Economic development of the United States

During the last third of the 19th century, the USA he experienced an accelerated development of his industry ; in 1890 the industrial production surpassed the agricultural one and surpassed that of the European capitalist countries.

United States economy history
This development contributed to the abundance of indispensable raw materials (iron, coal, oil, copper), immigration, the high investment of foreign capital, the agricultural and livestock exploitation, the rapid settlement of the West, facilitated by the penetration of the railroad (see history of the train ), that in 1869 the Atlantic-Pacific communication was achieved), and the free distribution of homesteads (State plots).

Wages, relatively higher than in the other industrialized countries, forced entrepreneurs to perfect production techniques and worry about rationalizing work; It is the time of great inventions (electric light, telephone , etc.).

Capitalist concentration intensified; USA it became the country of big trusts and monopolistic financial groups (Morgan and Carnegie in steel, Rockefeller in oil, Vanderbilt in railroads, etc.).

In the presidency, the republican party (spokesman of the big industrial and financial protectionists) and the democrat (large agricultural owners and free-trading financiers) took turns ; the interdependence of the governmental apparatus and the economic pressure groups was accentuated, without cases of administrative corruption.

The labor movement began to organize around basic demands on working conditions and duration of the working day. The struggle for the eight-hour day was particularly hard, and the violent interventions of the police produced a very high number of victims.

In this context of conflict, the general strike of May 1, 1886 , which was to remain as a mythical date in the calendar of the international workers movement, represented in the immediate American practice a partial advance of the workers, although their organization at the time ( Gentlemen of the Work ) will pay with a repression.

history fight workers usa

This struggle continued with the American Federation of Labor (AFL), founded in 1886, which became the only US trade union center. In the second half of the nineteenth century USA He extended his influence in the Pacific area.

It secured advantageous economic conditions in China (1844), consolidated its initial penetration in Japan (1854), bought the territory of Alaska (1867) from Russia and annexed the Hawaii (1898), in addition to imposing its authority, directly or indirectly. indirectly, in Central America, by supporting governments and parties addicted to the United States.

Already in the twentieth century, after the victories in the war with Spain, USA. He was able to occupy Puerto Rico, the Philippines and the island of Guam and to ensure real control of Cuba (see Cuba’s history ), through the Platt amendment of 1901 and Santo Domingo (1905).

Colombia’s refusal to sell to the US a part of the isthmus of Panama for the construction of a canal was solved with the shipment of a fleet that proclaimed the independence of Panama in 1903 (see history of Panama ).

The new country immediately entered the US orbit, and the canal was inaugurated in 1914. The occupation of Haiti (1915) and that of the Virgin Islands (1916) soon followed. the control of the Far East route was assured.

During the years of the so-called “progressive era” (1901-17), the American middle class, which had the support of farmers and a part of the labor world, organized a movement to oppose the economic and political control of the country. the trusts and monopolies, but only reached minor reforms (spectacular processes against some leaders of the trusts, greater democratization of the electoral system and local administration).

The American Civil War

But the deeper contradiction of interests was that which opposed two different productive systems: wage labor and slavery . Farmers and workers opposed slavery because it worsened their living conditions.

history war secession american

The advanced sectors of the bourgeoisie also opposed it because the low standard of living of the southern slave population and its almost null consumption of products retarded the agricultural and industrial development of the country with the consequent threat of falling behind the capitalist states European

The southern slaveowners reaped enormous profits from the export of cotton, whose demand was constantly increasing thanks to the development of the textile industry in Europe, and they had obtained from the government the control of the lands of the southwest and the enactment of harsh repressive laws against the runaway slaves .

The republican party, founded in 1854, defended the limitation and subsequent abolition of slavery and the free colonization of the lands of the West. When in 1860 the republican candidate Abraham Lincoln , farmer of humble origin, was elected president , the southern states separated from the federal State and constituted the Confederation .

Abraham Lincoln story
President Abraham Lincoln
In 1861 hostilities between north and south began; During the American Civil War (1861-1865) , Lincoln enacted the Homesiecid Act of 1862 , which allowed the free occupation of parcels on the state lands of the West and the abolition of slavery (1863).

The victory of the North in 1865 , which brought with it the abolition of the slavery of the totality of the American territory, supposed a partial liberation of the black population; excluded from the Homesiecid Act and thus unable to own their own land, they continued to depend economically on their former owners, whose lands were forced to work as laborers or sharecroppers.

After the so-called “period of reconstruction” (1865-1874), the reorganization of the former slavers and the emergence of secret societies (Ku-Klux-Klan, 1866) managed to restore the “white supremacy” through terror and deprived the population of civil rights through segregationist laws.

