end of the 15th century, the migration of Europeans to the Americas has led to centuries of population and agricultural transfer and adjustment between Old and New World societies, a process known as the Columbian exchange.
As most Native American groups had preserved their histories by oral traditions and artwork, the first written sources of the conflict were written by Europeans. Ethnographers classify the indigenous peoples of North America into ten geographical regions with shared cultural traits, called cultural areas; some scholars combine the Plateau and Great Basin regions into the Intermontane West, some separate Prairie peoples from Great Plains peoples, while some separate Great Lakes tribes from the Northeastern Woodlands. The ten cultural areas are as follows: Arctic, including Aleut and Yupik peoples Subarctic Northeastern Woodlands Southeastern Woodlands Great Plains Great Basin Northwest Plateau Northwest Coast California Southwest At the time of the first contact, the indigenous cultures were quite different from those of the proto-industrial and Christian immigrants; some Northeastern and Southwestern cultures, in particular, were matrilineal and operated on a more collective basis than that with which Europeans were familiar.
The majority of Indigenous American tribes maintained their hunting grounds and agricultural lands for use of the entire tribe. Europeans at that time had patriarchal cultures and had developed concepts of individual property rights with respect to land that were different; the differences in cultures between the established Native Americans and immigrant Europeans, as well as shifting alliances among different nations in times of war, caused extensive political tension, ethnic violence, social disruption. Before the European settlement of what is now the United States, Native Americans suffered high fatalities from contact with new European diseases, to which they had not yet acquired immunity. Smallpox epidemics are thought to have caused the greatest loss of life for indigenous populations. William M Denevan, noted author and Professor Emeritus of Geography at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, said on this subject in his essay "The Pristine Myth: The Landscape of the Americas in 1492".
Old World diseases were the primary killer. In many regions the tropical lowlands, populations fell by 90 percent or more in the first century after the contact. "Estimates of the pre-Columbian population of what today constitutes the U. S. vary ranging from William M Denevan's 3.8 million in his 1992 w
William Jefferson Clinton is an American politician who served as the 42nd president of the United States from 1993 to 2001. Prior to the presidency, he was the governor of Arkansas from 1979 to 1981, again from 1983 to 1992, the attorney general of Arkansas from 1977 to 1979. A member of the Democratic Party, Clinton was ideologically a New Democrat, many of his policies reflected a centrist "Third Way" political philosophy. Clinton was born and raised in Arkansas and attended Georgetown University, University College and Yale Law School, he met Hillary Rodham at Yale and married her in 1975. After graduating, Clinton returned to Arkansas and won election as the Attorney General of Arkansas, serving from 1977 to 1979; as Governor of Arkansas, he overhauled the state's education system and served as chairman of the National Governors Association. Clinton was elected president in 1992. At age 46, he became the first from the Baby Boomer generation. Clinton presided over the longest period of peacetime economic expansion in American history.
He signed into law the North American Free Trade Agreement but failed to pass his plan for national health care reform. In the 1994 elections, the Republican Party won unified control of the Congress for the first time in 40 years. In 1996, Clinton became the first Democrat since Franklin D. Roosevelt to be elected to a second full term, he passed welfare reform and the State Children's Health Insurance Program, as well as financial deregulation measures, including the Gramm–Leach–Bliley Act and the Commodity Futures Modernization Act of 2000. In 1998, Clinton was impeached by the House of Representatives for perjury and obstruction of justice following allegations that he committed perjury and obstructed justice to conceal an affair that he had with Monica Lewinsky, a 22-year old White House Intern. Clinton was completed his term in office, he is only the second U. S. president—following Andrew Johnson 131 years earlier—to be impeached. During the last three years of Clinton's presidency, the Congressional Budget Office reported a budget surplus, the first such surplus since 1969.
In foreign policy, Clinton ordered U. S. military intervention in the Bosnian and Kosovo wars, signed the Iraq Liberation Act in opposition to Saddam Hussein, participated in the 2000 Camp David Summit to advance the Israeli–Palestinian peace process, assisted the Northern Ireland peace process. Clinton left office with the highest end-of-office approval rating of any U. S. president since World War II, has continually scored high in the historical rankings of U. S. presidents placing in the top third. Since leaving office, he has been involved in humanitarian work, he created the William J. Clinton Foundation to address international causes such as the prevention of AIDS and global warming, he has remained active in politics by campaigning for Democratic candidates, including the presidential campaigns of his wife and Barack Obama. In 2004, Clinton published My Life. In 2009, he was named the United Nations Special Envoy to Haiti and after the 2010 Haiti earthquake, he teamed with George W. Bush to form the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund.
In addition, he secured the release of two American journalists imprisoned by North Korea, visiting the capital Pyongyang and negotiating their release with Kim Jong-il. Clinton was born William Jefferson Blythe III on August 19, 1946, at Julia Chester Hospital in Hope, Arkansas, he is the son of William Jefferson Blythe Jr. a traveling salesman who had died in an automobile accident three months before his birth, Virginia Dell Cassidy. His parents had married on September 4, 1943, but this union proved to be bigamous, as Blythe was still married to his third wife. Virginia traveled to New Orleans to study nursing soon after Bill was born, leaving him in Hope with her parents Eldridge and Edith Cassidy, who owned and ran a small grocery store. At a time when the southern United States was racially segregated, Clinton's grandparents sold goods on credit to people of all races. In 1950, Bill's mother returned from nursing school and married Roger Clinton Sr. who co-owned an automobile dealership in Hot Springs, Arkansas with his brother and Earl T. Ricks.
The family moved to Hot Springs in 1950. Although he assumed use of his stepfather's surname, it was not until Clinton turned 15 that he formally adopted the surname Clinton as a gesture toward his stepfather. Clinton said that he remembered his stepfather as a gambler and an alcoholic who abused his mother and half-brother, Roger Clinton Jr. to the point where he intervened multiple times with the threat of violence to protect them. In Hot Springs, Clinton attended St. John's Catholic Elementary School, Ramble Elementary School, Hot Springs High School, where he was an active student leader, avid reader, musician. Clinton was in the chorus and played the tenor saxophone, winning first chair in the state band's saxophone section, he considered dedicating his life to music, but as he noted in his autobiography My Life: Clinton began an interest in law at Hot Springs High, when he took up the challenge to argue the defense of the ancient Roman Senator Catiline in a mock trial in his Latin class.
After a vigorous defense that made use of his "budding rhetorical and political skills", he told the Latin teacher Elizabeth Buck that it "made him realize that someday he would study law". Clinton has identified two influential moments in his life, both occurring in 1963, that contributed to his decision to become a public figure. One was his visit as a Boys Nation senator to