The colonies and liberation
The entire North American continent was inhabited by Native Americans before the arrival of Europeans; see Native Americans(North America). European immigration began in the 1560s, when Spaniards settled in Florida. In the early 17th century, colonies were established further north, primarily by England and France, but by 1763 Britain had gained supremacy over North America up to the Mississippi River, with the exception of Florida. The different colonies were founded partly by private companies and partly by individuals from the British aristocracy, who were granted land in the royal house. Eventually, however, the British crown strengthened control over the colonies, although they could exert some influence through the early colonial legislative assemblies. As a result, the 13 different colonies that formed the United States were developed in the British part. See also North America (History).
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The colonies established under British rule were of very different character. The areas at the top of the northeast were unsuitable for agriculture due to climate and lack of land, which is why fishing, shipbuilding, trade and crafts were developing. To this also contributed that the completely dominant feature of the colonizers in this part of North America was Puritans, many of whom had their background in the trade-oriented English bourgeoisie.
The middle colonies came to be dominated by family farms, farms, with few employees. Here, too, crafts and trade were developed, and the area gained a diverse business community. The population was more mixed and came from different parts of Europe. In the southern colonies, the warm climate and richness of land contributed to agriculture unilaterally focusing on mass production for the export of a few crops, mainly tobacco and cotton. These colonies had been founded mainly by British nobles and came to be dominated by large plantations with black slaves as the main labor force. To see more information other than history, please visit Abbreviationfinder to learn more about climate, population, government, and economy for the country of United States.
Despite these differences, the colonies were able to come together for common resistance when conflicts with the motherland arose after 1763. These were mainly taxation, trade restrictions and tariffs. In 1774, a Continental Congress was convened in Philadelphia to decide on countermeasures, but when the United Kingdom in 1775 declared that states of rebellion prevailed in all colonies, war broke out. On July 4, 1776, the thirteen colonies declared independence through the Declaration of Independence, and in 1783 Britain was forced to accept the colonies’ independence. See further North American War of Independence.
After the liberation, the colonies were gathered in a loose state federation on the basis of the so-called confederation articles, which had been adopted by the Continental Congress in 1781. Soon the idea of a firmer union arose, and in 1787 a convention was convened, which the following year presented proposals for a completely new constitution. By 1789, it had been ratified by a sufficient number of states to enter into force. George Washington, commander of the War of Liberation, was elected the first President of the New Republic. However, the constitution was very vague and mainly a compromise between different interests. The political system that was created was strongly divided between different centers of power, between large and small states, between states and central power, and within the central power between legislative, executive and judicial institutions.
Population and economic development before about 1890
At the time of independence, the European part of the population was very young and the nativity was extremely high, which contributed to a sharp increase in population, from 4 million 1790 to 23 million 1850. At a later stage the population increase was sustained by the extensive immigration from Europe, and 1900 had the number of residents increased to 76 million.
This meant that new land areas had to be taken possession of, which was the backdrop to what is usually called “The Westward Movement” (see Frontier). By the 1840s the cultivation limit had reached the Mississippi River and during the 1860s the Rocky Mountains. The colonization of the Pacific coast had begun as early as the 1840s. This movement initially took place along the waterways, which was supplemented by extensive canal construction. During the 1850s, an extensive road and rail network had also been expanded. The Indian population was forced further and further west and by the end of the 19th century had been consolidated into a number of so-called reserves, where they led a rather miserable existence; see Native Americans (North America) and Native American Reserve.
It was also important that during the first half of the 19th century the United States had a fairly uniform population structure. The majority of the population came from the United Kingdom, and it was what with a late term called the WASP culture (of white Anglo-Saxon Protestant) that came to form during the period when the United States was formed as a nation. It was not until the end of the 19th century that other large groups of people began to come to the United States, and these were then usually forced to adapt to the cultural and social structure that existed.
The rapidly growing population also led to extensive urbanization, beginning with the port cities along the east coast. From the 1820s, large cities also grew up in the West, mainly along the Ohio River and the Great Lakes. In 1790, only 3% of the population lived in cities, in 1860 this proportion had increased to 16% and 1900 to 32%. The emergence of big cities created serious social problems with large slums and high crime rates, which gave the cities a bad reputation among the rural population and strongly contributed to political contradictions between the city and the countryside. Since rural interests, right up to our time, had a majority in the political bodies at all levels, it was difficult to make improvements in the big cities.
The development towards three different regions that one could already see during the colonization process was accentuated increasingly by the move westward in the 19th century. Industrialization spread from the northern coastal states along the Great Lakes. The importance of this process was also significant in the West. The economic structure based on farms developed in the Mid-Atlantic States spread to the prairie areas of the west, which quickly became the leading agricultural area. The former self-sufficiency was soon abandoned, and agriculture was increasingly commercialized with the eastern industrial areas as an important market. In the South, a completely different social system was developed. Early on there were large plantations side by side with poor small farms, often leasing farms, which mainly produced for self-catering.
In the beginning, the South and the West had the most in common. Both were agricultural regions, albeit of a different nature. The Mississippi River was the most important transportation route and linked these two areas with New Orleans as the most important port. From the 1830s this changed. The growing industrial areas in the east became important markets for the Western agricultural products, and the industry began to provide farmers with improved machines, etc. The transport routes along the Great Lakes became increasingly important, and the trade routes were changed by the fact that canal construction and railways usually came in an east-west direction.
In the South, the dependence on few products for export, mainly tobacco and cotton, made it possible to expand economically only by increasing production, which however led to falling prices and from the 1830s a severe economic stagnation. Through its social structure, where an industrial-hostile plantation aristocracy is completely dominant, the South came to be increasingly isolated from the dynamic states of the north and west. To this was added severe political contradictions, which mainly concerned customs and slavery.
US Political Development Before the Civil War (1789 – c. 1860)
When drafting the new constitution, two groups crystallized, one that wanted the strongest possible central power and another that wanted the greatest possible influence for the individual states. These groups formed the basis for the first party formation of the United States, the Federalist Party and the Republican Party. George Washington had included representatives of both in his government. Alexander Hamilton was the foremost representative of a strong central government and trade interests in the East, while Thomas Jefferson became the leading representative of the states and of agricultural interests in the South and West.
The spirit of unity that existed during the Freedom War gradually ceased and was replaced by interest policy, mainly in economic matters. Hamilton, as finance minister, pursued a strict policy to reduce the central government debt and introduced a series of taxes, which mainly came to hit the peasants. In 1801, Jefferson took office as president, which meant a shift in power in favor of the West and the South. Jefferson’s connection to the agrarian interests was one of the driving forces behind the Louisiana acquisition in 1803, which doubled the US’s then surface and gave the country vast agricultural lands to the west.
