The 50 States of America

Great stories of real people are retold to know their challenges, successes, and conflicts. That means, history is not just dated, but it is a series of challenges and successes, as well as difficulties. 

The United States now has 50 states. If you look at the United States flag, you will see the 50 stars for each state. Many years ago there were just thirteen stars that represented the thirteen colonies. The history of the United States began with the arrival of Native Americans in North America around 15,000 BC. In the 16th century, many indigenous cultures formed, and many disappeared.

Who’s Christopher Columbus?

Christopher Columbus was born in 1451, and he died on 20 May 1506. He was an Italian explorer and navigator who completed four voyages across the Atlantic Ocean, opening the way for the widespread European exploration and colonization of the Americas. In 1492, Christopher Columbus discovered the Americas.

Why is America called America?

Amerigo Vespucci was born on March 9, 1454. He was an explorer, and navigator from the Republic of Florence, Italy. He was fond of books and maps. America is named after Amerigo Vespucci.

Christopher Columbus found the new world, but Amerigo Vespucci was the man who recognized that it was a new world.

History of America

When Christopher Columbus arrived from Spain in 1492, he changed the history of America forever. He completed four voyages across the Atlantic Ocean, opening the way for the widespread European exploration and colonization of the Americas. The continents of North and South America and the nearby islands became known as the New World. 

When Columbus was founded, the king and queen of Spain got the idea to claim new lands. The Spanish established colonies in the West Indies, Mexico, Central America, and South America.

 In 1513, Juan Ponce de Leon visited Florida, he was the first Spanish explorer to reach the shores of the United States and claimed it for his country.  

France and England also became involved in the New Land:

– In 1497, John Cabot explored eastern Canada. “England”
– In 1524, Giovanni de Verrazzano explored the coast of North America from North Carolina northward to Canada. “French expedition – France” 

What is a Colony?

A colony is a place where a group of people settle in a new place and work together for a common goal. People come from different places to claim lands. Spain, France, and the Netherlands all came searching for new places for fishing, hunting, trapping animals, and trading.

The 13 Colonies of America

The thirteen colonies were British settlements on the Atlantic coast of America in the 17th and 18th centuries. Each of these colonies has its regions and locations. Let’s see:

The New England Colonies consisted of Four Colonies:

  • New Hampshire
  • Massachusetts Bay Colony
  • Rhode Island
  • Connecticut

The Middle Colonies also consisted of Four Colonies:

  • New York
  • New Jersey
  • Pennsylvania
  • Delaware

The Southern Colonies consisted of Five Colonies:

  • Maryland
  • Virginia
  • North Carolina
  • South Carolina
  • Georgia

The New England Colonies

Most people in England were farmers. A few nobles owned the land and they rented their land to farmers. Landowners made fortunes from raising sheep rather than renting to farmers. Some farmers had no opportunities in their regions so they decided to immigrate.

In 1606 King James of England gave two companies the right to settle the Atlantic coast (The Virginia Company and The Plymouth Company).

In 1607, Englishman John Smith founded the first permanent settlement at Jamestown, Virginia. In 1619 the people of Virginia organized the first representative assembly in America. This was the House of Burgesses. Virginia became a royal colony in 1624. The Jamestown colony suffered a lot but eventually flourished.

Who are Pilgrims?

They were a group of Puritans who were fleeing England because of religious persecution. 

In 1620, Pilgrims sailed to the New World, they chose Plymouth as the site of their colony. They crossed the Atlantic Ocean in a ship called the Mayflower. They established their colony near Plymouth.

John Winthrop led a large group of Puritans to New England in 1629. They founded the Massachusetts Bay Colony. The first governor was Winthrop. By 1640 more than 20,000 settlers were living around Boston. Colonists developed a democratic government in Massachusetts.

Roger Williams was a protester against the Puritans. He founded Providence, which became the colony of Rhode Island. Meanwhile, another group from Massachusetts settled on the Connecticut River. They established the colonies of Connecticut in 1635. 

In 1622, the king gave the right for Sir Ferdinando Gorges and John Mason to settle farther north. They divided the land. Gorges took the Maine section. Mason took New Hampshire. They built farms and villages.

New Hampshire became a separate colony in 1679. Maine never became a colony.

The Middle Colonies

Henry Hudson sailed to America in 1609. He was an Englishman who had been hired by the Dutch. In 1624, Dutch settlers founded a colony called New Netherland in the area of the Hudson River. In 1664 an Englishman fleet seized the Dutch colony. They changed its name from New Netherland to New York.

Swedish settlers sailed into the Delaware River in 1638. They built a fort called Fort Christina. But this colony lasted only a few years. Later, Dutch troops seized the Swedish settlements.

An English fleet sailed into New Amsterdam. The Duke of York received New Netherland as a gift, it was renamed New York. The city of New York soon became a large seaport. He broke off the land into two pieces and gave them to two of his friends. These were the foundation for New Jersey.

Jersey was sold, in two parts, to Quakers. They were called East and West Jersey.

William Penn founded Pennsylvania in 1681. He was an English Quaker. He built the colony so people can practice their worship freely in the government. In 1682, the Colony of Delaware was a piece of land south of Pennsylvania that was given to William Penn by his grandfather.

