28, 2, 2014
The United States got independence upon the signing of the treaty of Paris. As a result, it expanded westward enlarging its borders seven times. Two major border adjustments were then made with the colonies of the United Kingdom and Spain among other minor disputes. This led to increment from thirteen states to fifty states, many of them starting as incorporated territories. Generally, the pattern followed is territorial extension, adjusting the boundaries of organized territories from the newly obtained land, adjustment of the borders of these territories, and ultimate statehood. However, Nevada and Missouri grew after statehood while North Carolina, Georgia, Massachusetts, Texas and Virginia, lost land to form states (Weigley, 1973).
The Colombian Exchange
A number of historical occurrences had significance impact on the evolution of the United States both in her independence and growth into many states. After 1492, human explorers utilized their artificial reinstatement of relations using the Old and New World plants; animals and bacteria, popularly referred to as the “Colombian exchange,” which later became more spectacular and significant ecological event of that time with a greater impact on the evolution (Crosby, 2003).
When Europeans arrived in the America, the crops they grew in their Old World were not yet in the New World, neither were the domestic animals of their place. After their arrival, they began bringing livestock and crops to the New World, including weeds. These came along with the pathogens from the Old World, which had never been in the Americas. Among the pathogens were those that carry germs chickenpox, influenza, malaria, yellow fever, among other diseases including those that even attacked livestock. This led to a crisis as there was no knowledge of such diseases and their cure could not be found. Many Americans died from those diseases especially so the chickenpox. They began resisting the Europeans even though they were terribly defeated. However, since large portions of land were left without people due to numerous deaths, it was quite a pity that even the Europeans sort for places that were not adversely affected by the pandemic. This was in 1692 and Massachusettes was the most affected. In the course time, most of the New World was affected by the pandemic that many Europeans opted to go back to their native land leaving the Americans to deal with their challenges and manage their affairs (Crosby, 2003).
French and Indian war
This war had a significant influence on the evolution of the United States. The United Kingdom won the War and this had a profound impact on the state of colonization, including the United Kingdom gaining more power to increase their territorial coverage (Baker-Crothers, 1998). However, the United Kingdom had spent more funds on the war that it was heavily indebted. This led to the most of British rulers of the American states opting to transfer colonial powers to the central government in London. Consequently, this weakened the colonial authority in the states (Moneyhon, 2002). In addition, most Americans had learnt the power that lies in unity during the war and now ready to face their common enemy together as opposed to earlier days when they fought for liberation and independence as separately and were defeated. This unity strengthened their forces and stepped up war against the British in quest for independence.
The American Civil War
It happened between 1861 and 1865 leaving the United States in a greater need for a serious reconstruction. After losing over 600,000 lives in the war and all the businesses in market demanding to be rebuilt, serious inventions and structures were inevitable. Consequently, laws were formulated and enforced by the government to guarantee federal protection of all Americans and led to the abolishment of slave trade (Brogan, 2006). The Americans realized that they had not just come together as states but rather they had formed a country. The South had lost its work force as a result of the slaves being freed and their economy was in a predicament. They had to look for workers and though their railroad had been ruined, they were able to rebuild and improve them making them a major part of their means of transport for the farm harvest. Contrastingly, the North, the workforce in the Northern States increased. Three amendments were added to the constitution after the civil war, known as the reconstruction amendments, which provided income opportunities for the African Americans (Ramsby & Bell, 2013). The 13th amendment abolished slavery and involuntary servitude, the 14th amendment guaranteed citizenship to all people born in the US, and that every state was to give protection to all people and the 15th amendments gave men the right to vote regardless of their race.
The free slaves could organize for the escape of those who were still under slavery. This gradually reduced manpower especially in the South that heavily depended on labor provided by the slaves. The result was economic degradation as this affected both production and transportation. Therefore, there was a need to come up with new ways of stabilizing the economy. Most of the slaves who got freedom preferred to escape to the North, hence increasing the workforce in the North. Owing to this trend, proper structures had to be developed to sustain the rising population (Ramsby & Bell, 2013).
Brogan, H. (2006). The Penguin history of the United States of America. London: Penguin Books
Crosby, A. W. (2003). The Columbian exchange: Biological and cultural consequences of 1492. Westport, Conn: Praeger
Moneyhon, C. H. (2002). The impact of the Civil War and reconstruction on Arkansas: Persistence in the midst of ruin. Fayetteville: University of Arkansas Press
Baker-Crothers, H. (1998). Virginia and the French and Indian War. Bowie, Md: Heritage Books
Ramsby, T. & Bell, S. (2013). Free at Last!: The Impact of Freed Slaves on the Roman Empire. Bloomsbury USA Academic
Weigley, R. F. (1973). The American way of war: A history of United States military strategy and policy. Bloomington: Indiana University Press