In foreign policy, the country went through a crisis in relation to Britain, which in 1812 caused a war, ended in 1814 without any victor. By this time, the Federalist Party had practically ceased to exist, and the political contradictions were coming into existence during this period, which has come to be called “The Era of good feelings.” The war against Britain had unleashed nationalist sentiments, while a new generation of politicians had succeeded the old revolutionary generation. The chief representative of these sentiments was Henry Clay. He was the architect of “The American System”, a political program that advocated the central bank to guarantee a strong national currency, high protection tariffs to keep watch over the domestic market and the use of state funds to pay for the expansion of communication networks and thus to tie together the different parts of the now vast country. Part of the program was a legacy of the old Federalist Party’s policies, which groups within the now-sole Republican Party took over.
At the end of the 1820s, Republicans split into two groups, the National Republican Party or the Whig Party, which was behind The American System, and the Democratic Republican Party, which from 1829 called itself the Democratic Party. This mainly consisted of supporters of Jefferson’s ideas and was in opposition to the increase in central power that The American System entailed.
The Democrats came to power when its dynamic leader, Andrew Jackson, took office in 1829. The period 1829-40, which is usually called “The Jacksonian Era”, meant a system shift in American history and the breakthrough of the political system that with little change has become enduring to our days. Jackson was the first president who, with the help of a well-organized party apparatus, sought support from broad electoral groups, unlike previous presidents, elected by a small, well-placed elite. Jackson’s election brought a breakthrough to the principles of majority democracy. Voter turnout increased from about 30% in 1824 to 78% in 1840. It was also a breakthrough for the strong presidential power. through the introduction of spoil systems, ie appointment of office to political merit.
From the 1820s, political contradictions became increasingly regional in character. A battle issue that was always latent was about slavery. In 1820, this was resolved until further notice by the adoption of the so-called Missouri Compromise, which included meant that a boundary line was drawn from Missouri’s south boundary to the west and that slavery would be allowed south of that boundary but prohibited north of it. Jackson’s election also involved a political battle over The American System, which Jackson countered. He accepted only increased tariffs, which, however, triggered strong opposition from the export-dependent southern states and led to a severe crisis (the nullification crisis) in 1832, when South Carolina threatened to leave the Union. It was only prevented since Jackson threatened with military action.
Another conflict, which arose during the 1840s, concerned expansionism, ie. if the United States were to incorporate additional areas to the south and west. There was an opinion against this, mainly in New England, but at this time strong expansionist moods (“manifest destiny”) developed. Primarily it was Texas, which in 1836 broke away from Mexico and in 1845 applied for a state in the United States. President James Polk, a convinced expansionist, pushed through congressional approval of this, which in 1846 led to a war against Mexico, conquering large parts of the current Southwestern United States and California. At the same time, the issue of the border with Canada to the Pacific was resolved by the Oregon Treaty in 1846 in a manner favorable to the United States. Already in 1819 Florida had been purchased from Spain.
Civil War and Reconstruction Time (c. 1860 – c. 1890)
The expansion of the US to the west meant that many new states and territories were created. As a result, the issue of slavery during the 1850s became again acute. By the passage of the Kansas-Nebraska Act in 1854, the Missouri Compromise was torn down. The ruling of the Supreme Court in the so-called Dred Scott case in 1857 went completely on the line of the Southern States and meant that the political bodies were deprived of the possibility of regulating the issue of slavery. By 1854, the Whig Party had split, and its slave-resistant wing instead formed the Republican Party, whose programs explicitly outlawed slavery in the new territories. In 1860, its candidate, Abraham Lincoln, was elected president, and as a direct result of this, in December 1860, South Carolina decided to leave the Union. In the spring of 1861, another ten southern states followed the example and formedThe Confederate States of America. Lincoln refused to approve the outbreak and the result was the American Civil War (1861-65).
The underlying causes of the civil war were that the societies that developed in the South and the Nordic countries differed radically from one another economically, socially and culturally (see Population and economic development before about 1890, above). Slavery was an important background to these differences and also became the factor that triggered the war. After a four-year, bloody war, the northern states in 1865 stood as victors. The Civil War had a profound impact on American society. A direct consequence was that slavery was abolished and the blacks became free, but this also began the development that led to a hundred-year-long racial oppression in the South. Economically, the Nordic industrial capitalist system prevailed, to which the South could only adapt very slowly. Politically, the blame for the war came to be borne by the Democratic Party,
To return the southern states to the Union after the war became very difficult. Following the assassination of Lincoln in April 1865, the so-called radical Republicans became the dominant political force. These had been fierce slavery opponents before the war and were now pursuing a hard-fought policy against the South, which for a few years was put under military occupation and ruled by Northern state politicians with the support of the now liberated slaves. This was the so-called reconstruction policy, which, before it was abandoned, created very difficult wounds and a great bitterness among the white population of the South, while at the same time not seriously trying to give the black economic opportunities to be integrated into the southern state society.
After the withdrawal of the northern state troops in 1877, political repression of the blacks began. It culminated in the 1890s, when a number of so-called Jim Crow laws were introduced throughout the South and an almost total racial segregation was carried out in virtually all areas of society. Racial segregation was given legal sanction in 1896, when the Supreme Court upheld the principle of “separate but equal” (separate but equal) and thus opened the way for a near total racial oppression in the entire South.
The period after the Civil War brought a huge industrial and economic upswing. The population increased through the huge waves of immigration from Europe. Between 1865 and 1930 approximately 30 million are estimated. people have immigrated. These came to solve the problem of labor shortages that had previously hampered industrialization, while also constituting an ever-growing domestic market. Immigration was perhaps the main reason why the United States could in a few decades develop into the world’s leading industry and thereby also into a political and military superpower. During this period, the region’s most uninhabited areas were also populated, and these gave the United States an industrial contribution through the oil in the south and the mining and forest industry in the west.
Politically, Republicans dominated almost the entire period 1865-1912. As a result, the party became, more than before, the carrier of the interests of the big industry, but also had strong support among Western farmers. After the civil war, the Democrats were greatly weakened except in the South, where the party was almost universally dominant. However, by appealing to the many immigrants who ended up in the cities of the big cities, they laid the foundation for the strong party that emerged from the 1930s.
During the 19th century, the United States had pursued a foreign policy with the intention of staying out of the wars in Europe. In fact, the United States was a third-class military force at that time. This policy was manifested primarily in the Monroe doctrinefrom 1823 and has usually been considered isolationist, a judgment that reflects a one-sided Europe-centered approach. US foreign policy during this period was mainly characterized by territorial expansion on its own continent, vigilant about the country’s interests in Latin America, rejection of European penetration attempts in the Western Hemisphere, neutrality in relation to the European powers and participation in the fight for international trade markets. In the 1850s, after the colonization of its own Pacific coast, the United States showed a growing interest in Asia as a future market, sending 1854 ships to try to open Japan to trade relations. However, between 1814 and 1898, the United States was not involved in wars with any states outside its own continent.