Quaker meaning: Quakers are people who belong to a historically Protestant Christian set of denominations known formally as the Religious Society of Friends.

The Southern Colonies

George Calvert was a Roman Catholic. He wanted to build a colony for all Christians, including Catholics. King of England “King Charles I” granted him land north of Virginia in 1632.  A group of settlers landed in Maryland. They built large farms for their families and profit. Lord Baltimore saw an opportunity for profit in the Maryland colony. Tobacco became their cash crop.

Virginians had been moving south. They lived on hunting, raising crops, and fishing in the forest. They also planted tobacco. They sold forest products to shipbuilders in England. The king of England named this region Carolina. Afterwards, the king granted the land as a gift to some noblemen. They sent people to colonize the area, because of the strife in the colony. After that, the noblemen sold the colony. Later, the colony was divided into two royal colonies, South Carolina in 1721, and North Carolina in 1729.

The Georgia Colony was the last of the 13 original colonies. The Georgia Colony was named after King George II of England. It was founded in 1732 by James Oglethorpe. It was founded 50 years after the other 12 colonies. 

Most of the colonists were farmers, they had to grow their food. In New England, people worked in raising livestock, shipbuilding, and fishing industries. The Middle colonies colonists grew grains for their use and export to other colonies. In the South, colonists grew rice, tobacco, and indigo, and also they traded with other colonies.

These American colonists believed that they had a right to command themselves. They didn’t serve in the English government, so they believed that they shouldn’t have to pay taxes to England. Not all colonists participated in the revolution.

The American Revolution

New life has been started by building colonies. From here, a new nation has begun “The United States”. Most of the colonists created good relations with the British but after years the good relation turned to conflict. The British had governed the colonies only lightly. The British decided that the colonies should help pay for the cost of the war and their future defense. The British Parliament imposed so many taxes on colonial trade. Most colonists refused to pay the taxes and organized protests.

Boston Massacre: The Boston Massacre was one of the events that led to the American Revolution. A group of British soldiers was trying to quiet an angry crowd, so they shot their muskets into them. Five of the colonists were killed.   

Boston Tea Party: The Boston Tea Party was one of the events that led to the American Revolution. The colonies were ruled by Great Britain. The British government imposed many taxes on goods that were shipped to them. The colonists refused to pay taxes, so the British imposed several laws to punish them.

The colonists still had to pay a tax on tea, however. And there was only one company that was allowed to ship tea to the colonies and sell it there. Colonists in New York City and Philadelphia refused to allow the ships to unload their cargo. 

In Massachusetts, however, the governor was loyal to the British. He allowed the ships to enter Boston Harbor and unload their cargo. He also made merchants pay the tax on the tea. The British government soon imposed several new laws that were meant to punish the colonists. One of the new laws closed Boston’s harbor until the colonists paid for taxes on tea.  

In 1773, a group of about 60 colonists decided to protest the tax. They dressed as Native Americans and went aboard the ships in Boston Harbor. They dumped many chests of tea into the harbour. This event was called the Boston Tea Party.

First Continental Congress

The colonies had been developing their economy, society, and self-rule. In 1774 each colony had its government and each of them elected officials to represent them at the First Continental Congress. Representatives from all colonies except Georgia met in Pennsylvania to discuss their situation with the British government. 

The representatives tried to put pressure on the British government by refusing to trade with them, but this attempt failed. In 1775 fighting broke out between colonists and British troops, from here the American Revolution had begun.

Second Continental Congress

The Second Continental Congress was also in Pennsylvania, where colonists held meetings. The representatives chose George Washington to command the colonial troops, they chose George Washington.

Declaration of Independence

It was a document adopted by the Second Continental Congress in 1776.

The Second Continental Congress announced the independence of the United States from Great Britain. 

The Independence of Colonies

Independence is not easy, it takes time, money, and an honest army. At first, the war for independence did not go well for the colonists. They had been arguing for many years. 

On July 4, 1776, the Continental Congress of the British colonies in North America announced the declaration of Independence. The declaration of Independence document proclaimed that the 13 original colonies of America were independent states. It was the first Independence Day of the United States of America. 

Articles of Confederation

The Second Continental Congress drafted a plan of government called the Articles of Confederation. The Articles of Confederation was the first written constitution of the United States written by the representatives of the American colonies which explained how the government works. 

At the beginning of the American Revolution, Congress felt that Great Britain needed a powerful government to defeat it.

Congress had power over military and foreign affairs but not over the affairs of each state. It could not enforce its powers or collect taxes. Because of these problems, the states started to write a new constitution in 1787. The new constitution strengthened the federal government.

The United States started working on the constitution during the first elections which were held in 1789. George Washington became the first president.

Who are Federalists and Anti-Federalists?

Federalists are the supporters of the constitution and a stronger national republic. Anti-Federalists are opposed to the constitution.

The secretary of the treasury “Alexander Hamilton”, and other federalists. Thomas Jefferson and his followers were “Anti-Federalists”. These groups marked the beginning of political parties in the United States.

After independence, The first states created in the west were Kentucky and Tennessee. Most of the people there were farmers. 

What is Louisiana Purchase?

