History of the USA - the history of the United States of America
   
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Vacation 2 USA   >   History

   
 

History


Humans are believed to have first reached North America around 20,000 years ago, by crossing the Bering land bridge from Asia. These people settled and became the indigenous inhabitants of the Americas prior to the arrival of the Europeans.

The first European settlement in North America was established by Leif Erikson and the Vikings in 1000 AD, in what is today Newfoundland. However, this colony did not last for long, and it was several hundred years before Europeans reached the continent again. It has also been claimed that muslim explorers from Spain or Northwest Africa may have reached the continent, but this claim remains disputed.

The first European that is certain to have reached United States territory is Christopher Columbus who landed in Puerto Rico in 1492. Following Columbus, more and more Europeans began to arrive in the Americas, and the first expedition to what is not the continental United states was made by the Spaniard, Juan Ponce de León who is known to have explored Florida in 1513.

As the Americas were gradually explored, a variety of European countries including Denmark, France, Great Britain, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain and Sweden, began to establish permanent colonies in the New World. In North America, the most successful of these was Great Britain, which by the end of the Seven Years War (known in the US as the "French and Indian War") had conquered most of the French territory in North America.

However, with the removal of the French military threat, disputes began to arise between Great Britain and her colonists over issues like taxation. These disputes eventually culiminated in American Revolution (1775 to 1783) which resulted in the formation of the United States from 13 former British colonies which had won their independence in the Revolutionary War.

Additional lands were gradually acquired by the US from France, Spain, the United Kingdom and Mexico, and within a century, the United States stretched across the entire North American continent. In 1867, Alaska was purchased from Russia. Further terroritorial acquistions followed with the annexation of Hawaii (1898), and following the Spanish-American war, of Puerto Rico. The final major addition to the US was the purchase of the Virgin Islands from Denmark in 1917.

The US has not been without difficulties during its history, the most noteable of these being the American Civil War (1861 to 1865) which was fought over the issues of slavery and states' rights. In the American Civil War, a large (Southern) part of the country, tried (ultimately unsuccessfully) to secede from the Union in an attempt to prevent the abolition of slavery, as well as to main and increase the individual states' rights.

In the 20th century, the US participated in both World Wars, and was on the victorious side in both conflicts. Following the end of World War II, the US engaged for over 40 years in a political, economic and military conflict with the USSR, known as the Cold War.

Today, the US is the most powerful country in the world, both economically and militarily, and US cultural influences can be seen all over the world in food, music, movies and the arts. Despite this, the US is today not without challenges, most notably the threat of terrorism, which was dramatically brought to the world's attention with the terrorist attacks of September 11th 2001.

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  • Here are some books about the history of the United States:


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    A People's History of the United States

    By Howard Zinn

    Harper Perennial Modern Classics
    Released: 2015-11-17
    Paperback (784 pages)

    A People s History of the United States
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    • American History
    Product Description:

    With a new introduction by Anthony Arnove, this updated edition of the classic national bestseller reviews the book’s thirty-five year history and demonstrates once again why it is a significant contribution to a complete and balanced understanding of American history.

    Since its original landmark publication in 1980, A People's History of the United States has been chronicling American history from the bottom up, throwing out the official version of history taught in schools—with its emphasis on great men in high places—to focus on the street, the home, and the, workplace.

    Known for its lively, clear prose as well as its scholarly research, A People's History of the United States is the only volume to tell America's story from the point of view of—and in the words of—America's women, factory workers, African-Americans, Native Americans, the working poor, and immigrant laborers. As historian Howard Zinn shows, many of our country's greatest battles—the fights for a fair wage, an eight-hour workday, child-labor laws, health and safety standards, universal suffrage, women's rights, racial equality—were carried out at the grassroots level, against bloody resistance.

    Covering Christopher Columbus's arrival through President Clinton's first term, A People's History of the United States, which was nominated for the American Book Award in 1981, features insightful analysis of the most important events in our history. 

    History of the United States

    By Charles Austin Beard

    CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
    Paperback (244 pages)

    History of the United States
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    Product Description:
    This superb history of the USA by Charles Austin Beard and his wife Mary Ritter Beard sequentially covers the nation's history from colonial times to World War I.

    First published in 1921, the book was lauded by critics as a perfect example of an introductory history to the United States of America. Well-researched at every juncture, the central thesis of this text is that economic power is what shapes the destiny and path of history. The book supports this hypothesis by referencing the emphasis on trade and commerce which accompanied the USA's rise. The authors also acknowledge the role personal ideologies and convictions have in history; an example of this being the Founding Fathers leading the revolt against Britain's colonial rule, essentially risking their lives and fortunes on a single, great gambit.

