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We begin in 1750 in North America.
It's been 150 years since settlers from Western Europe, mostly fleeing poverty, famine, or
religious and political persecution, first arrived on the continent.
Their arrival came at the expense of millions of native Americans
who lived there for thousands of years, mostly in tribes.
On the East Coast, Great Britain has established colonies inhabited by 1.5 million people.
The northern regions depend mainly on fishing and trade, while in the south,
the climate is ideal for growing products such as tobacco, rice and cotton.
Rich landowners - called the Planters - seize vast territories that they exploit by buying
slaves from Africa, via the triangular trade.
Further west, the Appalachian mountains form a natural boundary.
Beyond it, is the vast French colony, which lives mainly off the fur trade.
Tensions rise between the French and British colonies.
When the Seven Years' War breaks out in Europe, Britain dominates and takes hold of New France.
Native American tribes living there unite to demand the departure of the British and
the recognition of their own state.
To calm the situation, the British government hurriedly carves out an Indian reservation
between the Appalachians, the Mississippi River and the Great Lakes.
This does not please the colonists who wanted to seize the opportunity to extend their territories to the west.
In addition, war proves costly for Britain.
The country expects its colonies to repay part of its debts through new taxes,
which further angers the settlers.
In Boston, in protest of taxes on tea, colonists disguised as Native Americans climb on board
British East India Company ships and throw out its tea cargo into the ocean.
With the situation tense, representatives from 12 colonies gather in Philadelphia
to organize the First Continental Congress.
They decide to boycott British goods.
The following year, the War of Independence breaks out, pitting the insurgents --
also called the patriots -- against the British and its loyalists.
On July 4, 1776, the Second Continental Congress proclaims the independence
of the United States of America.
France sees an opportunity to avenge its defeat in the Seven Years' War.
Having invested heavily in its military fleet, the country has the means to compete with the Royal Navy.
France allies with the patriots.
Spain and the United Provinces of the Netherlands, in turn, go to war against Great Britain.
In 1783, the patriots prevail, forcing Britain to recognize the independence of the country.
The United States receives territories until Mississippi, while Spain seizes Florida.
This marks the first time a European colony gains independence.
The United States adopts a constitution based on a strict separation of powers.
The legislative power formed by Congress passes laws and budgets,
the judiciary with the Supreme Court upholds the constitution,
and finally there is the executive power with the US president, the head of government.
On the other hand, the 13 states retain sovereignty with their own constitution and governor.
It was decided to build the new capital, Washington, along the Potomac River.
In the West, each new territory with at least 60,000 free citizens would be allowed to form
a new state equal to the others.
Pioneers set off to relocate there, pushing back Amerindian tribes further west of the Mississippi River.
In 1800, France obtained Louisiana from Spain in exchange for the kingdom of Etruria.
But it proves difficult to protect this vast, far-away & relatively less known territory.
Fearing the loss of Louisiana to the United Kingdom in war, France decides to sell the
region to the United States.
Congress then funds expeditions to explore and reach the Pacific Ocean.
In Europe, France and the UK clash again.
The United States first tries to remain neutral, but following tensions with Britain, enters the war.
It fails in a bid to invade the colony of Canada, as a British maritime raid
reaches Washington and burns the city.
At the end of the war, the United States abandons its ambitions in the north
and focuses on the south where the Spanish Empire is in decline.
A military incursion in Florida allows -- after negotiations -- the annexation of the territory.
In the West, Oregon is shared with the United Kingdom.
East of the Mississippi, five Amerindian tribes are adapted to the settlers' sedentary
and agrarian lifestyle, but Congress nevertheless decides to take over the land
and pushes the natives to a reserve west of the Mississippi.
Thousands die of exhaustion on the way.
In Mexico, Texas, which is populated mainly by settlers from the United States, declares its independence.
After a war, the Republic of Texas is created and in 1845 is annexed to the United States.
But as the border is poorly defined, both countries are at war.
The United States prevails and takes the opportunity to annex New Mexico and California,
where the discovery of gold causes a rush that attracts hundreds of thousands of pioneers of all origins.
With the land route proving dangerous, private funds are invested in the construction of a railway in Panama.
The state of California is admitted, which does not have slavery.
Southern states are largely agrarian, and have slavery; while Northern states are industrial and abolitionist.
Both sides wish to extend their model to the new western states, causing the gap between them to widen.
In 1860, Abraham Lincoln, who is hostile to slavery, is elected president of the country.
In response, southern states secede from the United States one by one and band together
to proclaim the Confederate States of America.
Then begins the Civil War which pits the Unionists of the North against the Confederates of the South.