Populism, expansion and reform (1890-1919)
The presidential campaign in 1888 came largely around the customs issue. The incumbent president, Grover Cleveland, was, like the Democrats, generally opposed to protective duties. However, Republican Benjamin Harrison triumphed, and a Customs Ordinance was passed, which protected American industry but entailed price increases for consumers.
At the same time, the farmers were hit by an economic crisis. Production had increased very significantly as a result of increased field area and technological development. But prices fell because production was so large and prices were set in a world market open to competition. In addition, the development was deflatorial, and farmers who are indebted to buy machines and expand must now repay and repay the loans at a higher monetary value.
In the tow of the crisis arose populism of the 1890s, which gained entry into the Democratic Party, especially in the South and the Midwest, and formed the basis for a new party formation, the Populist Party (People’s Party). The new party had on its program, among other things. progressive income tax, nationalization of the railways, eight hours of working day and, not least, free and unlimited silver coinage. The purpose of this was to achieve “cheaper” money, by increasing the circulating money supply, which was considered to reduce farmers’ debt burden.
In the 1892 presidential election, the relatively conservative former president Cleveland won, but by 1896 the Democratic Party had largely been dominated by populists, and the party’s candidate, William Jennings Bryan, made the silver coin the primary issue. However, he lost to Republican William McKinley.
Prior to 1890, the majority of immigrants came from northwestern Europe, then from eastern and southern Europe. The rapid economic expansion created a great need for labor, and immigration was generally perceived as positive. As mechanization in the industry increased and the economic expansion slowed, the attitude began to change, among other things. from the unions, who saw immigration as a threat to the pursuit of higher wages and better working conditions. At the same time, social and cultural conditional resistance to immigration grew. Since 1882, there was a total ban on Chinese immigration. In 1905, Japanese immigration was stopped, and by various means sought to restrict and control immigration. The main purpose was to limit the flow of immigrants from Eastern and Southern Europe, who were considered inferior.
The time from the turn of the century until the outbreak of the First World War is usually referred to as the “progressive era”. The reform movement, named for it, is almost the nature of a reaction to a number of negative social and economic phenomena in society, the increasingly marked economic power concentration in the giant trusts, sharpened class contradictions with increasingly fierce confrontations between entrepreneurs and workers, increasing corruption with boss violence. within the big cities’ political machines. Much of what the progressive leaders branded had previously been attacked by populism. But while the populists came from the agrarian reform movements and got a strong grip on the Democratic Party, the progressives mainly represented the middle class of the cities. Most of the progressive politicians came from the Republican Party. This was the case, for example. Theodore Roosevelt, who took office in 1901 when McKinley was assassinated.
During Roosevelt’s presidency, reforms were implemented both in the states, where Wisconsin, under the leadership of progressive Governor Robert La Follette, became pattern-making, as well as federal. In several states, reforms regarding working time, workers’ protection, state taxes, etc. were implemented, but most problems could only be solved at Union level. The trusts were so strong that the individual states could not claim. Roosevelt ran through a number of antitrust laws, including involving federal control of the railways through the establishment of the Interstate Commerce Commission. Other reforms concerned the control of chemical additives in foods, and significant legislation applied to the protection of the country’s natural resources.
Roosevelt’s role as a “trust-buster” founded a popularity that made him win a convincing victory in the presidential election of 1904 and would have won in 1908 if he did. By tradition, however, a president only sat for two terms, and Roosevelt supported Republican William Taft instead. As president, Taft sought to pursue Roosevelt’s reform program.
During his administration, a federal income tax was introduced, and a politically important reform was the change that senators should be elected in general elections instead of the state legislatures. Taft, however, became increasingly conservative and therefore became unpopular among liberal Republicans. This led to the Democrats winning the congressional elections in 1910, and in the 1912 presidential election, Roosevelt challenged Taft in an attempt at political comeback. The Republican Party, however, refused to accept him, and Roosevelt then blasted the party by founding a new party, the Progressive Party. In the election, Democrat Woodrow Wilson then won, despite receiving just over forty percent of the votes cast.
Wilson’s domestic politics appears in much the same way as a continuation of the progressive tradition. In 1913 a new Customs Charter was adopted, which significantly reduced import duties. The same year, the Federal Reserve Act, a banking system reform, was passed. Roosevelt’s fight against the trusts was continued through the establishment of the Federal Trade Commission.
The vast territorial expansion that the United States has undergone since the founding of the Union had applied to neighboring, sparsely populated areas, which were colonized and built. With the 1890s came another type of expansion, akin to the colonialism and empire-building that characterized the European great powers. Hawaii was annexed in 1898, and the United States intervened in the armed conflict that took place between Spain and a revolt movement in Cuba since the mid-1890s.
The Spanish-American War in 1898 ended with a rapid American victory, and the United States received the Philippines and Puerto Rico, while Cuba formally became independent but in reality an American protectorate. President McKinley motivated the annexations for humanitarian reasons, but the successor Roosevelt was a prominent power politician and, above all, sought to secure a dominant influence for the United States in the Western hemisphere. In 1903, a revolt broke out in Colombia. The rebellious occupied Panama and proclaimed the Republic of Panama. Roosevelt immediately recognized the outbreak state and prevented the Colombian government from intervening. Panama gave the United States the right to build the Panama Canal in 1904 and also leased the canal zone to the United States.
At the outbreak of the First World War in 1914, President Wilson declared that the European conflict did not concern the United States, but less than three years later, the United States entered the war on the side of the entente. The official explanation was that the war was forced on America by Germany’s unrestricted submarine war. Critics have instead pointed to the importance of Wilson’s Anglo-Saxon orientation, US trade policy and the extensive credit to the entente powers. In any case, a German victory from an American point of view was considered unacceptable. See also the First World War.
In January 1918, Wilson presented his famous “fourteen points” as the basis for a lasting peace. This included a ban on secret agreements, self-determination for the people, the elimination of economic barriers between countries, disarmament, etc. However, this idealistic internationalism did not come to characterize the peace negotiations in Versailles. Wilson saw his concessions there as a necessary price to be able to achieve what he saw as his primary goal, the founding of the League of Nations (NF). It was therefore a hard blow to him that the US Senate refused to ratify the treaty and that the United States did not become a member of the NF.
The Interwar period (1919–41)
After the end of the First World War, a tangible but short-lived depression followed in the United States. The industry quickly overcame the crisis and entered a boom. For the farmers, however, the difficulties remained, as agricultural prices remained depressed due to overproduction. The war had largely stopped immigration to the United States, and during the 1920s various quota laws were introduced in various ways, designed to severely limit annual immigration and, to a large extent, favor immigration from certain countries, primarily northwestern Europe. In this form, the quota laws were maintained until 1965.
The depression during the 1930s was largely the end of immigration. During the 1920s, US government policy was markedly conservative. Everything was done to benefit American industry, including through high protection tariffs introduced in 1921 and 1930, and by area by area created a real monopoly for American companies. At the same time, corporate taxation was reduced and in some cases abolished.