    Concurrent with the economic rise and territorial expansion which underscores the United States progress from colonial grouping to world power, the case for the gain of civil rights in areas which had previously not experienced them is put. At the time of writing, democracy had been broadly embraced, or at least tolerated, by all states in the continental USA as well as the colonial territories it had acquired overseas.

    The tone of the book is frank and straightforward, with a succession of points stated with clarity. The voices of the authors are seldom impinged by excursions into dry facts, over-explanation or tangential discussions. The sources drawn from are broad but authoritative, although certain opinions - namely that it was economics rather than the burning issue of slavery that was pivotal in causing the American Civil War - have fallen out of favor.

    This edition includes the original tables, appendices and notes found in the 1921 edition, letting the reader comprehend what is an accessible, high quality text which may be read either from start to finish or retained as a reference guide.

    American History: The People & Events That Changed American History

    By John Stewart

    CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
    Paperback (54 pages)

    American History: The People & Events That Changed American History
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    Product Description:

    The Birth of a Nation and Her Life Today


    ~ READ FREE WITH KINDLE UNLIMITED - ACT NOW BEFORE IT’S GONE!


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    From humble beginnings to the United States we know today

    The story of any nation tends to be long and typically full of growing pains that present as conflicts or wars. The formation of what we know today as the United States of America was no different. From her humble beginnings as a series of colonies to the world power that she is today, America is not without her controversies.

    While it seems impossible to include the history of an entire nation in one book, there is no doubt that certain events are pivotal enough to include as key event of America’s history. While this is not a complete history, the important ideas are met with thoughtful analysis, examining not only the event but the circumstances surrounding the event in a way that even the most novice historian can understand.

    In the colorful history of the United States there are examples of honor, of rebellion, and of mistakes. The best way to honor and learn from that history is to learn about that history. Through this book, you can do just that.

    Here’s just a few things you’ll learn about:

      • The Anarchy that may have sparked a revolution
      • The real deal on slavery and freedom
      • What happened when the market crashed
      • Events that will shape the history books of the next generation

    ”American History” will take you through a side of history that some novice historians may be unaware of and put you in a front row seat to the formation of our nation.

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    United States History

    By Emma J. Lapsansky-Werner

    Prentice Hall
    Hardcover (1264 pages)

    United States History
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    A People's History of the United States: 1492 to Present

    By Howard Zinn

    HarpPerenM
    Released: 2001-08-21
    Paperback (720 pages)

    A People s History of the United States: 1492 to Present
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    Product Description:
    “It’s a wonderful, splendid book—a book that should be read by every American, student or otherwise, who wants to understand his country, its true history, and its hope for the future.” —Howard Fast, author of Spartacus and The Immigrants

    “[It] should be required reading.” —Eric Foner, New York Times Book Review

    Library Journal calls Howard Zinn’s iconic A People's History of the United States “a brilliant and moving history of the American people from the point of view of those…whose plight has been largely omitted from most histories.” Packed with vivid details and telling quotations, Zinn’s award-winning classic continues to revolutionize the way American history is taught and remembered. Frequent appearances in popular media such as The Sopranos, The Simpsons, Good Will Hunting, and the History Channel documentary The People Speak testify to Zinn’s ability to bridge the generation gap with enduring insights into the birth, development, and destiny of the nation.

    A People's History of the United States

    By Howard Zinn

    Zinn, Howard
    Released: 2005-08-02
    Paperback (729 pages)

    A People s History of the United States
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    • ISBN13: 9780060838652
    • Notes: BRAND NEW FROM PUBLISHER! 100% Satisfaction Guarantee. Tracking provided on most orders. Buy with Confidence! Millions of books sold!
    Product Description:
    “It’s a wonderful, splendid book—a book that should be read by every American, student or otherwise, who wants to understand his country, its true history, and its hope for the future.” —Howard Fast, author of Spartacus and The Immigrants

    “[It] should be required reading.” —Eric Foner, New York Times Book Review

    Library Journal calls Howard Zinn’s iconic A People's History of the United States “a brilliant and moving history of the American people from the point of view of those…whose plight has been largely omitted from most histories.” Packed with vivid details and telling quotations, Zinn’s award-winning classic continues to revolutionize the way American history is taught and remembered. Frequent appearances in popular media such as The Sopranos, The Simpsons, Good Will Hunting, and the History Channel documentary The People Speak testify to Zinn’s ability to bridge the generation gap with enduring insights into the birth, development, and destiny of the nation.