The North sets up a maritime blockade on the Atlantic coast, cutting out any potential
support from Europe and blocking cotton exports.
In 1865, the North prevails and takes the opportunity to impose its policies.
Slavery is abolished, and 3.5 million slaves are freed.
But African-Americans are now victims of segregation and racism, especially through the emergence
of Ku Klux Klan, a white supremacist organization.
Many migrate to the North, while others move to cities.
The Russian Empire fears losing Alaska to Britain, so chooses to sell the territory
to the United States.
To accelerate its conquest of the West, the government finances the construction
of transcontinental railway lines.
In the center of the country, the invention of new machinery allows intensive agriculture.
Vast plantations of wheat, corn and large pastures are set up at the expense of the
last 250,000 Amerindians who are kept on reserves.
On the other hand, the rich soil allows rapid development of industry.
The old continent, Europe, now views the United States as an El Dorado.
Fleeing poverty and religious persecution, many Southern and Eastern Europeans migrate
to the United States where they work as cheap labor.
But the economic boom only benefits a minority.
An elite group of industrialists grows rich quickly by establishing monopolies in sectors
such as steel, railways, oil and banks at the expense of workers and peasants,
including women and children working in harsh conditions.
Strikes and protests erupt demanding better conditions, but these are often met with violence
by private militias or the National Guard.
While European powers colonize a large part of the world, the United States also looks
to project its power on the international scene.
While annexing Hawaii in the middle of the Pacific, the country turns to Cuba
where there is a revolt against the Spanish.
The United States supports Cuban independentists.
After the mysterious explosion of a US Navy ship in the port of Havana,
war breaks out between Spain and the United States.
The United States wins, obtains the independence of Cuba and seizes Puerto Rico, Guam and the Philippines.
The country thus becomes a colonial power.
In Colombia, a French company begins construction of a canal that would connect the two oceans,
greatly shortening the journey between the US East and west Coast.
The United States buys the project and then intervenes to support the independence of Panama.
In return, the new government of Panama offers the United States a strip of land,
which helps complete the construction of the canal, inaugurated in 1914.
In Europe, World War I begins.
With workers and peasants on the frontlines, industry on the continent slows down.
The US industry takes advantage of this and -- despite the country's neutrality in the war
-- sells on credit ammunition, food, clothes and automobiles to the Entente countries.
In response, Germany tries to impose a maritime blockade by sinking merchant ships in British waters.
In 1917, a German telegram destined for Mexico is intercepted, proposing a military alliance
against the United States.
This pushes the United States to go to war on the side of the Entente,
and 2 million soldiers are sent to European fronts.
116,000 soldiers lose their lives.
After the victory of the Entente, Europe finds itself indebted to the United States.
The economy of the US prospers.
In factories, improvements in the assembly line cause production to skyrocket and decrease prices.
The rise in purchasing power and credit results in a boom for the sale of cars,
all kinds of appliances, and bank shares.
Hollywood becomes a major industry with global influence.
Thanks to the sale of radios, music genres such as jazz become popular.
In New York mainly, night clubs open, stimulating the sale of alcohol.
The more conservative government tries to stem the phenomenon by voting for prohibition,
forbidding the production, transport or sale of alcohol.
In response, thousands of speakeasies spring up throughout the country.
Mafia networks seize the market and get rich quickly.
Meanwhile, the South misses out on this wave of prosperity.
Falling prices for agricultural products plunge the region into poverty.
The Ku Klux Klan comes back into prominence,
this time also targeting Catholics, Jews and immigrants in addition to African-Americans.
The organization reaches 5 million members, and is then banned after several lynching episodes.
In 1929, the Wall Street Stock Market crash takes place.
The US economy collapses.
In a few short years, a string of bankruptcies of companies and banks
pushes a quarter of the active population into unemployment.
Prohibition is lifted, and steps are taken to try to revive the economy and improve working conditions.
In Europe, World War II breaks out.
The United States, although officially neutral, prepares for war by reinstating military service.
In addition, the country sells arms mainly to the United Kingdom and the USSR.
In the Pacific Ocean, in order to curb the expansion of imperialist Japan allied to Nazi Germany,
the United States imposes upon the country an embargo on steel and oil.
In response, Japan launches a surprise attack on Pearl Harbor, causing the United States to enter the war.
The country secretly embarks upon a research program to create the atomic bomb.
In 1945, the Allies overcome Germany.
The USSR and the United States then unite against Japan.
A ground invasion by the Soviets and the two atomic bombs dropped by the United States
on the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki force Japan to surrender.