In the 1920 presidential elections, Republican Warren Harding, a well-meaning but weak politician, triumphed over the administration’s widespread corruption. Particularly notorious was the so-called Teapot Dome scandal, which was about the unlawful leasing of state oil fields to private stakeholders. Harding died in 1923 and was succeeded by Vice President Calvin Coolidge. He then won the election in 1924, mainly because of the split within the Democratic Party. Coolidge’s motto was “back to normalcy”, which in his opinion meant the winding down of the war years’ control and control functions and the least possible intervention on the part of the federal government.
In the 1928 election, Republican candidate Herbert Hoover won. He was a fanatical opponent of the intervention of the federal government in economic life and fully and firmly believed in the ability of the capitalist system to ride out all crises on its own. This turned out to be serious when the US in the autumn of 1929 suffered a recession, deeper and more prolonged than before. Technological innovations and expansion of the production capacity of the industry created a quantity of goods that far exceeded the purchasing power of farmers and workers, an equivalent to agricultural overproduction. Panic on the stock exchange was followed by bankruptcies and bankruptcies. For a long time, the government remained passive; Hoover believed that the crisis would quickly pass. However, that did not happen, and when his tenure expired in 1932, there were twelve million unemployed in the country.
Hoover and the Republicans were responsible for the Depression, and in the 1932 election, Hoover was defeated by New York Democratic governor Franklin Roosevelt. He saw his main task as the fight against the economic crisis and the necessary economic and social reforms. His “New Deal,” a complex of economic and social reforms, in important respects, entailed a reshaping of traditional American economic policy and a whole new active use of the state’s power resources.
The depression hit the already vulnerable farmers extremely hard. During the First World War, the economic conditions for the farmers had been good, which led to the cultivation of increased areas, including those with low yields, while at the same time acquiring an expensive machinery park. After the war, demand for agricultural products declined, and prices plummeted. In 1933, this led to agricultural reform through the Agricultural Adjustment Act (AAA), which became one of the cornerstones of New Deal legislation. It meant subsidies to the farmers to reduce production and thereby raise agricultural prices, a method that has become persistent in American agricultural policy. Through bilateral trade agreements with some twenty countries, export opportunities were increased, which in particular benefited agriculture.
One of the most impressive initiatives under the New Deal is the project known as the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA). In the Tennesse Valley, a poor, economically underdeveloped area, nine large ones were built during the years 1933–44 and a number of smaller dams, power plants were built and the entire area underwent excellent economic development.
However, the main focus of the New Deal was on revitalizing and increasing productivity in the US industry. At the same time as the AAA, Congress passed the National Industrial Recovery Act (NIRA), an industrial recovery program. Actually, Roosevelt was most conservative. He wanted to improve the existing system, not change it. But for many conservatives, his program seemed almost revolutionary. Both NIRA and AAA were repealed by the Conservative Supreme Court as contrary to the US Constitution, but were then replaced by other legislation. For example, the right to collective bargaining was guaranteed by the National Labor Relations Act 1935 (the Wagner Act), which meant the creation of the National Labor Relations Board.
The existing trade union organization American Federation of Labor (AFL) since the end of the 19th century received competition from a newly formed, more militant organization, the Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO). The number of organized workers rose from 4 million in 1929 to 11 million in 1939 and 18 million in 1948. Of particular importance in the social field was the 1935 adopted Social Security Act, which meant a modest pension after the age of 65 for many workers. Most states also introduced some form of unemployment insurance.
Instead of the international commitment that Wilson represented, a far-reaching isolationism came to characterize American foreign policy during the interwar period. In spite of opposition from Roosevelt, the 1935–37 Congress isolationists enforced the so-called neutrality laws, which allowed embargo on the sale of weapons and ammunition to warring states, banning loans to them, and ultimately banning exports to warfare. Following the outbreak of war in Europe in 1939, the laws of neutrality were modified to allow Britain and France to buy weapons and ammunition in the United States. Contrary to tradition, Roosevelt ran for the third time in the presidential election in 1940. The election campaign was marked by the threatening foreign policy situation, and the re-election of Roosevelt took the form of a manifestation of American unity.
United States during World War II (1941–45)
The success of the war’s initial phase for Germany and Japan convinced many Americans that a victory for these powers would also pose a threat to the United States. Although the United States was not drawn into the war until the Japanese bombing attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, US foreign and trade policy had already received a direction that made war participation only a matter of time.
The war led to a rapid mobilization for war effort by the country’s vast resources. New industries were created, new technologies were developed. Agriculture, industry, trade, mining, transport and education and cultural life were subordinated to war efforts. Through military service laws, more than 15 million soldiers were mobilized, and by the end of 1943, no less than 65 million of the country’s population are estimated to have been in uniform or employed in activities related to the war effort.
The war came to mean a lot to the liberation of the blacks. They were still associated with only black soldiers. It was not until the end of the war that integrated federations were set up, and only in 1944 was segregation in military buses and facilities prohibited. The big change came on the home front. When the war industry started in earnest, there was a violent need for labor. Roosevelt was forced to issue a ban on discrimination in employment in the civil service and in the defense industries. In increasingly warlike currents, the black Söder left agricultural areas to look for work in the big cities of the northern states.
Roosevelt played a central role as a war leader. The important decisions were made at meetings between him and Allied leaders Churchill and Stalin. At a meeting between Roosevelt and Churchill at Newfoundland in August 1941, the so-called Atlantic Declaration was issued, which included guidelines for postwar politics. In January 1943, the two statesmen met in Casablanca and agreed on the requirement for unconditional surrender. Important meetings where Stalin also participated took place in Tehran in 1943 and not least in Yalta in February 1945. At the latter time Roosevelt was a sick man, which may have contributed to his making concessions when it came to Eastern Europe. Poland’s borders, which later became controversial.
An American army landed in North Africa in November 1942. In July 1943, Sicily was invaded and in September the same year the Italian mainland, which led to Italy’s capitulation. On June 6, 1944, followed the “D-Day”, the invasion of Normandy, led by Allied Commander-in-Chief Dwight Eisenhower, and on May 8, 1945, Germany surrendered. In the Pacific war, the Americans won a significant naval victory at Midway in June 1942 and then conquered island after island, in April 1945 Okinawa and the Philippines. On August 6, 1945, the atomic bomb was dropped over Hiroshima, and on August 15, Japan surrendered. See further World War II.
Roosevelt died in April 1945 and was succeeded by Vice President Harry S. Truman. He participated in the important meeting in August 1945 in Potsdam when decisions were made, among other things. on the occupation of Germany and the expulsion of Germans from former German territories in the east and from Central and Eastern European countries, where they lived as minorities.
United States under Truman and Eisenhower (1945–61)
The Second World War resulted in a whole new international power political situation. Germany, Italy and Japan had disappeared as superpowers, Britain and France were weakened and the international arena was now dominated by two superpowers, the United States and the Soviet Union. That a conflict between them would arise when it came to filling in the power-political vacuum that arose was not surprising.