In 1800, Thomas Jefferson became president. He decided that the United States needed to strengthen its land by buying nearby lands. The surrounding areas were French territories. France agreed to sell all of its land west of the Mississippi to the United States. It was about twice the size of the United States. This land was known as the Louisiana Territory, and the agreement was called the Louisiana Purchase.

After the United States expanded to the West. The United States was also ambitious to the South. Florida was given to the United States after the agreement between Spain and the United States.

The early 1800s

During the early 1800s, the United States put foreign affairs under its eyes. The wars between France and Britain affected the United States trade. The United States announced war on Britain in 1812. Neither the United States nor Britain won the war. In 1814 a peace treaty was signed between the two countries. 

Who was James Monroe?

James Monroe was elected the fifth president of the United States in 1817. He was the last American President of Virginia and chosen a member of the governor’s council. President James Monroe was one of George Washington’s supporters.

What was Monroe Doctrine?

The Monroe Doctrine was a foreign policy announced by the United States during James Monroe’s rule toward the Western Hemisphere. It said that the United States would prevent European powers from interfering in North and South America to keep the area independent.

Industry and Transportation Revolution

In the 1800s, there was great industrial growth in the United States:

  1. The Cotton Gin: it was invented by Eli Whitney. This machine was speeding up the process of removing seeds from cotton fiber.  
  2. Cyrus McCormick’s mechanical reaper was invented by Cyrus McCormick. This machine was used by farmers to harvest crops mechanically.
  3. Many Iron factories were set up to manufacture farm tools, factory machines, and other items that helped in rising the industrial revolution.

In the 1800s, There was great transportation development in the United States:

The railways, roads, and canals were important factors of transportation. People used all of them to transport goods. Because of the industrial and transportation revolution, the United States saw development in its economy.

There were new Roads and Canals were built such as:

The Erie Canal: it opened in 1825, connecting Lake Erie with the Hudson River Albany. It allowed shipping between New York City and the Great Lakes region. 

The Steam Engine: it was invented by Thomas Savery in 1698, he was an engineer who patented a machine that could absorb water from flooded mines using steam pressure. 

The Steamboat: it was built by Robert Fulton. In 1807, the steamboat was steaming upriver from New York to Albany.  

Manifest Destiny

Manifest Destiny was an idea that the Americans had a duty to expand their territory. James Knox Polk was elected President in 1845. He strongly believed in the Manifest Destiny idea.  

In the mid-1800s many Americans worked hard to expand their territory from westward to the Pacific Ocean, and even beyond. But when they moved toward the Pacific coast, the conflict with foreign powers had begun.

The Mexican-American War

Mexico owned Texas, California, and much of the Southwest. Americans decided to add Mexico to American territory. James K. Polk sent the United States military to take over Mexico. They fought for more than two years.

After Mexico was defeated, the United States took Texas, California, and all of the Southwest. 

What was the Missouri Compromise?

The Missouri Compromise was an agreement passed by Congress in 1820. It stated that Missouri would become the 24th state in the United States. Meanwhile, there were 11 free states and 11 slave states in the United States. 

Also, Congress agreed to declare Maine as a free state and Missouri as a slave state. The compromise also banned slavery from any future territories or states north of Missouri’s southern border.

What’s the meaning of Slave and Slavery?

  • Slave is a person who is legally owned by someone else and has to work for that person.
  • Slavery is the condition of being a slave.

Growth of the United States 

  • Original Thirteen States: 1776. 
  • Western Cessions: 1783-1802.  
  • Louisiana Purchase: 1803.
  • Florida and other areas from Spain: 1810-1819.
  • Texas:1845.
  • Oregon Country:1846.
  • Mexican Cession:1848.
  • Gadsden Purchase:1853.

The Civil War

The Southern and Northern of the United States went to war with each other in 1861 which was known as the Civil War. 

Slavery was the main problem in the United States that led to the Civil War.

Abraham Lincoln was elected the president of the United States. He was antislavery in the Republican Party. 

South

After Lincoln’s election, the Southern states began to withdraw from the Union. They formed the Confederate States of America. The Confederacy was made up of 11 southern states. 

They elected Jefferson Davis of Mississippi as president. The Southern economy was based on cotton and tobacco, which were grown on large farms called plantations.

North

The southern states are called Union. The Northern states are bigger than the southern states. It consists of 25 states. They had a large navy. They won at the end of the war.

South Carolina was the first state to withdraw from the Union before the Civil War. More than 600,000 men died in the Civil War. Lincoln was assassinated after the war, and Vice President Andrew Johnson became president. 

The South after the Civil War lived in a hard period during the war. The rebuilding after the war was known as Reconstruction.

Reconstruction

The reconstruction lasted about 12 years from 1861 to 1677. It announced the newly freed slaves (black people). That means black people took the same civil rights as white people, guaranteed by three new constitutional amendments “13th, 14th, and 15th”. The new constitutional amendments  known as the “Reconstruction Amendments”.

Immigrations

The population of the United States increased due to millions of immigrants in 1880. Some came from northern or western Europe, some from Greece, Italy, Poland, and Italy. They searched for new homes, jobs, and countries. The Americans also moved from farms to cities. Most Americans moved to the west. 

