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General Timeline of US History
The history of the United States is what happened in the past in the United States, a country in North America. Native Americans have lived there for thousands of years, long before Europeans went there. In 1492, Christopher Columbus went to America. In 1607, English people went to Jamestown, Virginia. This was the first successful town in the United States. The American colonies were settled mostly by England, who had thirteen colonies in what would become the United States. People from France, Spain, and the Netherlands also lived in America. While the English colonies were growing, many Native Americans died of disease or lost their land.
By 1733, there were 13 colonies. They were the first states. In 1775, at Lexington and Concord, a war between the colonies and England called the Revolutionary War started. This war started because the American colonists believed that they were not being treated equally to the Englishmen living in England. On July 4, 1776, people from 13 colonies created the United States Declaration of Independence. This said that they were free from England. George Washington helped lead the Americans during the Revolutionary War, which the Americans won.
After the Revolution, the United States set about becoming a new nation. The leaders of the states created a constitution in 1787 and a Bill of Rights in 1791. These were based on the idea of "social contracts" by John Locke and others. In the early 1800s, the new nation faced many controversial issues, such as slavery. During the 1800s, the United States gained much more land the West and began to become industrialized. In 1861, several states in the South left the United States to start a new country called the Confederate States of America. From 1861 to 1865, the North and South fought a war called the American Civil War over states' rights, slavery and the type of country the United States would become.
After the North won the war, the country went through reconstruction, which meant putting the country back together. In the late 1800s, many people came to the United States from Europe and worked in large factories. This period also led to the rise of rich businessmen, which is why it is called the Gilded Age. In the early 20th century, the United States became a world power. It was also one of the largest economies in the world. The United States fought in World War I and World War II. Between the wars, there was a period of "boom and bust", or a period of good times followed by a period of bad times. The boom period was known as the Roaring Twenties. The bust period was known as the Great Depression. The Great Depression ended with World War II.
After World War II, the United States and the Soviet Union entered a time known as the Cold War. During the Cold War, the United States government spent a lot of money on defense. It fought in Korea and Vietnam. It also put Neil Armstrong and other Americans in space. During this time, African-Americans, Chicanos, and women fought for more rights. In the 1970s and 1980s, the United States started to make fewer things in factories than they used to. The Cold War ended in 1991 when the Soviet Union fell apart. The Middle East became important in American foreign policy, especially after the September 11 attacks in 2001.
Other General Study Links
The West/ Gilded Age/ Industrial Revolution
Essential Questions of Westward Expansion and The Gilded Age, and MORE!
Western Expansion Outline Notes:
Western Expansion Quizlets:
Western Expansion Videos:
Westward Expansion PPTs:
Western Expansion Timeline:
--The Gilded Age
The Gilded Age Outline Notes:
The Gilded Age Quizlets, Etc.:
Gilded Age PowerPoints:
The Gilded Age Videos
The Gilded Age Timeline:
Industrial Revolution Outline Notes:
Industrial Revolution Quizlets, Etc. :
Industrial Revolution PowerPoints:
Industrial Revolution Videos:
Industrial Revolution Timeline:
Progressive Era/ Rise to World Power
Progressive Era Essential Questions and More!
Rise to World Power Outline Notes:
Rise to World Power Quizlet:
Progressive Era Outline Notes:
Progressive Era Quizlets, Etc.:
Progressive Era PowerPoints:
Progressive Era Videos:
Progressive Era Timeline:
Freedom Week Essential Questions and More!
Imperialism and the Road to WWI Essential Questions and More!
WWI Outline Notes:
WWI Quizlets, Etc.:
1920's Essential Questions:
2. Was the decade of the 1920s a time of innovation or conservatism?
3. Did the 19th Amendment radically change women's role in American life?
4. Did women experience significant "liberation" during the 1920s? Did the role of women in American life significantly change during the 1920s?
5. Should the U.S. limit immigration?
1920's Outline Notes:
1920's Quizlets, Etc.:
Great Depression/ New Deal
Great Depression/New Deal Essential Questions:
2. Was the Great depression inevitable?
3. Was the New Deal an effective response to the depression?
4. Did Franklin Roosevelt's "New Deal" weaken or save capitalism?
5. Did Franklin Roosevelt's "New Deal" undermine the contitutional principles of "separation of powers" and "checks and balances?"
6. Did minorities receive a "New Deal" in the 1930s?
7. Do labor unions and working people owe a debt to the New Deal?
8. Did the New Deal effectively end the Great Depression and restore prosperity?
9. Has the U.S. abandoned the legacy of the New Deal?
Great Depression Outline Notes:
New Deal Programs:
Great Depression Quizlets, Etc.:
Great Depression PowerPoints:
Great Depression Videos:
Great Depression Timeline:
New Deal Timeline
Foreign Policy Between World Wars:
WWII Essential Questions:
2. Should the US sell arms to other nations? Should the US have aided the Allies against the Axis powers? Does American security depend upon the survival of its allies?
