Developments in American History Over Four Centuries

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This essay will discuss five significant developments in American History from discovery until 1877. They are as follows: The American Revolution (1775-1783), the signing of the Declaration of Independence (1776), the Ratification of the Constitution (1787), the Louisiana Purchase (1803), and the Civil War (1861-1865). Though American history has experienced many developments over the years, it is the firm belief of the author that these five developments were instrumental in propelling thirteen loosely associated colonies into the path of what would develop into the United States of America. This essay will show why the Revolutionary War was the first step toward democracy, how the Declaration of Independence signaled the birth of a nation, how the ratification of the Constitution established a federal republic, how the Louisiana Purchase gave us geographical advantage and how the Civil War argued the equality of men and states’ rights during the struggle to become a united nation. The writer will develop these five events and discuss how the United States might be different today had these events occurred differently or had not occurred at all.

The American Revolution was instrumental because it was a starter rebellion of thirteen British colonies against the injustice of their own King and countrymen imposing unfair taxation upon them while denying them their rights as British born subjects. It was the shot heard round the world, one if by land, two if by sea, and the Boston Tea Party that emanated across the land. “Give me liberty, or give me death,” cried Patrick Henry! It was a time of revolution, let freedom ring, no matter the cost. Another words, freedom was worth the price regardless of the cost. While the F...

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...ears later when General Lee surrendered to General Grant at the Appomattox Courthouse on April 9, 1865. One benefit of the war was the end of all slavery in the United States. On the downside, the South faced economic, financial, and total devastation of lands since most of the battles were fought in the South. A period of reconstruction followed which was necessary for the healing process to begin re-admittance of the Southern states into the Union.

Though wars are destructive, horrible and hard fought at the cost of blood of well meaning patriots, the Civil War had some positive results. A war that pitted brother against brother and North against the South, cauterized the fissure of a republic into a united nation. Thomas Jefferson was credited with remarking, “…in the future revolution may be necessary from time to time to fan the flames of democracy.”

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