The Expansion of the United States

The United States still expanded its territories by taking over more land:

  • Russia sold Alaska to the United States: in 1867. 
  • The United States claimed possession of the Hawaiian Islands: in 1898 .
  • Alaska and Hawaii: in 1959.
  • Puerto Rico and the island of Guam: in 1898. 
  • Spain sold the Philippines to the United States: in 1898.

The Panama Canal

The United States looked ahead to build a canal across the Central American country of Panama. Colombia at that time ruled Panama. The Panama Canal was built to decrease the distance between the Atlantic and the Pacific Oceans. The Panama Canal is a 48-mile-long man-made waterway. The construction began in 1904, and it opened in 1914.

World War I

World War I was also known as the Great War. World War I began in 1914 and ended in 1918. Europe at that time had split into two large countries: 

  • The Allied Powers: Russia, Great Britain, Japan, France, and the United States. 
  • The Central Powers: Germany, Bulgaria, Austria, Turkey, and Hungary. 

What was the cause of World War I?

There were 5 major causes of World War I:  

  1. Militarism: Militarism in Europe had a great impact on the start of World War I. The naval race between Britain and Germany for naval supremacy. Britain had the largest navy in the world and Germany sought to develop its navy to correspond.
  2. Alliances: Alliance was Britain, France, and Russia. They are associated for different reasons such as trade, investment, financial issues, and military support. 
  3. Nationalism: Nationalism means loyalty to one’s country. France, Germany, and Russia each tried to prove their nation’s importance to the world by building up armies and weapons.
  4. Imperialism: Imperialism means the expansion of European nations as empires. Britain and France expanded their empires, and that increased the tensions among European countries.
  5. Assassination: The war was declared on Serbia after the assassination of Austrian “Archduke Franz Ferdinand” by South Slav nationalist Gavrilo Princip on June 28, 1914.

The War:

World War I was between the Allied Powers and the Central Powers. The United States tried at the beginning to be neutral. In 1916 Woodrow Wilson was elected as a president, he had kept the country out of the war.

After German submarines began sinking the United States ships, the United States found it impossible to be outside the fight. The United States announced war on the Central Powers. The United States soldiers helped the Allies to victory on the battlefields of Europe. 

Most fighting took place in Europe along two fronts “the western front and the eastern front”:

  1. The western front was a long line of trenches that ran from the coast of Belgium to Switzerland. 
  2. The eastern front was between Germany, Austria-Hungary, and Bulgaria on one side and Russia and Romania on the other. 

How did the war start?

  • After the assassination of Austrian Archduke Franz Ferdinand, Austria declared war on Serbia.
  • Germany declared war on Russia to protect Austria. 
  • France declared war on Germany to protect its ally Russia.
  • Britain declared war on Germany. 

All of those wars happened in just a few days. During the war, many battles happened such as the First Battle of the Marne, Battle of the Somme, Battle of Tannenberg, Battle of Gallipoli, and the Battle of Verdun.

Battle of the Somme: One of the bloodiest battles of World War I, about one million soldiers died during the battle. It was fought by the French and British against the Germans on both sides of the River Somme in France.

When did the Fighting end?

The fighting ended on November 11, 1918, by deafening the Central Powers. 

Treaty of Versailles

What was the Treaty of Versailles?

It was a peace treaty that ended the war, it was signed in Versailles, France on Jun 28, 1919. It was between Germany and the Allied Powers. Germany was blamed for starting the war, so Germans should accept guilt for the war. The Germans had to surrender some of their territories and colonies and limit the size of their military. The Treaty of Versailles formed the League of Nations. 

What was the League of Nations?

It was formed to prevent future wars. Woodrow Wilson, the American President at that time, wanted the League to be a place where countries could settle disagreements by talking instead of fighting. The United States refused to join the league. Germans resented the conditions in the Treaty of Versailles, and Germany withdrew from the League of Nations in 1933. After that, Japan and Italy withdrew.

In the end, Germany, Italy, and Japan expanded their power. The League of Nations couldn’t stop the expansion of fighting which led to World War II.

Events between World War I and World War II

  • On Nov. 2, 1917 start of the Soviet Union.
  • World War I ended in 1918, with the defeat of Central Power.
  • Treaty of Versailles on Jun 28, 1919. 
  • Rise of totalitarianism, Fascism on May 2, 1920.
  • Mussolini took over in 1922. 
  • Beer Hall Putsch, Mein Kampf in 1923.
  • Stalin gained power in 1929.
  • On Jan 30, 1933, Hitler became Chancellor of Germany.
  • Reichstag Fire in 1933.
  • Nuremberg laws in 1935.

Who was the Soviet Union?

The United Socialist Soviet Republic or U.S.S.R. was made up of 15 soviet republics: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Estonia, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, and Uzbekistan.

Kristallnacht

On 9 November 1938, there was a night of terrible violence against Jewish people. It became known as Kristallnacht.

A lot of smashed glass covered the streets from shops that were raided. That night was known as “the night of broken glass”. Many Jews were murdered, and others were arrested and sent to concentration camps.

On 1 September 1939, Germany invaded Poland which was the flame to begin World War II.

