The origins of American history are vast. Christopher Columbus started the story of New World settlement, but it also began with the discoveries of the Renaissance, which made oceanic travel possible. Later, the Crusades fueled interest in trading with Asia and made it necessary to improve communication between Europe and Asia. These factors shaped the early history of the United States. Today, Americans can learn about their origins from books and museums, or from watching movies about history.
American history is often described as a nation of “exceptional” societies. Many historians have questioned this idea, especially Frederick Jackson Turner, who sought to explain America’s history in terms of special characteristics. Sociologists, for instance, wondered why the United States had avoided the socialism of the Europeans. Some hypothesized that this was because of wealth and ethnic diversity. The term “exceptionalism” is now considered to be in bad repute, partly because it is based on linguistic confusion. “Exceptional” can mean both “exceptionally good” or ‘immune’ from the general laws of history.
The American RevolutionARY WAR was not the bloodiest war in history, but it had more of an impact on the population. Although the Americans suffered on both sides, George Washington and the other colonies held together the cause of independence. The victory of national authority was cheered by Federalists, but Jefferson and his Republican Party were horrified by the government’s overreach. The United States became a sovereign nation on July 4, 1776.
After the Civil War, America expanded to the west. This expansion opened up new areas for conflict. Slavery was perhaps the most difficult issue to resolve because it was already embedded in the Constitution. It dominated every national issue in the 1850s and reached an unavoidable level as 1860 approached. If this was not resolved, the nation would have fought another war. It would have a dreadful outcome. The result was a nation divided and the civil war might have ensued.
The United States began as a mercantilist nation but grew into the most prosperous capitalist nation in history. Much of this success was owed to the Protestant work ethic and the Puritan notion of God helping those who help themselves. The American economic enterprise system has roots in Europe and was perfected here. Its history also shows how important international relations are to the country’s future. So, if you’re looking to learn more about the past, consider learning more about American history.
During the early days of the United States, many individuals had no close relatives. However, as social and material expansion took place, more people became characteristically “American” and had a high standard of living. This means that the development of the American economy paved the way for more material and social expansion. In many ways, the American people became more sociable and independent. The development of the American economy facilitated the growth of a middle-class culture.