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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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    • Harper Perennial Modern Classics
    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. 

    United States History: Preparing for the Advanced Placement Examination (2016 Exam) - Student Edition Softcover

    By John J. Newman

    Perfection Learning
    Paperback

    United States History: Preparing for the Advanced Placement Examination (2016 Exam) - Student Edition Softcover
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    United States History: 2016 Preparing for the Advanced Placement Examination

    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 Heritage History of the United States

    Viking
    Hardcover (640 pages)

    American Heritage History of the United States
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    • Used Book in Good Condition
    Product Description:
    Douglas Brinkley takes us on the incredible journey of the United States - a nation formed from a vast countryside on whose fringes a few small colonies made a bold cast at freedom, then burgeoned into an expanding democracy, and ultimately flourished as a world power. From the first primitive maps outlining a New World to the faded daguerreotypes of young men in uniforms standing beside Confederate flags; to pictures of hopeful immigrant families arriving at Ellis Island; to the stirring photographs of civil rights marchers; to the terrible images of the Oklahoma City Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building bombing - the history of America offers a stunning album of people and events.

    An Indigenous Peoples' History of the United States (ReVisioning American History)

    By Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz

    Beacon Press
    Released: 2015-08-11
    Paperback (312 pages)

    An Indigenous Peoples  History of the United States (ReVisioning American History)
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    • Beacon Press
    Product Description:
    2015 Recipient of the American Book Award

    The first history of the United States told from the perspective of indigenous peoples

     
    Today in the United States, there are more than five hundred federally recognized Indigenous nations comprising nearly three million people, descendants of the fifteen million Native people who once inhabited this land. The centuries-long genocidal program of the US settler-colonial regimen has largely been omitted from history. Now, for the first time, acclaimed historian and activist Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz offers a history of the United States told from the perspective of Indigenous peoples and reveals how Native Americans, for centuries, actively resisted expansion of the US empire.

    In An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States, Dunbar-Ortiz adroitly challenges the founding myth of the United States and shows how policy against the Indigenous peoples was colonialist and designed to seize the territories of the original inhabitants, displacing or eliminating them. And as Dunbar-Ortiz reveals, this policy was praised in popular culture, through writers like James Fenimore Cooper and Walt Whitman, and in the highest offices of government and the military. Shockingly, as the genocidal policy reached its zenith under President Andrew Jackson, its ruthlessness was best articulated by US Army general Thomas S. Jesup, who, in 1836, wrote of the Seminoles: “The country can be rid of them only by exterminating them.”
     
    Spanning more than four hundred years, this classic bottom-up peoples’ history radically reframes US history and explodes the silences that have haunted our national narrative.


    From the Hardcover edition.

    United States History

    By Emma J. Lapsansky-Werner

    Prentice Hall
    Hardcover (1264 pages)

    United States History
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    American History: US History: An Overview of the Most Important People & Events. The History of United States: From Indians to Contemporary History of America

    By William D. Willis

    CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
    Paperback (244 pages)

    American History: US History: An Overview of the Most Important People & Events. The History of United States: From Indians to Contemporary History of America
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    Product Description:

    From Colonization to the Space Race, this is the story of America’s successes and failures.

    Learn how a little settlement of a few hundred colonists grew to be one of the most powerful nations in the world. US History: An Overview of the Most Important People & Events. The History of United States: From Indians to Contemporary History of America, 5th Edition follows the rollercoaster of events that drove the United States to become a modern superpower. This quick tour through the most significant events in U.S. History reveals the mistakes that tore a country apart as well as the triumphs that rebuilt and bolstered it. Witness:
  • The discovery of an uncharted continent by Christopher Columbus.
  • The colonization of North America by the Spanish, French, English and Portuguese.
  • The establishment of the thirteen colonies.
  • Fierce competition among European powers as they carved the North American land mass into territories.
  • The election of the first president, the signing of the Declaration of Independence, and the American Revolution.
  • The tragedies, wars, famine, and prosperity that shaped the United States into a superpower.
  • How the United States Constitution continues to guide us today.
  • How the modern Republican and Democratic parties were shaped.
  • Meet the historical juggernauts who made the United States into what it is today including Christopher Columbus, George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, Andrew Jackson, Abraham Lincoln, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, Richard Nixon and more. Learn how the Civil War, Emancipation Proclamation, Industrialization, Labor Movement, WWI, Prohibition, the Great Depression, WWII, the Cold War, and the Space Race molded a nation.

    Start your journey through American History today with US History: An Overview of the Most Important People & Events. The History of United States: From Indians to Contemporary History of America, 5th Edition.

    Get Your Copy Today!

    Barron's AP United States History, 3rd Edition

    By Eugene Resnick

    Barron s Educational Series
    Paperback (528 pages)

    Barron s AP United States History, 3rd Edition
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    • Barron s Educational Series
    Product Description:
    This extensive test prep manual covers the AP United States History curriculum, and will help prepare students for the most current exam with:
    • Two full-length practice tests that feature all questions answered and explained
    • Test-taking strategies for answering both the test’s multiple choice, short answer, long essay, and document-based questions
    • A detailed review of U.S. history, from pre-contact American Indian societies and the evolution of Colonial society, the American Revolution, the Civil War and Reconstruction, the growth of industrial America, World War I, the Great Depression, World War II, the Cold War, America in the age of Clinton, Bush, and Obama, and much more

    The manual can be purchased alone or with an optional CD-ROM that presents two additional full-length practice tests with automatic scoring and fully explained answers.
    BONUS ONLINE PRACTICE TEST: Students who purchase this book or package will also get FREE access to one additional full-length online AP U.S. History test with all questions answered and explained.

    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 Renegade History of the United States

    By Thaddeus Russell

    Free Press
    Released: 2011-07-05
    Paperback (400 pages)

    A Renegade History of the United States
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    Product Description:
    This provocative perspective on America’s history claims that the country’s personality was defined not by the ideals of the elites and intellectuals, but by those who throughout  have lived on the fringes of society historyslaves, immigrants, gangsters, and others who challenged the conventions of their day.

    “Raucous, profane, and thrillingly original, Thaddeus Russell’s A Renegade History of the United States turns the myths of the ‘American character’ on their heads with a rare mix of wit, scholarship, and storytelling flair” (Steven Johnson, author of Everything Bad Is Good for You and The Invention of Air ).

    An all-new, stunning, and controversial story of the United States: It was not “good” citizens who established American liberty, declares Thaddeus Russell, but “immoral” and “degraded” people on the fringes of society whose subversive lifestyles legitimized the taboo and made America the land of the free.

    In vivid portraits of renegades and their “respectable” adversaries, Russell shows that the nation’s history has been driven by clashes between those interested in preserving social order and those more interested in pursuing their own desires. The more these accidental revolutionaries—drunkards, prostitutes, gangsters, unassimilated immigrants, “bad” blacks—persevered, the more American society changed for the better.

    This is not the history taught in textbooks or classrooms—this renegade book will upend everything you believe about the American past.


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