World War II

World War II was the biggest and deadliest war in history. There were two sides fought:

1- The Axis Powers: Germany, Italy, and Japan

2- The Allied Powers: the United States, the Soviet Union, Great Britain, and France. 

How did World War II begin?

World War II began in Europe on September 1, 1939. It was between the Axis Powers and the Allied Powers. It was the deadliest war in the world.

When Germany attacked Poland. Great Britain and France responded by declaring war on Germany on September 3. Germany was led at the time by the Nazi party of Adolf Hitler.

German Invasion

1- Poland:

In 1939 Germany attacked Poland. 

2- Scandinavia and the Low Countries:

– In 1940 the Germans took over Norway and Denmark.

– In the same year, they moved into the Low Countries: Belgium, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands.

3- France:

In 1940 Germany invaded France. 

4- Great Britain: 

In 1940 Germany started to attack Great Britain by warplanes. The British had a new invention at that time called radar. The radar warned the British when the warplanes came near. The British succeeded in shooting down most of the German attackers. So the German attempt to invade Great Britain failed.

5- Soviet Union: 

The war between the U.S.S.R. and Germany began on June 22, 1941, during the German invasion of the Soviet Union. In 1942 Germany wanted to invade the Soviet city of Stalingrad. The battle began between the U.S.S.R. and German. It was the largest battle in World War II. About 2 million died on both sides. After Stalingrad, the Soviets evicted the Germans.

Holocaust

Germany was led at the time by the Nazi party of Adolf Hitler. The Nazis hated Jewish people and treated them very poorly. During World War II (1939-1945), they decided to kill as many Jews as possible.

This process became known as the Holocaust. It took the lives of about 6 million Jewish men, women, and children. Jewish people were not only ones who died in the Holocaust but also Pole, Slavic, and Roman people.

Japan Invasion 

Japan at that time was a small country, it wanted to vast its country and dominate all of Southeast Asia. Japan invaded China and they joined the Axis Alliance with Germany and Italy in 1940.

Pearl Harbor: On December 7, 1941, Japanese planes attacked the United States naval base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. The United States declared war on Japan the next day. After a short time, Germany and Italy declared war on the United States.

The Philippines: The Japanese were able to capture the Philippines which were United States possessions. The Japanese invaded other Pacific islands.

The Coral Sea and Midway: In June 1942,  Allied forces defeated the Japanese on Midway Island. This battle was the turning point of the war in the Pacific.

End of the War with Germany

The United States fought with Allied troops in Europe and North Africa. Italy surrendered in September 1943, leaving Germany to fight alone in Europe. 

“D-Day invasion”

D-Day was the name given to the first day of Operation Overlord. It took place during World War II. In 1944 over 150,000 troops of Allied power had landed on five beaches of Normandy.

Germans had invaded and occupied Belgium, the Netherlands, and a large part of France. The Allied Powers wanted to find a plan to free these lands. About 3,000 landing craft, 2,500 other ships, and 500 naval vessels began to head for France. 

The Americans broke through the German defences and defeated the Germans troops. It was a deadly fought end with many deaths of Allied Powers and Germans. Not only those but also French civilians were killed. 

“Battle of the Bulge”

Battle of the Bulge is also known as the Battle of the Ardennes because it took place in the wooded Ardennes region of Belgium. In 1944 the Allied Power fought German troops. It was the biggest battle American soldiers have ever entered. Hundreds of Americans and Germans lost their lives.

For months Germany fought a losing battle against advancing Soviet armies in the east and Allied armies in the west. Germany surrendered on May 8, 1945, and Hitler killed himself on April 30. The war ended in Europe. The Allies divided Germany among themselves after the war. They also punished Nazi leaders after putting them on trial.

End of War with Japan

1- The Pacific Ocean

In the Pacific Ocean, the United States troops captured island after island from the Japanese. In February 1943, The United States troops drove the Japanese from Guadalcanal, one of the Solomon Islands, and captured Saipan in the Mariana Islands in July 1944.

The United States captured the Philippine capital of Manila in March 1945.

The United States also captured Iwo Jima and Okinawa, both Japanese islands. 

2- Hiroshima and Nagasaki

President Harry S. Truman the president of the United States at that time saw the Japanese surrender wasn’t easy for them. So the United States invented the atomic bomb, a new weapon of immense power.

On August 6, 1945, a U.S. aeroplane dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima, Japan. About 70 thousand people died from the explosion. On August 9 another United States plane dropped an atomic bomb on the city of Nagasaki.

Japan surrendered on September 2, 1945. The United States punished Japan’s wartime prime minister, Tojo Hideki. This ended the war.

The United Nations

Even before the end of the war, Allied leaders had taken steps to ensure the future peace of the world. In April 1945 representatives from 50 countries met in San Francisco to plan the organization of the United Nations (UN). The purpose of the United Nations was to elevate peace in the world. 

After the war, the United States and the Soviet Union were the most powerful countries in the world. Despite having been Allies, the two countries soon began a long struggle called the Cold War.

The Cold War (1945 – 1991)

During World War II the United States and the Soviet Union worked together to fight any enemy. The United States and the Soviet Union never fought. 

