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The Big Review

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  1. The Big Review A Chronological/Thematic Review of US History

  2. How to Use This Review To Review a Time Period: You can explore all aspects of one time period by using the scroll wheel of your mouse or the “up” and “down” keys on your keyboard. To Trace a Theme Over Time: Choose a theme and click the buttons on either side of the screen to navigate between time periods and see how each theme developed over time.

  3. Choose a Starting Point

  4. ↑View Next Summary↑ Summary of the period: 1607-1754 (New England) REVOLUTION Summary: The colonial time period from 1607-1756 was, overall, a time of increasing independence and freedom for most Americans. When the Pilgrims arrived in 1620 to seek religious freedom from the Church of England, they marked the start of a new era in New England. Along with the Puritans’ arrival 10 years later, both groups established a strong Christian foundation for the New England colonies. Some groups were more tolerant than others—the Quakers of Pennsylvania were more lenient than the Puritans of Massachusetts Bay. They viewed men and women as equals, which was highly unusual in this time period, as women had few rights. Politically, American colonists sought to establish self-government that was first developed through the Mayflower Compact. While Great Britain still had technical control over the colonies, the country was too distracted with the English Civil War to maintain total political power over New England. However, some rebellions occurred, proving the instability of the new political systems. Economically, the colonists had some level of independence. Trade dominated New England’s economy, as they provided essentials such as wheat to the growing plantations of the South and the West Indies. The economy depended on the triangle trade and was relatively uninfluenced by Britain’s Navigation Acts at this time. The rocky soil and mountains of New England made farming more difficult for colonists there, so they turned to other industries, such as shipbuilding, lumber production and primitive factory work. Demographically, most settlers were farmers, and only a small amount lived in cities. Conflict emerged between the colonists and Native Americans, and there was a gap between poor African Americans and the merchant elite or white aristocrats, who dominated society. Overall, during the time period of 1607-1756, colonial Americans began forming a separate identity from England. Politically, they sought representative government, and their active trade had provided them a level of independence. As they were geographically removed from England, a level of disconnect with their mother country grew throughout the centuries. The progress of colonial Americans in this time period ultimately led to their rebellion against England, the American Revolution. The colonies have taken the first steps away from England and towards their own identity. Main Menu

  5. ↑Continue This Theme↑ • Colony of Rhode Island • Roger Williams (banished from Massachusetts Bay Colony) • Settlement of providence • New England Confederation (1643) • Established collective security • Massachusetts Bay Colony (1629) • Local government based on virtual representation • John Winthrop (Puritan minister) founded – “City on a Hill” • Town hall meetings / consistent leadership Main Menu

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  10. ↑Continue This Theme↑ • Lakes include: • Lake Champlain • Moosehead Lake • Lake Winnipesaukee • Coastline • Very rocky soil • Fur trade with Spanish • Port cities are the main types of cities due to trade with other countries • Technology • Not much :P • Just musket really • Environment • The quick influx of European settlers, animals, and plants rapidly changed the New England environment Main Menu

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  12. ↑View Previous Summary↑ ↑View Next Summary↑ Summary of the period: 1607-1754 (Southern and Middle) Summary: Although many colonists had made their way over to star anew in the “New World”, much of their politics, economy, and society was determined by British rule. The middle and southern colonies focused much of their time and effort on cash crops and agriculture due to the fertile soil and swampy areas. However, there individual colonies lacked unity and remained divided until the end of the French and Indian War. Despite the little effort for self determination, the seeds of independence still sprouted in the ensuing war with French. Main Menu

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  20. ↑View Previous Summary↑ ↑View Next Summary↑ Summary of the period: 1754-1783 Summary: The beginning of this time period was characterized by an increase level of intervention by the British in American affairs due to the debt acquired by the French and Indian War. King George III felt that the colonists were responsible for paying back war debts, which led to irritation on the part of the colonists, because they felt that it was not their responsibility to pay for the war. The British adopted new, harsher policies to prop up mercantilist economy, and to buttress their own economy. In addition, they banned settlement west of the Appalachian Mountains, territory recently acquired from France. With the advent of the Proclamation of 1763, the colonists felt invaded because this proclamation was an abrupt departure from the policy of benign or salutary neglect that was used before the French and Indian War. With the adoption of the new idea of rationalism, which was pioneered by Benjamin Franklin and the religious revival of the Great Awakening, which was led by George Whitefield and Jonathan Edwards, Americans were ideologically prepared for war. During and after the Americans’ victory, the process of self government was formed, though minority groups such as women and slaves were left behind, but that would change in the eras to come. Main Menu

