US History

Christopher ColumbusChristopher Columbus
  • By world standards, America is a fairly young country, even when you consider the first people entered Alaska from Russia about 15,000 years ago.
  • Christopher Columbus then “discovered” American in 1492 and the first colonists, or “pilgrims” arrived in Cape Cod on the Mayflower in 1620. There are countless historic sites to visit in Cape Cod if you detour here on your RV road trip, such as the Pilgrim Monument and Provincetown Museum.
  • Virginia was America’s first colony. George Washington was born there and lived there his entire life. There are many historic attractions and beautiful colonial buildings in Virginia for you to visit by motorhome.
  • The colonist began to fight against the British regiments leading to Thomas Jefferson preparing the Declaration of Independence, first published in 1776.
  • When the war of Independence was won, Canada remained British and the rest of the states formed the United States of America, with George Washington as its first president.
  • Slavery began to become an issue of contention in the mid-1800s, with the North being critical of the South’s slavery system. Abraham Lincoln was a powerful politician in the action against slavery, and when the Civil war was won by the North, he declared all slaves free in 1863. He was assassinated in 1865 by a supporter of the South.
  • After initially declaring neutrality in WWI the US eventually fought alongside the Allies against the Germans. Although the Allies won, America lost over 112,000 lives.
  • The U.S financial market crashed in 1929, followed by the Great Depression which resulted in record unemployment numbers, around a third of the population. Franklin Roosevelt established intensive economic reform and the economy picked up again by the late 1930s.
  • The U.S again attempted neutrality in WWII but after a submarine attack by Germany in 1941, war was declared with Germany and Italy. Together with the U.S.S.R, Great Britain, China and 22 other countries, the U.S. formed the Allies. Italy eventually signed an armistice and Germany was eventually defeated in May 1945.
  • During this time Japan also declared war on the U.S but with the deployment of two atom bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki they were also suppressed.
  • The Cold War (with the U.S.S.R) and Korean Wars followed – because every Communist state was an enemy, the U.S assisted South Korea in its defense against North Korea. There was also conflict with Communist Cuba at this time.
  • John F Kennedy was assassinated in 1963.
  • Also in 1963, the Black Rights movement demonstrated under the leadership of Martin Luther King, with over 200,000 black and white people marching for equal civil rights. Luther King made his famous speech and in 1964 a new law was passed by Congress allowing all Americans equal rights. Martin Luther King was assassinated in1968 by an escaped prisoner.
  • 1961 to 1978 saw the longest and most senseless war in U.S. history: the Vietnam War which was again based on anti-Communist policies.
  • In 1972 Nixon was the first president to visit the U.S.S.R signaling the end of the Cold War, however he became embroiled in the famous Watergate scandal in the same year. He stepped down as President in 1972.
  • The U.S. sent troops to Saudi Arabia in 1990 to help defend Kuwait from Iraq under Saddam Hussein, leading to the 1991 Gulf War. From the mid-90s onwards the U.S also found itself under terrorist attack from Islamic fundamentalist groups such as al-Qaeda, culminating in the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Centre in New York City. In response, the U.S invaded Afghanistan and Iraq, overthrowing the Taliban and Saddam Hussein. Newly-elected president Barack Obama has pledge to remove U.S troops from the controversial Iraqi conflict.
  • Much of the eastern U.S. has interesting historic sites to visit by RV, such as battlefields from the Revolutionary and Civil wars, and historic communities from the 18th and 19th centuries.

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