After the peace” end of World War II”, a dispute began to appear between the United States and the Soviet Union.

The United States

The Soviet Union

  • Became the leader of the Western nations.
  • Had democratic governments.
  • Wanted to stop Communism from spreading.
  • Became the leader of Eastern Europe.
  • Had a communist government.
  • Encouraged the rise of Communism.

The tense competition between the United States and the Soviet Union became known as the Cold War. It was known as the “Cold War”, which means that there wasn’t a physical war. The Cold War took about 46 years to end.

The counties involved in the Cold War:

Who was NATO? ( The West )

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) was the military alliance of the West during the Cold War that was established in 1949.

The members of NATO are the United States, the United Kingdom, Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, France, Canada, Portugal, Italy, Norway, Denmark, and Iceland. Later, Turkey and Greece joined.

Who was The Warsaw Pact “the Iron Curtain”? ( The East )

The Warsaw Pact was the Soviet Union’s response to the NATO treaty at the start of the Cold War. The Warsaw Pact was a defence treaty among eight communists of Eastern Europe dominated by the Soviet Union during the Cold War.

The members of the Warsaw Pact: were Albania, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, East Germany, Hungary, Poland, Romania, and the Soviet Union.

Main events of the Cold War:

The Arms Race

The Arms Race was between the United States and the Soviet Union, both of them tried to show the world who is stronger by developing the atomic bomb, hydrogen bomb, powerful weapons, and nuclear weapons.

The Space Race

The Cold War was a competition between the United States and the Soviet Union that expanded into space exploration in 1957. The Soviet Union launched Sputnik 1, the first artificial satellite to orbit the Earth in 1957. 

The United States was surprised and in response encouraged space research in the United States and established the Space Administration (NASA) in 1958. The first United States satellite, Explorer 1, was launched in January 1958. 

In 1969 the United States landed the first man on the moon and successfully sent a manned spacecraft to orbit the moon “Apollo 8”. 

Korean War

In 1950 war broke out in Asia. The Communist government of North Korea invaded South Korea. They wanted to put the country under Communist rule. The United Nations Security Council voted to help South Korea, and the United States and other United Nations countries sent troops. Chinese Communist troops went to the aid of North Korea. This conflict became known as the Korean War. The war ended in 1953 with the establishment of a neutral zone between North and South Korea.

Cuban Missile Crisis

Nuclear weapons were one of the serious issues that appeared after World War II.  

Both the United States and the Soviet Union competed to manufacture such weapons. Tensions between the two powers often led to fears of nuclear inhibition. 

The Soviet Union placed missiles on the island of Cuba, the two major countries came to the brink of nuclear war. Communists had taken control of Cuba in 1959.

The President Of The United States at that time was “John F. Kennedy”. He claimed that the missiles would be removed. Many people feared war. After two weeks, the Soviet Union agreed to remove the missiles. This conflict is known as the Cuban missile crisis.

The Vietnam War 

The Vietnam War took place during the President Johnson era. The Vietnam War became a big problem under his rule. Johnson became unpopular and chose not to run for reelection in 1968.

The Communist government of North Vietnam had been trying to overthrow the anti-Communist government of South Vietnam. President Johnson Kennedy had sent military and supplies to the South Vietnamese. The United States entered the Vietnam War in an attempt to prevent the spread of communism.

The United States sent soldiers and began bombing the North. By the end of 1967, about 500,000 United States troops were in South Vietnam. The United States military reported 58,220 American casualties

On April 30, 1975, the North Vietnamese Army (NVA) tanks rolled through the gate of the Presidential Palace in Saigon, effectively ending the war. 

Richard M. Nixon became the President after Johnson. He continued supporting the war. But after that, he began to pull the United States troops out of Vietnam. In 1973  a peace treaty was signed but the fighting never stopped. 

Watergate

In 1972 Nixon visited Communist China, which led to the establishment of official relations between the United States and China. At the end of the year, Nixion was reelected but he used illegal activities to win. This scandal is known as Watergate. In 1974 Nixon resigned from the presidency. Vice President Gerald R. Ford became president.

The United States faced many economic problems during Ford’s presidency. Jimmy Carter came after Ford. Not only Ford’s presidency but also Jimmy’s presidency faced economic problems.

Panama Canal

The Panama Canal is a waterway that connects the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. The canal took 10 years to build. The United States took the right to build Canal in Panama. Although the Canal was in Panama, the United States ruled it. This situation created many troubles between the United States and Panama. In 1999 the United States turned over the canal and the Canal Zone to Panama.

Reagan Administrations

Ronald Reagan, an American actor, and politician became the 40th President of the United States serving from 1981 to 1989. He is known as the “Great Communicator” because he was a good public speaker. He was reelected in 1984.

Reagan tried to create new political and economic ideas. Reagan’s economic policy lowered tax rates. He worked on ending the Cold War in 1986. He ordered to bomb Libya.

In his second term, Reagan supported Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev’s effort in the Soviet Union. The two leaders signed the intermediate-range nuclear forces “INF” treaty in 1987. The treaty was a step to decrease the nuclear weapons in the two countries.

