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Реферат History of the USA

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Текст реферата History of the USA

United States, history of the
Many peoples have contributed to the development of the United States
of America, a vast nation that arose from a scattering of British
colonial outposts in the New World. The first humans to inhabit the
North American continent were migrants from northeast Asia who
established settlements in North America as early as 8000 BC and
possibly much earlier (see NORTH AMERICAN ARCHAEOLOGY). By about AD
1500 the native peoples of the areas north of the Rio Grande had
developed a variety of different cultures (see INDIANS, AMERICAN). The
vast region stretching eastward from the Rocky Mountains to the
Atlantic Ocean was relatively sparsely populated by tribes whose
economies were generally based on hunting and gathering, fishing, and
VIKINGS explored the North American mainland in the 10th and 11th
centuries and settled there briefly (see VINLAND). Of more lasting
importance, however, was the first voyage (1492-93) of Christopher
COLUMBUS, which inaugurated an age of great European EXPLORATION of
the Western Hemisphere. Various European states (including Spain,
France, England, the Netherlands, and Portugal) and their trading
companies sent out expeditions to explore the New World during the
century and a half that followed.
The Spanish claimed vast areas, including Florida, Mexico, and the
region west of the Mississippi River, although they concentrated their
settlement south of the Rio Grande. The French explored much of the
area that became Canada and established several settlements there. Of
most significance, however, for the subsequent development of the
United States, was the English colonization of the region along the
Atlantic coast.
At the end of the period of turmoil associated with the Protestant
Reformation in England, the English people became free to turn their
attention to some other matters and to seek new opportunities outside
their tiny island. Internal stability under Elizabeth I (r. 1558-1603)
and an expanding economy combined with a bold intellectual ferment to
produce a soaring selfconfidence. Ireland experienced the first
impact: by the beginning of the 17th century it had been wholly
subjugated by the English. Scottish and English Protestants were
dispatched to "colonize" where the savage Irish, as they were called,
had been expelled, especially in the northern provinces. Then,
entrepreneurs began to look to North America, claimed by England on
the basis of the voyages of discovery of John CABOT (1497-99).
The Chesapeake Colonies
The English had failed in their attempts in the 1580s to found a
colony at ROANOKE on the Virginia coast. In 1606, however, the LONDON
COMPANY, established to exploit North American resources, sent
settlers to what in 1607 became JAMESTOWN, the first permanent English
colony in the New World. The colonists suffered extreme hardships, and
by 1622, of the more than 10,000 who had immigrated, only 2,000