Major Event/Epoch in American History Time Period/Date(s) Description and Significance of the People/Event(s) to American History
1)Describe three different American Indian cultures prior to colonization.

15,000 years ago.

13th century

3,000-7,000 years ago.

There was the practice of agricultural activities. The people had an organized political system such as the chiefdom. By the mid of the thirteenth century there was evidence of the American Indians being more of farmers than hunters.

Within an estimated period of around 15,000 years, it is believed that due to the sophisticated buried tools, the Indians Americans were hunting. Around the period between 3,000 and 7,000 years ago, there were other groups that were mainly hunters and gatherers. They foraged plants as well hunted small plants. They were the desert dwellers. They lived in caves and rocks.

2)The effects of British colonization on the Native Americans. British colonization on the Native Americans had a number of effects which heavily impacted on the people of America. The greatest effects of colonization were witnessed in the period between the 16th and 19th centuries. This period saw a lot of European invasion on American land. Some of the effects of colonization included the epidemic diseases. These were brought from Europe by the settlers. The population declined drastically as a result of these diseases. Lack of immunity among the Americans to these introduced diseases in the environment culminated to massive deaths. There was also enslavement of the Native Americans. Displacement from their native lands. Internal warfare also cropped up. Most of the native most came from Iroquois and Algonquin nations. The arrival of the Europeans meant that they had to lose hunting, fishing, trapping and farming lands. Their arrival also meant that the native people were to abandon their culture and adopt the culture of the settlers. For example, they were to abandon their spiritual beliefs and become Christians. Diseases earlier unknown by the native people emerged. They were brought by the settlers. The settlers gave alcohol to the natives which further compromised their health.
3)The evolution of the socio-political milieu during the colonial period, including Protestant Christianity’s impact on colonial social life. This took place in the 16th century. Protestant Christianity was a significant factor in the colonial social life. There was a lot of reformation that took place in this period among the colonial rulers. The greatest changes that took place were the enlightenment. This allowed the Christians to respond differently to issues regarding democracy, secularism, civil rights, materialism, war, technology, slavery and others.
4)The effects of the Seven Years’ War. The war was fought in North America from 1756 to around 1763 between Britain and her supporters versus France and her allies. New Britain and New France were fighting for possession and control of the new continent and trade in particular. France was determined not to be pushed out of the areas along the St. Lawrence and the Ohio rivers, along the Mississippi all the way to the west and they depended on this area for fish and fur (Anderson, 2000). Although the war began officially at around 1956, hostilities had begun two years earlier. The greatest reason for the war was the fight for colonial territories in new regions. The war changed the social relations, the governmental, economic and political relations of three European powers Spain, France and Britain. The British after the war established itself as the world’s most prominent hegemonic power relative to the contending nations. Colonies, colonists and the inhabitants of the territories they had acquired were also affected by the war. Britain and France suffered much because of the war. Long term effects were also witnessed from the war. Ultimately the war led to the fall of New France. Most of the Native Americans refer to the war as the seven years war because of the devastating effects it produced such as destruction of the resources of the native people. The population of the colonies had risen drastically in the early 1700’s on the American land culminating to land problems. The war was referred to us the French and the Indian war in America. It had a profound effect on both the American colonists and the British Empire. Many problems were experienced by the natives as the effects indeed seemed extrapolated. Leaders such as Johnson attempted severally to spread diseases to the people so as to gain an upper hand over the people (Anderson, 2000). The people suffered more consequences as a result of the war. The British and the Spanish colonialists inflicted much of the problems to the American natives. Resentment between the American natives and the British colonialists eventually resulted to the American Revolution that took place in 1775. This was a significant turning point of the history of the American people. The potential loss of land to the English was a threat to their daily lives. The English fur trade interfered with that of the French (Davidson 2006). The loss incurred through the war and the unwillingness of the colonists to contribute to the costs encouraged the strengthening of British colonial control. Many and new laws were passed and introduced by the British into the colonies, such as the Stamp Act of 1765,Sugar Act of 1764 and others. The impositions inflicted by the British through the various Acts were very large contributors for the American War of Independence (Davidson 2006).
5)The evolution of the concept of “God-given freedom of the individual” stemming from the Protestant Reformation and developing through the American Enlightenment and the Great Awakening, and culminating with the Declaration of Independence. The evolution was started in the early 16th century, 1517 by Martin Luther king. The protestant movement spread in opposition to the catholic church which proved to dominate its doctrines to the people. It started in the early 16th century. Most of the religious changes took place. They heavily impacted on the colonial rulers as well. Individuals were heavily enlightened on the rights of every individuals. In America for instance, drastic religious changes took place around the period of 1730’s that even sought to revolutionize the colonialists. This period was referred to as the great awakening. This created a good avenue for the Americans to channel their grievances especially over the misdeeds of the British colonialists. It bore fruits as America fought during the 19th April, 1775 revolution that came before independence was declared on 4th July, 1776.

6) The evolution of the socio-political and cultural milieu that created the conditions necessitating and including the formation of the:

a) Declaration of Independence

b) U.S. Constitution (including the Bill of Rights)

Independence in U.S.A was declared on 4th July, 1776.

The constitution of America of 1787 and the bill of rights of 1791.

