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Thursday, November 17, 2011

Independence and expansion for MAX Seniors



Tensions between American colonials and the British during the revolutionary period of the 1760s and early 1770s led to the American Revolutionary War, fought from 1775 to 1781.
On June 14, 1775, the Continental Congress, convening in Philadelphia, established a Continental Army under the command of George Washington. Proclaiming that "all men are created equal" and endowed with "certain unalienable Rights", the Congress adopted the Declaration of Independence, drafted largely by Thomas Jefferson, on July 4, 1776. That date is now celebrated annually as America's Independence Day. In 1777, the Articles of Confederation established a weak confederal government that operated until 1789.
The Articles of Confederation was an agreement among the 13 founding states that legally established the United States of America as a confederation of sovereign states and served as its first constitution. The Articles of Confederation, formally the Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union, was an agreement among the 13 founding states that legally established the United States of America as a confederation of sovereign states and served as its first constitution.
After the British defeat by American forces assisted by the French and Spanish, Great Britain recognized the independence of the United States and the states' sovereignty over American territory west to the Mississippi River. Those wishing to establish a strong federal government with powers of taxation organized a constitutional convention in 1787. The United States Constitution was ratified in 1788, and the new republic's first Senate, House of Representatives, and president—George Washington—took office in 1789. The Bill of Rights, forbidding federal restriction of personal freedoms and guaranteeing a range of legal protections, was adopted in 1791.
            The Bill of Rights is the collective name for the first ten amendments to the United States Constitution, which limit the power of the U.S. federal government. These limitations serve to protect the natural rights of liberty and property including freedoms of religion, speech, a free press, free assembly, and free association, as well as the right to keep and bear arms. The Bill of Rights plays a key role in American law and government, and remains a vital symbol of the freedoms and culture of the nation. One of the first fourteen copies of the Bill of Rights is on public display at the National Archives in Washington, D.C..
The American Revolution was the political upheaval during the last half of the 18th century in which thirteen colonies in North America joined together to break free from the British Empire, combining to become the United States of America. They first rejected the authority of the Parliament of Great Britain to govern them from overseas without representation, and then expelled all royal officials. By 1774 each colony had established a Provincial Congress, or an equivalent governmental institution, to govern itself, but still within the empire. The British responded by sending combat troops to re-impose direct rule. Through representatives sent in 1775 to the Second Continental Congress, the states joined together at first to defend their respective self-governance and manage the armed conflict against the British known as the American Revolutionary War (1775–83, also American War of Independence).
The Second Continental Congress was a convention of delegates from the Thirteen Colonies that started meeting on May 10, 1775, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, soon after warfare in the American Revolutionary War had begun. It succeeded the First Continental Congress, which met briefly during 1774, also in Philadelphia.
Americans' eagerness to expand westward prompted a long series of Indian Wars. American Indian Wars is the name used in the United States to describe a series of conflicts between American settlers or the federal government and the native peoples of North America before and after the American Revolutionary War. The wars resulted from the arrival of European colonizers who continuously sought to expand their territory, pushing the indigenous populations westwards.
The Louisiana Purchase of French-claimed territory under President Thomas Jefferson in 1803 almost doubled the nation's size. The Louisiana Purchase (French: Vente de la Louisiane "Sale of Louisiana") was the acquisition by the United States of America of 828,000 square miles (2,140,000 km2) of France's claim to the territory of Louisiana in 1803. The U.S. paid 60 million francs ($11,250,000) plus cancellation of debts worth 18 million francs ($3,750,000), for a total sum of 15 million dollars (less than 3 cents per acre) for the Louisiana territory ($219 million in 2010 dollars, less than 42 cents per acre). The Louisiana Purchase encompassed all or part of 15 current U.S. states and two Canadian provinces. The land purchased contained all of present-day Arkansas, Missouri, Iowa, Oklahoma, Kansas, and Nebraska; parts of Minnesota that were west of the Mississippi River; most of North Dakota; nearly all of South Dakota; northeastern New Mexico; northern Texas; the portions of Montana, Wyoming, and Colorado east of the Continental Divide; and Louisiana west of the Mississippi River, including the city of New Orleans.
 The War of 1812, declared against Britain over various grievances and fought to a draw, strengthened U.S. nationalism. The War of 1812 was a military conflict fought between the forces of the United States of America and those of the British Empire. The Americans declared war in 1812 for several reasons, including trade restrictions
A series of U.S. military incursions into Florida led Spain to cede it and other Gulf Coast territory in 1819. Transcontinental Treaty or the Purchase of Florida,[2] was a treaty between the United States and Spain in 1819 that gave Florida to the U.S. and set out a boundary between the U.S. and New Spain (now Mexico).
The Trail of Tears in the 1830s exemplified the Indian removal policy that stripped the native peoples of their land. The U.S. victory in the Mexican-American War resulted in the 1848 cession of California and much of the present-day American Southwest. The California Gold Rush of 1848–49 further spurred western migration. The California Gold Rush (1848–1855) began on January 24, 1848, when gold was found by James W. Marshall at Sutter's Mill in Coloma, California.[1] The first to hear confirmed information of the gold rush were the people in Oregon, the Sandwich Islands (Hawaii), and Latin America, who were the first to start flocking to the state in late 1848. All in all, the news of gold brought some 300,000 people to California from the rest of the United States and abroad.[2] Of the 300,000, approximately half arrived by sea and half came from the east overland on the California Trail and the Gila River trail.
The gold-seekers, called "forty-niners" (as a reference to 1849), often faced substantial hardships on the trip. While most of the newly arrived were Americans, the Gold Rush attracted tens of thousands from Latin America, Europe, Australia, and China. At first, the gold nuggets could be picked up off the ground. Later, gold was recovered from streams and riverbeds using simple techniques, such as panning. More sophisticated methods were developed and later adopted elsewhere. At its peak, technological advances reached a point where significant financing was required, increasing the proportion of gold companies to individual miners.
New railways made relocation easier for settlers and increased conflicts with Native Americans. Over a half-century, up to 40 million American bison, or buffalo, were slaughtered for skins and meat and to ease the railways' spread. The loss of the buffalo, a primary resource for the plains Indians, was an existential blow to many native cultures.

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