For other causes of conflict came a profound ideological divide. Also, it was not long after the formation of the United Nations (UN) in June 1945 before the contradictions became apparent. They apparently already appeared at the Potsdam Conference in July – August 1945 and deepened in 1946. The polarization became apparent through the Truman Doctrine in March 1947, the US President’s declaration that the United States would provide aid to countries threatened by Communist takeover. The Marshall Aid, published in 1947, not only aimed to help the Western Europe depleted of the war financially, but also aimed to hinder communist success. The Cold War would last for over forty years.
Short periods of relaxation occurred, such as the “thawing weather” in connection with the 1955 Geneva Summit and the “détente” in the early 1970s, but on several occasions world peace appeared threatened, for example at the Berlin Bloc 1948-49, the Korean War 1950-53 and the Cuba crisis. 1962. Early on, the UN’s opportunities to guarantee peace and security emerged as illusory, and its collective security system was replaced by alliances for collective defense.
In 1949, the North Atlantic Treaty (Atlantic Pact), institutionalized as the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) from 1951, was entered into as the main instrument of containment policy, the stated purpose of which was to hold back the Soviet Union in Europe. After the communist victory in China in 1949, American leaders saw “world communism” as a threat to “the free world”. The totalitarian communist powers were regarded as unrestrainedly aggressive, and every push from them must be stopped so that the defenses of the western world would not be broken.
In the years following World War II, the United States received about 300,000 so-called displaced persons from Europe. Refugee politics came to be characterized by the Cold War, and until 1980 the American concept of refugee included only people who had moved from a communist or communist-dominated country. Of the roughly two million refugees received after World War II, some 800,000 have been Cubans and 700,000 have come from Indochina. Illegal immigration is one of the most politically sensitive issues regarding US immigration policy. Exactly how many people are involved is difficult to say; estimates range from two to twelve million.
After the war, the first task was to adapt the millions of returning soldiers to civilian life. In order to facilitate this, in 1944, a law was passed which allowed loans to those returning home to buy a house, start a business, educate themselves or otherwise start a civil business. Unemployment had been feared, but it was largely absent. There was a pent-up demand for consumer goods, and increased wages in combination with a sharp increase in population created increased demand. Initially, the result was inflation.
Price increases led to unrest in the labor market with extensive strikes, which led to the now-dominated Congress of the Republicans adopting the so-called Taft-Hartley Act of 1947, which circumvents the power of unions. In the 1948 presidential campaign, which Truman unexpectedly won, he promised to abolish the Taft – Hartley Act. He did not, however, succeed in doing this but instead had some success with his social legislation, “Fair Deal”, which can be seen as a continuation of the New Deal and which, among other things, meant extended social insurance and increased minimum wage.
The Cold War is one of the reasons why World War II’s popular allied commander-in-chief Dwight Eisenhower as Republican presidential candidate in 1952 defeated Democrat Adlai Stevenson, breaking a twenty-year period of Democratic control of the White House. Eisenhower and the Republicans aimed to limit the federal government’s involvement and involvement in both the private business and the states business. In fact, however, Eisenhower’s two presidential periods resulted in the social and economic legislation of New Deal and Fair Deal becoming widely accepted.
In 1955, the two major trade unions AFL and CIO merged. Corruption was prevalent in some unions, which led Congress to enact laws that included control over the unions’ financial management. Agricultural overproduction in relation to the country’s needs was still a problem, and Eisenhower took measures both to stimulate the focus on alternative crops and partly to reduce the area under cultivation. By and large, the 1950s meant raising living standards for most Americans.
On the racial issue, the social pattern of blacks had changed radically throughout the Second World War. The demand for changes in their social and legal status was subsequently brought with ever greater force, and civil rights organizations such as the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) became increasingly important. However, the resistance was strong, and in the southern states most remained unchanged. At this stage, a ruling by the Supreme Court came to mean, in the long run, a complete revolution in the position of blacks. This happened in 1954 in a well-publicized trial where segregation within the school system was declared to be in violation of the Constitution.
Initially, the resistance was strong in the South, and yet another section in the 1960s, 98 percent of the black children went to all-black schools. However, the brash that the Supreme Court struck in the segregation of the school system also increased the pressure in other areas. In connection with a successful 1955 bus boycott in Montgomery, Alabama, Martin Luther King came into the limelight and became a leading figure in the civil rights movement that grew ever stronger during the 1960s.
From Kennedy to Carter (1961–81).
The 1960 presidential election was an even and fierce battle between two young candidates, Republican Richard M. Nixon, Eisenhower’s vice president, and Massachusetts Democratic Senator John F. Kennedy. Kennedy, who won, began by proclaiming “a New Frontier”. His main goal was foreign policy to assert the United States in the power struggle with the Soviet Union and domestic politics to move forward when it came to civil rights issues and social legislation. The Social Security Act gave workers the opportunity to retire at age 62 instead of 65, the minimum wage was raised and a federal program was developed to help older and low-income workers cope with housing costs.
Since Kennedy fell victim to a killer on November 22, 1963, the office went to Vice President Lyndon Johnson, who previously served as Texas senator, a man with long political experience. He took up domestic policy programs that were partially initiated by Kennedy, including a civil law bill, which Congress passed in July 1964. The law, which appears to be the most important in its area since the Reconstruction era, included prohibition of discrimination in the rental market, working life, restaurants and general service companies and when voting in political elections.
Another such program involved tax cuts for both individuals and companies. The purpose was to stimulate the economy, increase investment and reduce unemployment. Johnson also invested initially in cutting down defense spending to use saved funds instead in a “war on poverty”. In the 1964 election, Johnson triumphed over the conservative Republican opponent with a larger percentage of votes than ever before. During his second presidential term, Johnson continued to work for economic and social reform, for the Great Society. In 1965, he received a health insurance program for the elderly. However, he came to face ever-greater problems, largely related to the US military involvement in Vietnam (1964-75), which became the longest war in the United States: ‘s history and cost 60,000 American lives. See alsoThe Vietnam War.
More militant organizations, such as the Black Muslims and the Black Panther Party, appeared in the civil rights movement. The expectations of the blacks grew at a faster rate than the changes in their eyes too slow. Disappointment and bitterness led to violent riots, including in the black district of Watts in Los Angeles in 1965 and even more in, among others, Chicago, Newark and especially Detroit in 1967, where large parts of the city were destroyed. The assassination of Martin Luther King in April 1968 triggered new riots, especially in Washington DC Development then took a quieter path, but the explosives that racial contradictions and social and economic tensions constituted were later demonstrated in violent riots, including in New York 1977 and in Los Angeles 1992.