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  28. ↑View Previous Summary↑ ↑View Next Summary↑ Summary of the period: 1783-1800 The Articles of Confederation helped set up a base for a new government but was very ineffective with the exception of organizing new states. National debt increased and the government could not pay off its debt because it had no power to levy taxes. Shay’s Rebellion demonstrated the governments weakness to raise an army. The Constitutional Convention called in 1787 established a new government which would be more effective in running the country. There were disagreements regarding the issue of slavery, the extent of federal power and individual protections of liberty. Two major factions, the Anti-Federalists and the Federalists emerged over the formation of the constitution. Eventually 9 out of the 13 states passed the constitution , with the guarantee of a Bill of Rights to ensure individuals’ rights. In 1789 George Washington was made president. Washington established many important precedents such as a two term presidency and the establishment of cabinet positions. Among his cabinet were two members of opposing ideologies; Alexander Hamilton the Federalist and Thomas Jefferson, who emerged later as a Democratic-Republican. As Secretary of Treasury Hamilton established a plan to revitalize the economy and get rid of the national debt from the war. The plan was very successful but drew divisions due to the question of the role of government, especially in the foundation of the national bank. The disagreements between Hamilton and Jefferson eventually led to the formation of the Democratic-Republican and Federalist parties. In 1796 John Adams ran against Thomas Jefferson for president and won. Adam’s presidency was focused on foreign affairs (the XYZ affair and conflicts between France and Britain). The Federalists were more supportive of Britain while the Democratic Republicans supported France. However, Adam’s chose to stay neutral in the conflicts which while costing him a second term kept the U.S. from any damaging wars which it was not ready to fight. Thomas Jefferson took office in 1800 in what was known as the Peaceful Revolution since it was the first time power was transferred peaceably from what party to another. Summary: Main Menu

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  36. ↑View Previous Summary↑ ↑View Next Summary↑ Summary of the period: 1801-1816 Summary: In the scope of American history, Thomas Jefferson’s democracy held many innovations and successes, while simultaneously exposing previously unknown faults with the national and state governments. The defining issues of this time period grew out of past problems which had remained unresolved. For example, the French Revolution and Napoleonic wars shaped historians’ view of the then powerful Federalist Party. Their early support o the French revolution was criticized nationally as unconstitutional, considering the mass violence and tyranny which resulted in the European nation. An effect of the revolution was that Jefferson’s presidency was dominated with foreign policy issues. Key events include the conflict with Barbary pirates after Jefferson declared neutrality to Britain and France, which caused the US to have to pay tribute to the country of Tripoli in exchange for the safe passage of American ships. A domestic event of great importance was the court case of Marbury v. Madison, which argued over the authority to review legislation, which is today called judicial review, and while Supreme Court justice Marshall did not invent it, he claimed that power for the Supreme Court. The Lewis and Clark expedition also held great value for American history, as it opened up potential trade routes from the Pacific, as well as greater relations with Native Americans (with White Americans as the benefiting party).Also the major cause of the War of 1812 was impressmentof American merchants by British ships, effectively repopulating their own Navy by force. There are several other issues which set the stage for the rest of this time period and American history as a whole, and the aforementioned events can only give a glimpses of the era. It is necessary to research all of the events after this era because they show the results of the early government upon the USA. Main Menu

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  44. ↑View Previous Summary↑ ↑View Next Summary↑ Summary of the period: 1816-1828 Summary:This period was defined by the expanding American continent and the belief that Americans had a God-given right to expand Westward. Manifest Destiny in cooperation with the Ear of Good Feelings, economic success at the beginning part of the period, and the rise of federal power all helped lead to American unity and strong nationalism. While some aspects of American life, such as the status of women, did not encounter significant changes, life did ultimately improve. James Monroe led the nation through this time period with bold foreign policy, demanding that other nations remain out of the continent. His economic policies aimed to protect the people, and were fairly successful for this time period. Technological advancements also helped push economic successes forward. All in all, this was the first time in our history that people began to consider themselves “American,” and nationalism was prevalent everywhere. Main Menu

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