At the end of the war, the United States supports the creation of the United Nations whose primary
role is to maintain peace and security in the world.
Europe finds itself in ruins and is exhausted by war.
The United States and the USSR emerge as the two great world powers.
After World War II, the USSR and the United States try and peddle their influence in Europe.
The United States implements the Marshall Plan, while the Soviet Union supports pro-communist
governments in Eastern countries.
The old continent is found divided by the Iron Curtain.
The USSR and the United States engage in a cold war -- that is an arms race without direct confrontation.
The US, largely spared the ravages of war on its territory, has an industrial, economic
and military advantage.
Inside the country, federal officials sympathetic to communist ideas are dismissed.
Hollywood is also used to churn out anti-communist propaganda.
On the global arena, the country employs an interventionist policy, aimed at stemming
at all costs the spread of communism.
The US intervenes in Greece, China, and engages its military in Korea and Vietnam.
The Soviet Union, for its part, invests heavily to catch up with the US.
After developing atomic weapons of its own, it becomes the first country to send a satellite
into orbit, and further outdoes itself by sending the first man into space.
The United States then launches the Apollo program
which aims to send the first astronaut to the Moon.
In Cuba, an attempt to overthrow the new communist government fails.
The Soviet Union takes advantage to ally with the country, and installs nuclear missiles
on its territory, pointed at the United States.
Tensions build to a point where it seemed a third world war was imminent.
However, an accord is reached between the two world powers, resulting in the USSR withdrawing from Cuba.
Within the country, more and more civil rights movements gain momentum, forcing the government
to review its social policies.
African-Americans begin non-violent actions to combat segregation.
More and more women enter the workforce and demand equal pay.
Native Americans also fight for better conditions.
Moreover, with the US at war in Vietnam, students and hippie pacifist movements call for peace.
In 1969, the country sends the first man to the moon.
Worldwide, millions of viewers watch the event live on their television.
On the global arena, the United States tries to ease tensions.
It begins diplomatic rapprochement with China, and signs agreements with the USSR
to limit the global arms race.
In the Middle East, the US supports Israel in the Yom Kippur War,
for which it is then subject to an oil embargo imposed by OPEC countries.
In Vietnam, after negotiations, the United States withdraws their army.
Two years later, the Communists prevail in the country, tarnishing the image of the United States.
The USSR takes this opportunity to intensify its international policy.
The country occupies Afghanistan, and in reaction
the United States provides militarily support to the Mujahideen.
In Central America, US also intervenes in Nicaragua and Guatemala to counter communist revolutions.
Iran, after a revolution, becomes an Islamic republic that goes against US policy.
The latter strengthens its military presence in the Middle East to ensure the security of oil supply.
On the Soviet side, the USSR struggles to contain the revolutions in Eastern Europe.
With its economy in tatters, despite attempts at reform, in 1991, the USSR collapses,
marking the end of the Cold War.
The United States emerges as the only major world power.
Domestically, the population calls for more investment in the fight against poverty,
crime, gangs and drugs.
However, the US continues to primarily focus on its foreign policy,
showing an apparent willingness to become the world's policeman of sorts.
When Iraq invades Kuwait, which then held 9% of the known oil reserves in the world,
the United States forms a coalition and neutralizes the Iraqi army.
The US then establishes a list of countries considered as rogue and threatening global peace and stability.
These nations are subjected to blockades and embargoes.
Meanwhile, the military presence of an ally of Israel in the Middle East
bothers radical Islamists, including the terrorist group Al Qaeda headed by Osama bin Laden,
who is a former ally from the Afghan war.
US facilities and assets around the world are targeted by terrorist attacks.
On September 11, 2001, the United States becomes the victim of a large-scale terrorist attack on its territory.
Terrorism thus becomes the new enemy of the country.
But it proves more difficult to fight this war as terrorist organizations operate discreetly
in mobile networks without borders.
Having launched a war against the Taliban in Afghanistan,
the US hardens its stance against North Korea, Iran and Iraq,
which it considers part of an “Axis of Evil”.
A new war is launched against Iraq, but US troops - after quickly overthrowing the government
- find themselves fighting against several terrorist groups in the region.
In 2007, the subprime mortgage shock, followed by the financial crisis
plunges the global economy into turmoil.
The country tries to revive its economy, among other measures, by boosting the extraction
of shale oil on its territory.
Today the interventionist policy of the country is increasingly countered by rising powers
such as Russia and China.
The United States, however, remains the most powerful economy and military in the world.


知っておきたいアメリカの歴史 (The United States of America - summary of the country's history)

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Amy.Lin 2019 年 11 月 15 日 に公開
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