Important Moments in America History

america history

Few countries devote more time to their national history, and present it in such a way that citizens can understand its importance to the nation. Educators, laymen, and politicians are unanimous in the conviction that a knowledge of the nation’s past is essential to making loyal citizens. This article identifies and discusses important milestones in America’s history and their significance to American life today.

The Boston Tea Party marks the first major protest by Americans against British control of their economy. The demonstration involves the destruction of all the cargo on three East India Company ships that brought tea to a Boston harbor. The act is the spark that ignites a war for independence.

In 1754, British forces invade the largely self-governing colony of South Carolina. After a decade of agitation and warfare, representatives of the colonies make a formal break with Britain. They adopt the Declaration of Independence, which announces that the thirteen colonies are sovereign, independent nations and no longer part of the British empire.

After the war, the United States becomes a federal republic with a bicameral legislature and a supreme court. Despite the new system, Americans remain deeply divided over the role of the federal government in their lives.

The Constitutional Convention convenes in Philadelphia to revise the Articles of Confederation, the governing document under which the United States existed during and immediately after the War for Independence. Delegates to the convention were convinced that the national government needed an injection of strength and vigor, so they created a completely new document, the Constitution of the United States, which drew from many passages in the Articles.

Civil rights shifted dramatically after the ratification of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, creed, and sex in public facilities and private employment. A series of subsequent landmark legislation, such as the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965, further extended federal authority over private behavior.

Anarchism grows in the United States as many Americans reject the idea that a central government can solve society’s problems. Various radical groups form, such as the Knights of Labor and Elizabeth Cady Stanton’s National Woman Suffrage Association.

In the years following the War of 1812, northern and southern economies develop on separate paths and slavery continues to divide political factions. The clash of these opposing ideals will lead to the American Civil War.

In an attempt to wreak havoc in the government, John Wilkes Booth, David Herold, and George Atzerodt plan to kill Lincoln, Vice President Andrew Johnson, and Secretary of State Lewis Powell. Their plot fails when Powell survives the attack and flees to Mexico. After a long and bitter struggle, the Constitution of the United States is finally ratified in 1889. The Constitution establishes a national government with specific laws and fundamental principles that all Americans must live by. It also includes guarantees of basic individual liberties and a judicial branch to enforce them.

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