3. Was war between the US and Japan inevitable?
4. How important was the home front in the US victory in WWII?
5. Was the treatment of Japanese Americans during WWII justified or an unfortunate setback for democracy?
6. Should the US employ nuclear weapons to defeat its enemies in war?
7. Could the US have done more to prevent the Holocaust?
8. Was WWII a "good war"? Was WWII justified by its results?
WWII Outline Notes:
WWII Quizlets, Etc.:
Post War/Cold War
Post War/Cold War Essential Questions
2. Was containment an effective policy to thwart communist expansion?
3. Should the US have feared internal Communist subversion in the 1950s?
4. Should the US have fought "limited wars" to contain communism?
Post War/ Cold War Outline Notes:
Key Events of the Korean War:
Post War/ Cold War Quizlets, Etc.:
Post War/ Cold War PowerPoints:
Post War/ Cold War Videos:
Post War/ Cold War Timeline:
The 1950's Timeline:
Civil Rights Movement
Civil Rights Movement Essential Questions:
2. Does Lyndon Johnson deserve to be called the "civil rights president?"
3. To what extent can legislation result in a positive change in racial attitudes?
4. Is civil disobedience the most effective means of achieving racial equality?
5. Is violence or non-violence the most effective means to achieve social change?
6. Did the civil rights movement of the 60s effectively change the nation?
7. Would you have actively participated in the civil rights movement of the 60s?
8. How successful was the civil rights movement of the 60s and 70s in achieving the mandates of the contitutional amendments of the 1860s and 1870s?
Key Events of the Civil Rights Movement:
Civil Right Movement Quizlets, Etc.:
Civil Right Movement PowerPoints:
Civil Right Movement Videos:
Civil Right Movement Timeline:
Vietnam and Counter Culture of the 60's, Etc.
Essential Questions of Vietnam and Counter Culture of the 60s
2. Did participation in the Vietnam war signal the return to a foreign policy of isolation for the US?
3. Did the policy of detente with Communist nations effectively maintain world peace?
4. Should an Equal Rights Amendment ("ERA") be added to the Constitution to achieve gender equality?
5. Did the Warren Supreme Court expand or undermine the concept of civil liberties?
6. Should Affirmative Action programs be used as a means to make up for past injustices?
Tumultuous 60's Outline Notes:
Vietnam and Counter Culture of thee 60's Quizlets, Etc.:
Vietnam and Counter Culture of thee 60's Powerpoints:
Vietnam and Counter Culture of thee 60's Videos:
Vietnam and Counter Culture of thee 60's Timeline:
Nixon, Ford, Carter, 70's
Nixon, Ford, Carter, 70s Essential Questions:
2. Should Nixon have resigned the presidency?
Nixon, Ford, Carter, 70's Quizlets, Etc.:
Nixon, Ford, Carter, 70's PowerPoints:
Nixon, Ford, Carter, 70's Videos:
Nixon, Ford, Carter, 70's Timeline:
Essential Questions for Conservative, 80s:
2. Were Presidents Reagan and Bush responsible for the collapse of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War?
3. Did the United States win the Cold War?
4. Are peace and stability in the Middle East vital to the United States' economy and national security?
5. Should the United States have fought a war against Iraq to liberate Kuwait?
6. Is it the responsibility of the United States today to be the world's "policeman"?
Conservative, 80's Quizlets, Etc.:
Conservative, 80's PowerPoints:
Conservative, 80's Videos:
Conservative, 80's Timeline:
Modern Essential Questions:
2. Should a president be impeached for ethical lapses and moral improprieties?
3. Has racial and equality and harmony been achieved at the start of the twenty-first century?
4. Should the United States still support the use of economic sanctions to further democracy and human rights?
5. Should the United States use military force to support democracy in Eastern Europe, or the Middle East? Choose one...
6. Is it constitutional for the US to fight preemptive wars? Was teh US justified in fighting a war to remove Saddam Hussein from power?
7. Is the world safer since the end of the Cold War?
8. Should Americans be optimistic about the future?
9. Should limits be placed on freedom of expression during times of national crisis?
10. Should stricter laws regulating firearms be enacted?
Is the death penalty (capital punishment) a "cruel and unusual punishment" (and thus unconstitutional)?
11. Does the media have too much influence over public opinion?
12. Do political parties serve the public interest and further the cause of democracy?
13. Was the Bush Doctrine an appropriate and effective policy to combat global terrorism?
14. Is the United States justified to use preemptive military attacks against nations that support terrorism and/or develop and stockpile nuclear weapons?
15. Has the election of the first African American president (Barack Obama) been a pivotal and culminating moment for the civil rights movement and race relations in the United States?