George Bush was the vice president. At first, Bush worked with Congress to resolve the federal government’s economic problems. He was good at foreign affairs. He signed two nuclear arms treaties, one with Soviet leader Gorbachev and the second with Russian President Boris Yeltsin.

In December 1989, Bush ordered the capture of Manuel Noriega “Panama leader”. He was involved in international sales of illegal drugs. After being captured, he was put on trial in the United States. 

Persian Gulf War

Iraqi president Saddam Hussein ordered the invasion and occupation of neighbouring Kuwait in early August 1990. The United States led a group of countries in a war against Iraq.  

The War began on January 16, 1991, and ended with an Iraqi defeat and retreat from Kuwait on February 28, 1991.

The Clinton Administration

The United States became the world’s only superpower after the breakup of the Soviet Union. William Jefferson Clinton, also known as Bill Clinton defeated Bush in the election of 1992. He became the 42nd president of the United States (1993 –  2001). 

Bill Clinton was from Arkansas. He was a lawyer and law professor at the University of Arkansas. A member of the Democrat Party.

Under Clinton’s rule, the economy improved dramatically. While the economy remained strong, his presidency oscillated dramatically from high to low and back again. Let’s see:

First Term (1993-1996)

Second Term (1997-2001)

  • Health Security: The purpose is to provide universal health care for all Americans.   
  • AmeriCorps: The agency’s mission is to improve lives, and strengthen communities.
  • NAFTA: an agreement signed by the Clinton government “the North American Free Trade”, which encouraged trade between the United States, Canada, and Mexico.
  • 1994 Crime Bill: is an act of Congress dealing with crime and law enforcement.
  • One America Initiative: The main thrust was convening and encouraging community dialogue throughout the country. 

Clinton Impeached

Bill Clinton denied the sexual relationship between him and Monica Lewinsky. He was accused of lying about this affair and impeached (put on trial) by Congress, which had the power to remove him from office. Clinton was not found guilty of the charges against him and remained in office. He was only the second president in United States history to be impeached.

The Bush Administration

George W. Bush is an American politician and businessman. He was the 43rd president of the United States (2001- 2009). He is Bush’s son. He is from Texas. A member of the Republican Party. 

First Term 

Second Term

  • September 11 attacks: a series of coordinated terrorist attacks killing 2,977 people using four aircraft hijacked by 19 members of al-Qaeda against the United States.
  • Hurricane Katrina: It was the most horrible natural disaster in US history, causing destruction along the Gulf coast from Florida to Texas. Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath claimed more than 1,800 lives. George Bush’s administration’s slow response to the disaster remains a source of deep resentment in the city. 
  • Iraq War in 2003.
  • Dismissal of U.S. attorneys controversy.
  • The Great Recession: refers to the economic downturn from 2007 to 2009 after the bursting of the U.S. housing bubble and the global financial crisis.

In 2008 the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan were still going on. Several candidates campaigned to become the next president. The two main candidates were Barack Obama, of the Democratic Party, and John McCain, of the Republican Party. In the election held on November 4, Obama defeated McCain.

The Obama Administration

Obama was the first African American to be elected president of the United States. He was the 44th president of the United States. A member of the Democratic Party. He was a lawyer and law professor at the University of Chicago. 

First Term (2009-2012)

Second Term (2013-2017)

  • First 100 days: the period is considered a benchmark to measure the early success of President Obama. 
  • Recovery Act: was a massive round of federal spending intended to create new jobs and recover jobs lost in the Great Recession of 2008.
  • Russia nuclear treaty: an agreement to prevent the nuclear war.
  • Affordable Care Act: designed to extend health coverage to millions of uninsured Americans.
  • Anti-ISIL campaign: In 2014 an extremist Islamic group, often known as ISIL, emerged in Iraq and took over important cities in Iraq and Syria. The United States began airstrikes against ISIL

In 2012 Obama ran for a second term as president. His opponent was Mitt Romney, a wealthy businessman who had been the governor of Massachusetts. The election was close, but Obama was reelected in November.

In 2016 The candidates for the presidential election were former first lady and senator Hillary Clinton and businessman Donald Trump. After a close election, Trump emerged the winner.

Donald Trump Administration

Donald Trump was the 45th president of the United States. He became the first president without government or military experience. He was a businessman and former reality TV show star. He ruled the United States only for one period (January 20, 2017-January 20, 2021). Trump is from New York City. A member of the Republican Party. Trump made an unprecedented number of false or misleading statements during his campaign and presidency. 

His presidency went through many stages:  

