The colonial history of the US dates back from the period that the European settlement was the most significant occurrence in the US. Before the country achieved its independence in 1776, it was previously occupied by major colonizers such as the French, Spanish and the Dutch. The US has over the years transformed from a major colony to being the world superpower and a modern day
Despite the interested colonialist in the US, political unity is the most significant and outstanding characteristic that America had during the colonial period. American colonies are considered to have been very different from the other world colonies because they represented different groups in political decision making. Uniting such liberal ideologies each independent in context is considered to be one of the greatest challenges in America however, the Americans perceived themselves as a nation bound together by a common course and despite the ethnic differentiation, America eventually attained its independence in 1776.
The Civil War (1861-65) was may be the most momentous incidence in American history. The existence of the United States as one state was at risk, and on the results of the conflict was upon the nation’s capacity to bring to authenticity the ideals of, equality, liberty justice and human dignity.
As important as the conflict it was the tangled setback of how to recreate the conquered South. Encouraged by 13th, 14th, and 15th reformation of the Constitution, and at last African American nourished anticipation for full equality. Their hopes were to be hastened. By 1877, Southern white conflict and the withdrawal of national supervision led to redemption of the South and African Americans who were disenfranchised. The liberation measures enforced greater ethic division, increased white coercion and violence.
America’s history has over the years been built on a chronological record of significant events whose effects spill over to the subsequent events. This is considered as one of the approaches in the creation of the concept manifest destiny. Manifest destiny was an ideology developed with an aim of powering America’s life and culture. In other words, “this was the guiding concept that guided America towards its expansion by stating that the right of the manifest destiny was to spread and possess the whole continent which Providence has given us for the development of the great experiment of liberty and federative development of self-government entrusted to us”(McKay,2002)
Becoming a world power
A superpower is considered as a state of dominance in the context of international systems which gives a nation the ability to influence other nations and foster a common ideology. There are various significant characteristics that place America at the helm of the world is because the country is known for its maintenance of constitutional guarantees for the freedom of speech and press.
Many citizens came to America to explore religious freedom. Their anticipation was to run off the religious harassment they were facing in their nations. However, one thing they never wanted to act was to launch the church like that of Church of England. The colonists looked for an opportunity to worship freely and have a chance to decide which religion they liked to take part in. “Upon incoming in United States (the Pilgrims being the first to settle in 1620), the journey started in search of the right religion that could gratify the needs of the citizens” (Singh, 2003).
Religious variety had become prevailing part of colonial existence. The colonies were a mix of religiously diverse nations and, as an outcome, the population of America raised quickly. Citizens from all over the world anticipated for the freedom that was established in America and they started to move their native land to America. Movements such as the Scotch-Irish were among the first to commence that migration to America. “As a result, religious harassment was starting to weaken and religious freedom began to restore it” (Madalas & SoRelle, 2004).
Religion also became prevailing part of American political beliefs. The Cambridge Platform was formed in the 1640’s. This article was a part of the Puritan religion and approved the Westminster Confession. Afterward, in 1649, the Act Concerning Theology was endorsed. This act has even been measured one of the most additions to the freedom of creed in America. Later political article included the Massachusetts Proposals and the Approving Act of 1729. “The Bill of Rights advanced the religious freedom with the First revision” (Mathisen, 2006).
Eventually, the idea of the state and the church became a topic of discussion. Clifton Olmstead on the Constitution in 1777 says that there were numerous movements of people who opposed division. Some even had contemplation that it would have no consequence on the development of religion in the United States.
Overall, religion was an imperative characteristic in the emigration of America. It became a leading part of the lives of the colonists and constantly grew over the years. Incidences like the Witchcraft Trials during 1690’s and the immense awakening in 1730’s only heightened the power of religion in America. United States had become a haven for those who anticipated religious freedom and became a refuge to the many individuals that had the opportunity to improve their lives.
The cold war
The cold war era was primarily a battle for supremacy among the communist world particularly the soviet and the west mainly the US. There is no stronger or more persistent strain in the American character than the belief that the United States is a nation uniquely endowed with virtue. This was perhaps the guiding factor of the American people during the cold war. Prior to the cold war, there were occurrences such as the anti-Semitism which mainly concentrated on the expulsion of the Jews form America. Despite the fact that this discrimination with respect to race has never been entirely eliminated, the American people have embraced peace and tranquility to nurture the growth of the nation for a common course. There is also the issue of discrimination with respect to gender. Historically women have always been regarded as the weaker sex.
Women’s rights movement in America covers decades of 1848 to 1920 in the timeline, which consists of the popular women’s rights meetings in Falls Seneca, the establishment of the nationwide United States woman suffrage organization, and the approval of the nineteenth revision to the Constitution, gave women the power to make choice. (Halch & Walloran, 1993)
In 1848 conference had confronted America to social rebellion that would handle every aspect of existence. Early women’s rights officials believed suffrage to be the main effective way to reform an unequal system.
This is the period after the September 11 attacks on the US which greatly impacted on the economic, social and cultural orientation of the US. There is a negative tag on America with respect to the post 9/11 era. There seemed to be increased discriminatory acts by both the government and the people. Anyone who looks Arab in the country is treated with suspicion a situation that has put the country on a rather interesting position with respect to its views on discrimination. However, we should not judge the country and the people as the country aims at protecting its people and ensure the safety of the same.