Johnson did not stand for re-election in 1968, in addition, the opposition to him because of the Vietnam War was too strong. One of the Democratic candidates for the nomination was Robert Kennedy, who was primarily supported by minority groups and younger voters. Kennedy won the important California primary but fell victim to a killer the same day. Hubert Humphrey, Johnson’s vice president, was nominated for Democratic presidential candidate. Humphrey was part of the reform-oriented liberal part of the Democratic Party. However, he was overly identified with Johnson’s unpopular foreign policy and defeated in the election of Nixon, who now made political come back.
However, the Vietnam War’s years of turmoil and protests were also a time of continued increased prosperity for most Americans, even though government finances were causing problems through a growing budget deficit. It was also a time of remarkable technical progress. Christmas 1968 was an astonishing spaceflight when Apollo 8 with three astronauts on board circled the moon, and on July 21, 1969, the first lunar landing took place.
In 1972, Nixon was re-elected president, winning 49 of the 50 states and by more than 60 percent of the vote, one of the highest voting shares in American history. Less than two years later, however, in August 1974, he was forced to resign as a result of the Watergate business. During the 1972 election campaign, a break-in occurred at the Democratic Party headquarters in Washington. It turned out that Nixon was known to attempt to suppress information to make the investigation more difficult, and after a long and arduous media campaign, Nixon was forced to resign.
Vice President Gerald Ford, who became president at Nixon’s departure, had been a member of the House of Representatives for twenty-five years. He took over the presidential post in a recession with economic downturn, unemployment and inflation, and had to deal mainly with these problems. Despite the upturn in the economy, Ford lost, albeit very scarcely, in the 1976 presidential election to Democratic candidate Jimmy Carter, former governor of Georgia.
In the election campaign, Carter had portrayed himself as an “outsider” and skillfully exploited a widespread dissatisfaction with Washington, Congress, and the federal government. His foreign life in Washington, however, turned out to have significant disadvantages, including in his difficulties in getting good relations with Congress. In domestic politics he did not invest in environmental programs without some success, and he made great efforts to curb inflation. In foreign policy, he declared that US relations with other countries would be substantially affected by human rights considerations. Carter’s greatest foreign policy success was the mediation of the Camp David agreement between Egypt and Israel.
It turned out that Carter could not hold on to his principle of human rights as a crucial factor in US foreign policy. His idea was that the previous focus on global power politics and focus on Moscow-Washington relations would be discontinued and relations with Western Europe and Japan put the focus. This cooperation, “trilateralism”, was intended to enable progress in solving the problems of developing countries. However, reality forced Carter to rethink. The events in Iran, Afghanistan and the Horn of Africa led to abrupt fluctuations, and the Washington-Moscow relationship once again became the dominant issue. An increase in defense appropriations was initiated, and the rhetoric on human rights was silenced.
From Reagan to Barack Obama (1981–2016)
In the 1980 presidential election, Carter was defeated by conservative Republican Ronald Reagan, former California governor, who won a landslide victory. Carter had failed in his fight against inflation, unemployment was high, and foreign policy, not least the hostage hit in Tehran as well as the Soviet march in Afghanistan had become a severe burden. In his election campaign, Reagan had promised profound changes, foreign policy through American self-assertion and confrontation with the Soviet Union, domestic politics, among other things through the struggle for a balanced budget.
During Reagan’s time, the first signs of the decline of the Cold War came. Despite his rhetoric, he appeared almost pragmatic in foreign policy, and his ground-walled reputation as a hard-line anti-communist gave him freedom of action when it came to relaxation policy with Moscow, which previously had only to a certain extent Nixon. Improvements also occurred in relations with China. Domestic politics, his economic policies, which included tax relief and stimulus measures, instead of a substantial reduction in the deficit, resulted in a substantial increase.
In the 1988 presidential election, Republicans succeeded in guarding their White House holdings through victory for George Bush, Reagan’s vice president. As president, Bush faced significant problems due to the large budget deficit combined with a very large current account deficit, at the same time as the US economy was hit by a noticeable economic downturn. The changed situation created by the disintegration of the Soviet Union was evident when Bush built a coalition in the fall of 1990, which then got the UN’s mission to expel Iraqi occupation troops from Kuwait, the so-called Kuwait War(1990-91). Despite the strong position Bush achieved for a time through his successful implementation of the war, he failed to be re-elected in 1992, largely because of the deep economic problems. He was defeated by young Democratic candidate Bill Clinton, former governor of Arkansas.
Despite its popularity in the early stages, Clinton faced domestic political problems, partly because the congress, with the 1994 election, for the first time since Eisenhower’s first presidential term, gained Republican majority in both the Senate and House of Representatives. Among other things, Clinton’s ambitious attempts to get through a reform of the health insurance system failed. However, favorable economic cycles meant that unemployment remained at a comparatively low level, and the standard of living rose for most.
In foreign policy, the picture was more fragmented. Clinton lacked experience in this area, and American politics suffered from a lack of clarity and consistency. To this also contributed that the international situation appeared more difficult to assess than during the Cold War, when the country had a clearly defined opponent and when its international leadership position was perceived as inevitable. The intervention in Somalia 1992-94 ended with a failure. As regards the problems in the Balkans, they were hampered by the consideration of the Russian Federation’s President Yeltsin, whose position was considered important for international stability. The intervention in Bosnia in 1995 and Kosovo in 1999 came late, but even if they were not uncontested, the primary objectives can be considered to have been achieved.
Clinton showed political skill in dealing with domestic opinion. In the late 1990s, his presidency was disrupted by the so-called Monica Lewinsky affair, which led to his being brought before state law, including for menace. Although he was not convicted, the president’s position and political effectiveness were undermined. Clinton had hoped to be able to crown his presidency with foreign policy success, but despite great efforts, he failed to get the Middle East peace process to fruition.
In the 2000 presidential campaign, Democrats nominated Clinton’s vice president Al Gore and Republican governor of Texas, George W. Bush, son of former President George Bush. Gore could point out that, as vice president, he had been a member of an administration capable of exhibiting the longest boom and the lowest inflation and unemployment in the country’s history, declining crime and the absence of significant international crises. However, he failed to take advantage of this and distance himself from Clinton’s person.
In the election, Gore won by just over half a million votes. However, to gain a majority in the electoral college, he must also win in Florida with its 25 electors. When the first Florida ballot was completed, Bush led by 537 votes out of a total of over six million. Democrats demanded recalculation of ballot papers in some constituencies citing technical and formal deficiencies and errors. Conversion was also ordered and carried out to some extent, but then stopped by the Supreme Court, which however did not agree. Bush won the electoral college, and in 2001 he was installed as the 43rd president of the United States. The election led to a weak Republican majority in the House of Representatives, while the Senate was split 50-50.
Despite his conservative focus, George W. Bush became the first president to appoint a woman to the post of national security adviser, Condoleezza Rice, and also appoint the first African-American foreign minister, General Colin Powell. His cabinet also contained more members with minority backgrounds than ever before. However, the conservative touch was evident, and so did Vice President Dick Cheney, who was Secretary of Defense under George Bush.