  • Proclamations: Donald Trump signed a total of 570 proclamations throughout his tenure.
  • Trips internationally: Donald Trump made 19 international trips to 24 countries during his presidency.
  • North Korea summits: were initiated to resolve the Korean conflict and denuclearize Korea. International concern about North Korea’s nuclear weapons came to a head in 2017, when they posed a direct threat to the United States. The summits failed to make substantial progress towards denuclearization or a peace treaty.
  • Riyadh summit: On May 20, 2017, U.S. President Donald Trump signed an arms deal with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The arms deal was the largest in world history.
  • Helsinki summit: was a summit meeting between United States President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin on July 16, 2018, in Helsinki. Trump and Putin met privately for two hours, without aides or note-takers. The meeting had been scheduled for 90 minutes but lasted two hours. Trump defended Russia over claims of interference in the 2016 presidential election.
  • Federal government shutdown: started at midnight EST on Saturday, January 20, 2018, and ended on the evening of Monday, January 22. The shutdown began after a failure to pass legislation to fund government operations and agencies. About 692,900 workers were furloughed during the shutdown.
  • Lawsuits: there were many lawsuits involving former president Donald Trump.
  • Federal law enforcement deployment: In June 2020, the Trump administration began deploying federal law enforcement forces to select cities in the United States in response to rioting and monument removals amid the George Floyd protests. The deployment was met with lawsuits, rebukes, and concerns over constitutionality.
  • Tweeter: Donald Trump’s use of social media attracted attention worldwide since he joined Twitter in May 2009. Trump tweeted around 25,000 times during his presidency. Twitter permanently banned Trump from the platform in January 2021 during the final days of his term because of his controversial and false statements.
  • The veracity of statements: Donald Trump made tens of thousands of false or misleading claims.

Impeachments

Trump became the first president ever to be impeached twice:

First impeachment: The first impeachment of Donald Trump, the 45th President of the United States, began on September 24, 2019, after a whistleblower alleged that Trump had pressured foreign leaders. The scandal was about Trump telling Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate Hunter Biden and his father Joe Biden, a former vice-president and a candidate for the 2020 presidential election. It ended on February 5, 2020.

Second impeachment: After the 2021 storming of the United States Capitol by Donald Trump’s supporters on January 6, 2021, many government officials said that Trump had told them to do it during the certification of the election he lost. Because of this, Members of Congress from both the Democratic Party wanted to remove Trump from his office as President of the United States. He was impeached for a second time by the United States House of Representatives on January 13, 2021. 

His presidency ended with his defeat in the 2020 presidential election by Democrat Joe Biden after one term in office.

Joe Biden

Joe Biden is an American politician who is the 46th and current president of the United States. A member of the Democratic Party, he served as the 47th vice president from 2009 to 2017 under Barack Obama and represented Delaware in the United States Senate from 1973 to 2009.

List of the Presidents of the United States and their Political Parties:

  1. George Washington: No party.
  2. John Adams: Federalist Party.
  3. Thomas Jefferson: Democratic-Republican Party.
  4. James Madison: Democratic-Republican Party. 
  5. James Monroe: Democratic-Republican Party.
  6. John Quincy Adams: Democratic-Republican Party.
  7. Andrew Jackson: Democrat Party.
  8. Martin Van Buren: Democrat Party.
  9. William Henry Harrison: Whig Party.
  10. John Tyler: Whig Party. 
  11. James Knox Polk: Democrat Party.
  12. Zachary Taylor: Whig Party.
  13. Millard Fillmore: Whig Party.
  14. Franklin Pierce: Democrat Party.
  15. James Buchanan: Democrat Party.
  16. Abraham Lincoln: Republican Party.
  17. Andrew Johnson: Democrat Party.
  18. Ulysses S. Grant: Republican Party.
  19. Rutherford B. Hayes: Republican Party.
  20. James Garfield: Republican Party.
  21. Chester Alan Arthur: Republican Party.
  22. Grover Cleveland: Democrat Party.
  23. Benjamin Harrison: Republican Party.
  24. Grover Cleveland: Democrat Party.
  25. William McKinley: Republican Party.
  26. Theodore Roosevelt: Republican Party.
  27. William Howard Taft: Republican Party.
  28. Woodrow Wilson: Democrat Party.
  29. Warren Harding: Republican Party.
  30. Calvin Coolidge: Republican Party.
  31. Herbert Hoover: Republican Party.
  32. Franklin D. Roosevelt: Democrat Party.
  33. Harry S Truman: Democrat Party.
  34. Dwight David Eisenhower: Republican Party.
  35. John F. Kennedy: Democrat Party.
  36. Lyndon B. Johnson: Democrat Party.
  37. Richard Nixon: Republican Party.
  38. Gerald Ford: Republican Party.
  39. James Earl Carter: Democrat Party.
  40. Ronald Reagan: Republican Party.
  41. George H.W. Bush: Republican Party.
  42. William Jefferson Clinton: Democrat Party.
  43. George W. Bush: Republican Party.
  44. Barack Obama: Democrat Party. 
  45. Donald Trump: Republican Party.
  46. Joe Biden: Democrat Party.
Share :

Best Plan

Individual
Access

£5.99 £1.99

/Month (First Month £1.99, £5.99 after)

Unlimited Access

New videos each month

Access to all subjects

Access to all ages

Other Resources

10 Interesting Facts About Eiffel Tower for Kids

Every country has its own share of monuments and famous attractions. They proudly stand up in a beautiful way, showing...

Read on
Hurricanes – 5 Interesting Facts about Hurricanes
Hurricanes – 5 Interesting Facts about Hurricanes

Fact Number One: Hurricanes are named after a Taino God Hurricanes are violent storms that form in a spiral over...

Read on

The best of the LearningMole geography tutorials. Follow for more great fun learning. To find out more about LearningMole please visit our about us page or visit more of our topics available. They include, science, maths, English and more.

Share :