The drastic changes that took place in the environment at the time when the two vital American documents were made; the constitution and the bill of rights, were a prerequisite to attainment of freedom in America. For instance there was the protestant Christianity that advocated for Christian freedom from the catholic chains. There was also the great awakening that went a mile further to enlighten even the colonial rulers. This necessitated for revolutionary changes in America. The dynamic environment majorly advocated for human welfare. People were to be given freedom. In U.S.A for example, a revolution took place in 1775. The state was declared independent on 4th July 1776. The constitution was officially launched in 1787 while the bill of rights was inaugurated in 1791.
7) The character of George Washington and his precedent-setting impact for future presidents. George Washington was the first president of America in the period (1789-1797). He left a legacy that further impacted on the future leaders such as Abraham Lincoln. Lincoln made a lot of reference to his leadership. He highly avoided foreign entanglement during his reign. This was later heeded by future presidents. The legacy of George Washington is termed as an ‘unwritten constitution’ of America by most of the historians. He set the nation on a track that has continued to endure for over 200 years. He included the cabinet as part of the president’s office. He sought advice from other people especially the overreliance on the heads of departments. His choice of leaders was based on meritocracy. He also set the limit of the presidential term to a maximum of two terms, a legacy that lasted until 1940. Although the president had supreme powers to appoint as well as dismiss any of the government workers, Washington was famous for doing so on the ground of merit and not the perceived friendship or enmity as many leaders of the time did. When the house of representative sought the records regarding the Supreme Court judge, Jay, and his negotiation mission with the British, George Washington set the precedent by invoking what later came to be perceived as the executive privilege. In this mission, the Supreme Court chief justice had been sent by George Washington on a negotiation to prevent an outbreak of a war between the British and the Americans. The treaty was agreed upon by the British government in 1795 and John Jay. This was a legacy in that most of the presidents that preceded him advocated for peaceful negotiations instead of indulging in wars.

8) The evolution of Jeffersonian Democracy and its legacy, including:

a) The Louisiana Purchase

b) The Second Great Awakening

c) The Embargo Act

d) Issues with the courts

Jeffersonian democracy constituted political ambitions that were strongly upheld in America between 1800-1820’s. They also had strong impact on the period that followed.

The Louisiana purchase was a large tract of land bought by Thomas Jefferson in 1803.

The second great awakening took shape in the period starting at 1790. Another one was witnessed in America around the start of the 19th century in 1800. It took momentum at around 1820 but declined in the period ending at 1870.

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The embargo act was imposed in 1807. This was meant to resistrict the American ships from engaging in trade between the years of 1807 to 1812.

The democracy that was advocated for in this case was representative democracy where the people of America were called upon to resist corruption. According to the Jeffersonian democracy, the Americans had the duty to spread what he referred to us the empire of liberty but were to avoid entangling alliances. The individuals’ rights were to be shielded against being violated by the federal government. The rights of the state were not to be violated by the federal government. The freedom of press and that of speech was held that it would minimize corruption in government. This had a great impact in the American history as most of the leaders followed these doctrines. Those who abused them met a lot of opposition. Human rights movements that strongly advocated for human equality later emerged to fight for most of the Jeffersonian democracy.

The Louisiana purchase

North America had large tracts of land. The European colonial powers had already divided parts of the land among themselves and assumed dominion over them. For instance, at the time when the United States was first formed, the Spanish settled in Florida and claimed the land. France owned Louisiana and beyond. It was a large tract of land. Thomas Jefferson was the president of the United States by then. In 1803, he bought the Louisiana territory which was a space of more than 800,000 square miles from France. The purchase was called the Louisiana Purchase. It doubled the size of United States. Louisiana officially became a state in 1812 and the rest of Louisiana was divided into other territories.

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The second great awakening

The second great awakening started in the 1790’s. the intention was to bar people from rationalizing religion.it was founded by John Wesley. The second great awakening called on people to believe in God and Christ into their daily lives and cease from being skeptical rationalists. In this respect, the Jeffersonian democracy explicitly stated that the government was to be detached from religion (Birdsall, 1970). Religion was not also to be attached to the government for the purpose of avoiding corrupt religion. The one that took place at around the period of 1800- 1820 sought to prepare the people to resist from evils in preparation for the second coming of Christ. It however declined in 1870.

During this period, American Christians took it upon themselves to convert the society around them. Politics also took the chance to teach people on the right beliefs to uphold. An example was Thomas Jefferson.

The embargo act

This was initiated by president Thomas Jefferson and was also continued by james madison. It was designed to protect the American interest as well as prevent American from indulging in wars. The embargo unfortunately failed as u.s went into war with Britain in 1812. Both Britain and france sought to control Europe while America remains neutral as it traded with both nations. However massive intrusion by the British into American welfare drove America to design an embargo aimed at restricting British activities in America. Trade between America and great Britain would consequently be stopped (Martin, 1927).

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The tensions continued to heighten day in day out until America declared war with Britain in 1812. The embargo lasted from December 15th, 1807 to march 1809. It immensely affected the American trade overseas. All the sections of united states suffered immensely. Farmers could not sell their produce in international markets. The embargo acted as a financial disaster for the Americans since the British on the other hand were able to export goods to America.

Issues with the court

Jefferson faced a lot of opposition when he tried to interfere with the judicial arm of the government. The first opposition came when he tried to dismiss Pickering, the federal judge in 1804. The judges claimed that it was not proper to dismiss him on the ground that he seemed insane. To them, insanity was not crime. He also tried severally to witch hunt judges such as supreme court justice, Samuel Chase whom he perceived as a great political threat. He was however set free by the senate.



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