Domestic politics found Bush’s program of traditional Republican goals, tax cuts, a balanced budget and restrictions in the extensive federal power apparatus. Some tax cuts, including lower marginal taxes, were also implemented with support from both parties in Congress. This, in combination with increased defense costs, led to the balanced budget achieved during Clinton’s last year at the White House being transformed into a record deficit. Another controversial feature of the Bush administration’s policy was its refusal to cite the Kyoto agreement, citing negative consequences for the US economy, which aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
The most startling, dramatic and, in its consequence, the most significant event during George W. Bush’s first administration was the terrorist attacks against the World Trade Center and the Pentagon on September 11, 2001 (see also the September 11 attacks). It was a shocking, traumatic experience for the American people who had not been attacked in their own territory since Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. Those who claimed to be behind the attacks, Usama bin Laden and the al-Qaeda terrorist organization, had one of their detention in Afghanistan.. Bush declared in a speech to the US Congress nine days after the war on terrorism (see also the war on terror), and a US attack was launched to overthrow the Taliban regime in Afghanistan (see also the Afghan War). The Taliban regime in Kabul quickly collapsed, but continued US presence was perceived as necessary and Usama bin Ladin failed to intervene until May 2, 2011 when he was wounded by US troops in Abbottabad outside Islamabad, Pakistan.
A goal for American foreign policy had for many years been to overthrow Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq. After the September 11 attacks, Bush increased the press, claiming that Saddam Hussein already had or was developing weapons of mass destruction. Bush was given weapons inspections in Iraq led by the UN. However, the inspections turned out to be unsuccessful, after which Bush tried to pressure the UN Security Council to authorize the use of armed force against Saddam Hussein. When this proved impossible, Bush instead managed to form a coalition consisting of the United States, the United Kingdom, Poland, Spain and Japan, among others. The invasion of Iraq began in March 2003. Saddam Hussein’s regime quickly collapsed and as early as May 1, 2003, Bush declared that large-scale military operations had ended. See further Iraq war. However, the military operation and occupation of Iraq became lengthy and did not end until 2011. No weapons of mass destruction were ever found.
After the 2000 election, George W. Bush’s term as president was questioned by his opponents, but in the 2004 election he won over the Democratic presidential candidate, Senator John Kerry of Massachusetts, with over 3 million votes and a total of more votes than any previous president achieved. The outcome was largely because many voters saw him as the most reliable leader in the fight against terrorism that played a dominant role after the September 11 attacks. However, probably also contributed to the fact that while Democrats had strong support in New York and at all on the “liberal” East Coast as well as California, Republicans unsuccessfully mobilized their conservative voters, not least in the states between the Mississippi and the Rocky Mountains.
In Bush’s new cabinet, Colin Powell was replaced as Secretary of State by former national security adviser Condoleezza Rice, who in turn got as successor Stephen Hadley, former deputy national security adviser.
During Bush’s second term in power, the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq continued. In both countries, US and allied troops periodically encountered increasing resistance, with major losses in human lives as a result. The criticism of, above all, the war in Iraq increased in many parts of the world, including the United States. The Bush administration also faced harsh criticism for a late and weak response to Hurricane Katrina, which in 2005 caused major devastation in New Orleans.
Not least as a result of the wars, the US economy was severely strained. In domestic politics, it became clear in 2008 that more and more homeowners were finding it harder to pay their mortgages, which was the beginning of an economic crisis in the banking world that soon spread to the automotive industry. In the presidential election that year, both Republican John McCain and Democrat Barack Obama took office distance from Bush’s politics. Obama’s slogans on the need for change and optimism for the challenges the United States faces led him to victory in the election. When sworn in as US 44th president on January 20, 2009, he was the first African-American president in the country’s history. One of his first steps as president was to prepare for the dismantling of the controversial detention camp for people captured during the war on terror, housed at the Guantánamo base in Cuba.
Obama’s term in power was marked by growing contradictions between Democrats and Republicans. It mainly concerned different views on how to reduce government debt and the healthcare reform that Obama passed in Congress. In the 2010 midterm elections, the Democrats lost their majority in the House of Representatives, making it increasingly difficult for the government to pass its legislative proposals. In June 2012, the United States Supreme Court ruled that health care reform did not violate the Constitution. The reform meant that all citizens must have health insurance and were seen by many assessors as Obama’s biggest domestic political victory during the term.
In the 2012 presidential election, which was largely characterized by problems in the economy, Obama was challenged by Republican Mitt Romney. Obama won a tight victory after an unusually fierce campaign from both sides.
The following two years until the 2014 midterm elections became turbulent for Obama and he was increasingly criticized by both his own party colleagues and his opponents, and public support for him declined. Among other things, developments in the Middle East, immigration issues and not least the health care reform created intense debates and deepened the gap between Democrats and Republicans. This led, among other things, to failure to agree on parts of the state budget in the fall of 2013, but was forced to shut down the federal administration for sixteen days in October.
In June 2013, Edward Snowden, an employee of the US intelligence service NSA (National Security Agency), leaked a comprehensive secret stamped material (see the Edward Snowden affair). The disclosures in the material included, in addition to information on a number of illegalities carried out in the war on terror, also information on how the United States intercepted and mapped data and telephone traffic worldwide, including by governments of other states. These revelations attracted much attention and criticism throughout the world, but in the United States many people believed that what the NSA devoted itself to was necessary in the fight against terrorism. In 2014, a report was published that the CIA’s interrogation methods included various forms of torture of suspected prisoners, which further increased criticism of the United States.
One of Obama’s most important foreign policy issues was to establish a new relationship with Iran, which has been characterized by hostility since the Iranian revolution in 1979. On November 24, 2013, a historic US-Iran agreement was signed. This diplomatic agreement also included the other permanent members of the UN Security Council and Germany. In exchange for easing sanctions on the country, Iran’s regime promised to stop its enrichment of uranium, which the outside world fears the country will use for nuclear weapons development. US Secretary of State John Kerry played an important role in these negotiations aimed at preventing a US-Iran war. Prominent people in the Republican Party were very critical of the negotiations.
Several new shootings at schools and other public places created new debate about the need for tougher gun laws. Obama tried on numerous occasions but failed to come up with new laws because various interests thwarted such initiatives by claiming that they violated the US Constitution. In several parts of the United States, the fall of 2014 saw the attention of young African American men to police violence, which in several cases led to death. This created riots and demonstrations and increased dissatisfaction with how the racial issue came into the dark, despite the country having its first African-American president. Another important domestic policy issue was how to deal with all the illegal immigrants that exist in the United States, and not least the children born in the United States but lacking citizenship.
During Obama’s second period, the economy turned upward and unemployment began to fall. Obama took several initiatives to try to combat global warming, and healthcare reform began to take shape after initial problems, which provided positive benefits for many people who previously lacked safety nets.