History of the expansion of the USA

The nineteenth century was characterized by the expansion to the west. In 1803, the American Government bought Napoleon the Louisiana, doubling the country’s territory with this operation.

history united eighteenth century
After a new war with England1812-14), some representatives of Congress proclaimed the idea of ​​conquering Canada, Florida and Cuba; previous military occupation, in 1818 a part of Canada was annexed and in 1819 Florida.

The Monroe Doctrine (1823) manifested the intention of the American bourgeoisie to arrogate to itself the right to decide the fate of the American continent and to reserve its exclusive exploitation.

In 1845 Texas was annexed, which previously (1836) had been separated from Mexico at the instigation of the great American slave owners.

The so-called Mexican War (1846-1848) forcibly removed 2,500,000 km : from territory to Mexico, which was forced to accept this fact by the Treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo (1848).

War between Mexico and the United StatesSlavery was immediately established in most of the new territories, as well as a rigid discrimination suffered by its Mexican or Indian inhabitants.

In this march to the west the land populated by natives was declared property of the State and auctioned at high prices; the Indians were forced by the US Army to retreat to sterile lands (mountains and deserts), and entire tribes were exterminated .

Exploration and colonization of the United States

The first European establishments on the current North American territory were the Spaniards of the Gulf of Mexico and Florida (San Agustín, founded in 1565 by Pedro Menéndez de Avilés) and the French, who from the San Lorenzo extended through the Mississippi Valley.

history colonization united states usa
The explorers found a scattered Amerindian population , in which the Iroquois and Algonquian groups stood out in the Great Lakes and the Appalachian Mountains; the Muscogi group from the Mississippi to the Atlantic, and the Sioux group west of the Mississippi.

The first permanent British colony , after the unsuccessful attempt of Sir Walter Raleigh (1584-1589), was that of Jamestown (1607), in Virginia , dedicated to the exploitation of tobacco and rice plantations.

The massive arrival of English settlers in the seventeenth century was channeled by trading companies and great lords (Lord Baltimore received Maryland, and the Duke of York, New Jersey). Other groups of settlers arrived as refugees, fleeing the intolerance of the Anglican Church. They were the Puritans of the Mayflower, who in 1620 formed the embryo of Massachusetts, and the Quakers , who in 1681 made Pennsylvania their refuge. Thousands of Europeans joined this original nucleus.

In 1763 there were 13 colonies on the Atlantic slope , with a total population of 1,500,000 inhabitants, clearly differentiated: to the north, New England made up of the colonies of New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut, in which a powerful bourgeoisie.

In the south the colonies of Maryland. Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina and Georgia, who based their economy on tobacco, rice and cotton plantations, and their society was dominated by an oligarchy of slave planters.

The colonies of the center New York, New Jersey, Delaware and Pennsylvania, by their activity and sort of life, identified more with the colonies of the north.

The frictions with the French and Spanish establishments culminated in the Seven Years War (1756-1763), in which Britain obtained from France Canada and eastern Louisiana, and Spain, Florida .

The military and economic contribution of the colonies in the triumph determined the awareness of the settlers, who confronted the metropolis when it tried to impose monopolistic economic measures.

the first US constitution
Signature of the United States Constitution
Initiated the armed insurrection (1775), the Declaration of Independence (1776) of the thirteen colonies proclaimed popular sovereignty and the inalienable rights of the person, but only reserved for white people.

The settlers’ militias, under the command of George Washington , with the support of the French army and European revolutionaries (Lafayette, Kosciuszko, etc.), definitely defeated the British army forces in 1781, and in 1783 the Treaty of Paris He recognized the independence of the 13 colonies .

Origin of the United States

To know the history and origin of the United States of America you must first know what it is like and its geographical situation. By its extension, the United States (United States of America or USA) is the third largest country in the world, and by its population, the fourth. If we take into account its economic potential, we are facing the most important state on the planet.

Located in North America, it occupies, in addition to the extreme northwest with Alaska, the wide central band of the continent, from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific. It limits to the north with Canada, and to the south with Mexico (see history of Mexico ).

It was the first republic born as such in the history of the world and, since then (1776), has developed its history in a permanent contradiction. It has been able to welcome and save millions of emigrants from all continents, but also to annihilate the indigenous populations.

He has enlightened, children both of the civil war that faced North and South for the liberation of the slaves, Martin Luther King and the Ku Klux Klan. Inventor of an individual project that includes the search for happiness, has ended up becoming the gendarme of the world. Europe owes its freedom, and the whole world the enslavement derived from its economic leadership.

Continent : America
Area : 9.636353 km2
Capital : Washington
Population : 326,421,906 inhabitants
Currency : Dollar
Official language : English