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Storia degli USA (in inglese)

THE NEW WORLD DISCOVERY AND THE FIRST COLONIES

Before 1500 the land was inhabited mainly by ribes of Asian origin. On October 12 th in 1492 Christofer Columbus discovered the new world. He believed he had reached the West Indies and called the native Americans “Indians”.

PURITAN SOCIETY

The first English Colony was founded at James toune in 1607 and was named Virginia. In 1620 the Pilgrim Fathers settled in Massachusset and called the place New England. Every year, in America the 4 th Thursday of November, Americans remembered this day with the Thanksgiving feast. They want to thank Good for the abundant harvest they were able to reap as the joined the New World.

THE WAR OF INDEPENDENCE

In 1620 the settlers founded 13 colonies in north-eastern coast. Some conflict arose with the mother country because the colonies had to pay taxes on imported products and were obliged to trade only with Britain. They refuse to pay taxes because they were not members in the British Parliament on the principle “no taxation without representation”. On July 4th 1776 the Delegates from the colonies adopted a declaration of independence written by T. Jefferson. War broke out and the American army was guided by George Washington. In 1777 American defeated England and in 1783 with the Treaty of Paris England recognised American Independence.

THE AMERICAN CONSTITUTION

The constitution was draw up in 1785 it divided the government into three branches: legislative (Congress), executive (the President) and judicial (the federal court) and included the Bill of Rights to safeguard individual and states’ liberties. George Washington was the first president of the United States in the neutral land from Virginia and Maryland and the federal capital took his name.

SLAVERY AND CIVIL WAR

At the end of the 19th century the northern states became a new industrial centre while the southern states were specified on the tobacco and cotton plantations.

Negro slaves were imported from Africa to work into plantations.

In this century slavery was practiced in the agrarian south. People from the industrialized north wanted the abolition of slavery and this was a cause of conflict between north and south.

Abraham Lincoln was elected President in 1860 and he opposed slavery.

In this period the American Civil War had begun and put an end to slavery so in this years the country became a United Nation.

Lincoln was assassinated in 1865 and in the same year slavery was abolished by law.

However American blacks continued to suffer segregation and hate.

Some of them moved from the south to the north in search of freedom, but they were not able to find work and were segregated in poor areas called ghettos.  

20Th CENTURY IMMIGRATION

In the years that followed the Civil War and until World War I, the US became a leading industrial powers attracting huge waves of immigrants. For the high number of arrivals the US government created a special port Ellis Island in the harbour of New York City in 1892. The Statue of Liberty, was a gift from France to the people of America in 1886. it has become a National Monument with a Museum of Immigration.

THE ROARING TWENTIES AND THE GREAT DEPRESSION

The 1920s were an extraordinary and confusing time. Americans wanted to forget the past troubles of World War I and to live for the present in joy. It was the age of spectacular silent movies and the age of Prohibition. The 1920s were golden years for big businesses. The Roaring 20s collapsed on so called Black Tuesday, when the Stock Market crashed and most of the money was lost on one night.

THE NEW DEAL AND WAR WORLD WAR II

In 1932 F.D. Roosevelt was elected president of USA on the promise of a New Deal for the American people to defeat the economic depression the economy improve but full recovery had to avail American’s entry into World War II. After a period of neutrality the Union States entered the War. In 1941 after the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbour naval base in Hawaii the United States decided to enter the war. In 1944 on the “D. Day” allied forces landed in Normandy and liberated Europe. In August 1945 the President of USA used the atomic bombs against Hiroshima e Nagasaki, causing lots of deaths.

POST WAR PERIOD AND THE CIVIL RIGHT MOVEMENT

After the World War II, tension developed between United States and Soviet Union. The USA, alarmed by the expansion of the Soviet Union, allied with the western powers to form a military alliance, the NATO. This was the beginning of the Cold War.

In 1960 J. F. Kennedy was elected President, he started a political programme called New Frontier. In 1963 president asked Congress to abolish racial discrimination, but he was assassinated the same year.In august 1963 people of all races led by Martin Luther King Jr. , marched in Washington to demand equal rights for Negroes. In 1968 he was killed.

THE CONSTITUTION

The constitution of US adopted by the Constitutional Convention 1787, is the world’s oldest written constitution in force. The 55 delegates who compiled the Constitution represented a wide range of interests and social principle but all agreed with the objectives express in the preamble to the Constitution which guarantee basic liberties and to prevent authoritarian powers. The preamble establish justice, insure domestic tranquillity, provide for the common defence, promote the welfare and secure blessing of liberty. The USA are a federal republic of a 50 states and the District of Columbia. The government is divided into 3 parts: legislative (Congress consist of a HouseRapresentative), executive (leaded by the President) and the judicial (Supreme Court), this division called separated of powers.

THE LEGISLATIVE BRANCH, THE EXECUTIVE BRANCH, THE JUDICIAL BRANCH

The Constitution of the US, adopted in 1787, is the world’s oldest written constitution in force. The central objectives of the document are the guarantee of basic liberties and the prevention of authoritarian power. The USA are a federal republic of 50 states and the District of Columbia. Washington D. C. is the capital of the nation and the seat of federal government. There are three branches of government; legislative, executive and judicial. They are based on the “sepration of powers” which gives each branch substantial independence and some authority over the others thought a system of “check and balances”. The Congress represents the legislative powers and is divided into House of Representatives and Senate. Both Chamber have their seat in Capitol, in Washington D. C. The House of Representatives is formed by 435 members, elected every 2 years and divided among the states according to the population. The Senate consists of 100 senators, two for each state regardless of population. They are elected every 6 years. Bills have to pass both Chambers of Congress to become laws. The head of the executive power is the president, who is elected every 4 years. Apart from his/her power to execute government programmes passed by law, he/she can propose legislation, declare war, appoint federal judges and influence public opinion with easy access to the mass media. The supreme court of Justice is the head of the judicial power. In addition there are 13 federal Courts of Appeal and, below them, about 95 Federal District Courts. The two main parties, the Democrats and the Republicans, are represented in Congress. The Democratic Party is considered a more liberal party, and the Republican Party a more conservative. The Democrats generally believe that government has to support social and economic programs while the Republicans believe that a strong private sector makes citizens less dependent on government.

di Agnese

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