America: a Narrative History

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A (Mostly) Historical Introduction to the Civilization of the United States.  
 
6 Self-Contained Lectures
•    Colonial Times I (1600s-1770): when the British colonies in north am decided to become indep from the kingdom. •    Colonial Times II
•    Independence: the war for indep, the am revolution. •    The Young Republic (1790-1830): the first 40 years of the am history, marked the transition to a republic democracy. •    The Antebellum Period (1830-1860): Before the civil war •    The Civil War and Reconstruction (1860-1880)

 
 The period: 1600s to 1880
Aristotle: "The beginning is half the whole".
 
"Indians"
When Americas was settled in 1492, America was a desert, a waste land. •    The first settlers had probably crossed the Bering Strait at various times between 15,000 and 60,000 years ago. •    They arrived from Asia who came by sea, and possibly from other parts of the world •    The western hemisphere contained cities, roads, irrigation systems, trade networks, empires (Aztecs in Mexico), kingdoms (Incas in Peru) •    In 1492: The total population estimation 50 to 90 million people (Europe 90 million, China and India 210 million, Africa 40 million).  

Native (North-) Americans
•    The present borders of the USA shows  a huge variety native peoples living within the present borders of the US. •    We do not know of any society which had achieved literacy. However many of these nations had developed sophisticated methods of farming, hunting of fishing, political and societal systems and far-reaching networks of trade and communication •    Another major weakness: no sense of a single unified people. •    But common features in religion (single creator, a great being, no clear distinction betw natural phenomenon and supernatural ones); different relation to land and property ( no devotion to the accumulation of wealth and property); gender relations, women society played a more important role in the us society than in Europe. •    In 1492 Indian population estimat° 2-5 million for present-day US. •    The main tragedy: a catastrophic population decline caused by the European and the settlers in America. •    Factors:     - European brutality (not all, for example The Quakers;comme les céréales ; treated natives as humans) (kill massacres..)         - diseases (smallpox, influenza, measles). Indians had not developed antibodies to fight these diseases. It would have help them to fight against these diseases. People can speak about a 'genocide'. •    In North America, the effects of English colonizat° in keeping with general trend: - Biological exchange (Tabac .. )

- Intensification of warfare betw Indian tribes and peoples
 
 First lecture :
 
Colonial
- Areas of settlement and phases of colonization (they occurred in many stages) - Motives of English emigrants to the New World
- Colonial Episodes
- Colonial Heritage
 
I. Areas of settlement and phases of colonization
Areas of settlement
•    Roanoke: the lost colony (1587-1590). Eli I received the commission to do smth in Virginia. They Settled a colony (fail cause disapeared) •    Jamestown, Virginia, 1607, the first settlement occurred. •    New England: Pilgrim Fathers (Mayflowers, Plymouth, 1620; John Winthrop, 1630). Ran by a small group of dedicated puritans, think British were corrupted, decided to go north. Massachusetts, most powerful colony in north America. •    Middle colonies:

- Maryland (Lord Baltimore)
- Pennsylvania ("The Holy Experiment", William Penn)
•    The West...
Phases of Settlement
•    2 successive phases
- By 1640: Virginia, New England, Maryland.
- After 1660: Additional Southern colonies, New Netherlands (1664), Pennsylvania (1681), Delaware (1682), Georgia (1733) (Geargia created for 2 reasons: make the Spanish more uncomfortable, a new state without slavery ...) •    They were 13 colonies in America, most of them were private properties.  

1. Motives of Early Immigrants
 
•    Religious (tensions...
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