In 2014, developments in the Middle East deteriorated in several ways, and the relationship with the Russian Federation deteriorated through the crisis in Ukraine. The long civil war in Syria, the development of violence in Libya and Iraq, and the increased power of the Islamic State (IS) became new and difficult problems for Obama’s administration. In the November 2014 midterm elections, the Republican Party won a majority in both congressional chambers. This made it difficult for Obama to get through his politics his last two years in power.
Among the most important foreign policy successes are the Iran Agreement, including the Paris Agreement. Even Obama’s visit to Cuba 2016 and the thawed relationship between the former enemies have been described as an example of the successful diplomacy of the Obama administration. See further Cuba (History).
Donald Trump as President
Businessman Donald Trump won the US presidential election November 8, 2016 with 306 electoral votes against Hillary Clinton’s 232. However, she received just over 2.5 million more votes in total. Trump was installed on January 20, 2017 and then became the nation’s 45th president. Initially, his initial nominations for top positions went to people without political experience, including from the financial elite, for which he received both criticism and praise.
After the election, the US intelligence service reported that it suspected that the Russian Federation was actively working for a victory for Trump, including through hacker attacks against the Democrats. Trump dismissed the information, but at the end of December 2016, President Obama expelled 35 Russian diplomats and imposed sanctions in protest of the suspected Russian data breaches. In May 2017, Trump dismissed FBI Chief James Comey (born in 1960), who was interpreted by many as being dissatisfied with Comey’s conduct of the investigation into Russian involvement in the election. Robert Mueller (born 1944)) took over the investigation, which has continued to annoy the president as people in the vicinity of Trump face trial and the investigation appears to be approaching the president’s inner circle. So far, however, nothing has emerged to show that Trump himself would have been involved.
Trump’s success includes the appointment of a judge to the Supreme Court, Neil Gorsuch (born 1967). The appointment of Gorsuch meant that the Supreme Court got a majority of judges who interpret the US Constitution in a conservative direction. In 2018, the Senate approved another judge, Brett Kavanaugh (born 1965), after a fierce political battle as a result of Kavanaugh being accused of sexual abuse committed in the 1980s. Even in federal courts, Trump has filled vacancies with people who are changing the justice system in a conservative, Christian direction.
Up to the midterm elections in November 2018, the Republican Party had a majority in both houses of Congress. Nevertheless, in 2017, Trump and Republicans failed to phase out and replace the 2010 healthcare reform (“Obamacare”) because the proposal encountered opposition in its own party. The promised wall against Mexico has so far not come off. However, Trump’s policies have led to a sharp reduction in the number of people crossing the border. His greatest political success during his first year as president was a tax reform that received support in Congress.
The January 2017 entry ban issued by Trump was intended to prevent people from six Muslim countries from entering the United States and was motivated by Trump as a way to stop terrorists from entering the country. The ban was described by critics as an abuse of basic ideas in American society. After trials in various legal bodies, the original entry ban has been reshaped but still applies to people from five countries, albeit in a more limited form.
In foreign policy, Trump has been more active than expected. He ordered, among other things, an air strike against an air base in Syria in April 2017 in response to a Syrian nuclear weapons attack on civilians. Trump has also strengthened cooperation with Saudi Arabia, including by signing a major arms trade agreement. In December 2017, the United States recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s undivided capital, and in 2018 he fulfilled his election promise to withdraw from the Iran agreement.
The historically strained US-North Korea relationship worsened during Trump’s first months as president through the word war he waged with North Korea’s dictator Kim Jong Un. The two countries later approached each other, culminating in a meeting between the two leaders in June 2018. The meeting resulted in a declaration of intent to continue talks on, among other things, disarmament of North Korea’s nuclear arsenal, but no agreement has yet been negotiated.
In June 2017, the United States passed the so-called Paris Agreement on the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions (see the Climate Convention). Trump has also imposed extensive duties on goods from China and several other countries. He has renegotiated the trade and investment agreement between the United States, Mexico and Canada (see NAFTA) and withdrew from various negotiating agreements that Obama initiated with, for example, the EU. He has also put a lot of pressure on NATO members to increase their defense funding, saying that otherwise, US support cannot be expected.
|1560s||Spaniards settle in Florida.|
|1600s||English and French colonies are established.|
|1763||Britain gets supremacy over North America up to the Mississippi River with the exception of Florida. Contradictions arise between the colonies and the motherland.|
|1776||The colonies except Canada declare themselves the Declaration of Independence.|
|1783||Britain recognizes the independence of the colonies at peace in Paris.|
|1789||The US Constitution gains legal force. George Washington is elected the first President of the Republic.|
|1803||The Louisiana acquisition doubles the US surface.|
|1812-14||War against Britain.|
|1819||Florida is purchased from Spain.|
|1820||The Missouri compromise so far resolves the conflict over slavery.|
|1823||The monroedic doctrine is formulated.|
|1829||Andrew Jackson takes over as president, initiating a system shift in American politics.|
|1830||Many Native American people are starting to move to areas west of the Mississippi River.|
|1846||War on Mexico breaks out. The Oregon Treaty regulates the US border.|
|1854||Kansas-Nebraska law repeals Missouri’s compromise.|
|1861||Abraham Lincoln takes over as president.|
|1861-65||The American civil war.|
|1865||The southern states capitulate. Lincoln is murdered. The restructuring policy begins.|
|1867||Alaska is purchased from Russia.|
|1917||The United States enters the First World War.|
|1920||The Senate refuses to approve US membership in the League of Nations.|
|1929||The stock market crash on Wall Street starts history’s most profound depression.|
|1933||President Franklin D. Roosevelt presents his New Deal program.|
|1941||Japan attacks American naval base Pearl Harbor in Hawaii. The United States enters the Second World War.|
|1945||US nuclear bombs over the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki end the Second World War. The United States becomes a member of the United Nations.|
|1947||The Truman Doctrine is formulated, and the Marshall Plan is adopted.|
|1949||The Atlantic Pact is formed.|
|1950||The Korean War breaks out. The United States enters the war on the UN mission.|
|1954||The segregation within the school system is declared by the Supreme Court as unconstitutional.|
|1963||President John F. Kennedy is murdered in Dallas, Texas.|
|1964||A comprehensive civil law act is adopted. A voting law follows the following year.|
|1965||The United States is seriously involved in the Vietnam War. Severe race riots start in several large cities.|
|1968||Martin Luther King and Robert Kennedy are murdered. Richard Nixon is elected president.|
|1969||An American space crew lands on the moon.|
|1973||The United States withdraws from the Vietnam War.|
|1974||Nixon is forced to resign as a result of the Watergate scandal.|
|2001||Terrorist attacks against World Trade Center and Pentagon; Afghan war.|
|2005||Hurricane Katrina is causing havoc in New Orleans.|
|2008||Bankruptcy Lehman Brothers bankruptcy opens a financial crisis.|
|2009||Barack Obama is sworn in as America’s first black president.|
|2013||Edward Snowden reveals the US’s widespread eavesdropping business.|