    A Young People's History of the United States: Columbus to the War on Terror (For Young People Series)

    By Howard Zinn

    Seven Stories Press
    Released: 2009-06-02
    Paperback (464 pages)

    A Young People s History of the United States: Columbus to the War on Terror (For Young People Series)
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    • ISBN13: 9781583228692
    • Notes: 100% Satisfaction Guarantee. Tracking provided on most orders. Buy with Confidence! Millions of books sold!
    Product Description:
    A Young People's History of the United States brings to US history the viewpoints of workers, slaves, immigrants, women, Native Americans, and others whose stories, and their impact, are rarely included in books for young people. A Young People's History of the United States is also a companion volume to The People Speak, the film adapted from A People's History of the United States and Voices of a People’s History of the United States.
    Beginning with a look at Christopher Columbus’s arrival through the eyes of the Arawak Indians, then leading the reader through the struggles for workers’ rights, women’s rights, and civil rights during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, and ending with the current protests against continued American imperialism, Zinn in the volumes of A Young People’s History of the United States presents a radical new way of understanding America’s history. In so doing, he reminds readers that America’s true greatness is shaped by our dissident voices, not our military generals.

    A Patriot's History of the United States: From Columbus's Great Discovery to America's Age of Entitlement, Revised Edition

    By Larry Schweikart

    WaterBrook Press
    Released: 2014-11-25
    Paperback (1008 pages)

    A Patriot s History of the United States: From Columbus s Great Discovery to America s Age of Entitlement, Revised Edition
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    Product Description:
    The revised, 10th anniversary edition of the #1 New York Times bestseller

    Over the past decade, A Patriot’s History of the United States has become the definitive conservative history of our country, correcting the biases of historians and other intellectuals who downplay the greatness of America’s patriots. Professors Schweikart and Allen have now revised, updated, and expanded their book, which covers America’s long history with an appreciation for the values that made this nation uniquely successful.

    Cracking the AP U.S. History Exam, 2017 Edition: Proven Techniques to Help You Score a 5 (College Test Preparation)

    By Princeton Review

    Princeton Review
    Released: 2016-08-02
    Paperback (464 pages)

    Cracking the AP U.S. History Exam, 2017 Edition: Proven Techniques to Help You Score a 5 (College Test Preparation)
    List Price: $18.99*
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    • Princeton Review
    Product Description:
    EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO HELP SCORE A PERFECT 5! Equip yourself to ace the AP U.S. History Exam with The Princeton Review's comprehensive study guideincluding thorough content reviews, targeted strategies for every question type, access to our AP Connect portal online, and 2 full-length practice tests with complete answer explanations. 

    Written by the experts at The Princeton Review, Cracking the AP U.S. History Exam arms you to take on the test and achieve your highest possible score.

    Techniques That Actually Work.
    • Tried-and-true strategies to help you avoid traps and beat the test
    • Tips for pacing yourself and guessing logically
    • Essential tactics to help you work smarter, not harder

    Everything You Need to Know to Help Achieve a High Score.
    • Detailed coverage of the short-answer questions and source-based multiple-choice questions
    • In-depth guidance on the document-based and long essay questions
    • Up-to-date information on the 2017 exam
    • Access to AP Connect, our online portal for helpful pre-college information and exam updates

    Practice Your Way to Excellence.
    • 2 full-length practice tests with detailed answer explanations
    • End-of-chapter review questions to test your retention of the material
    • Pacing drills to help you maximize your points

    Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong

    By James W. Loewen

    Touchstone Books
    Released: 2007-10-16
    Paperback (464 pages)

    Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong
    List Price: $17.99*
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    • Touchstone Books
    Product Description:
    This updated and revised edition of the American Book Award-winner and national bestseller revitalizes the truth of America’s history, explores how myths continue to be perpetrated, and includes a new chapter on 9/11 and the Iraq War.

    Americans have lost touch with their history, and in Lies My Teacher Told Me Professor James Loewen shows why. After surveying eighteen leading high school American history texts, he has concluded that not one does a decent job of making history interesting or memorable. Marred by an embarrassing combination of blind patriotism, mindless optimism, sheer misinformation, and outright lies, these books omit almost all the ambiguity, passion, conflict, and drama from our past.

    In this revised edition, packed with updated material, Loewen explores how historical myths continue to be perpetuated in today's climate and adds an eye-opening chapter on the lies surrounding 9/11 and the Iraq War. From the truth about Columbus's historic voyages to an honest evaluation of our national leaders, Loewen revives our history, restoring the vitality and relevance it truly possesses.

    Thought provoking, nonpartisan, and often shocking, Loewen unveils the real America in this iconoclastic classic beloved by high school teachers, history buffs, and enlightened citizens across the country.


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