Free American History Essay Sample
The main provisions of the 1787 Constitution included a list of principles that determined the relationship of various departments in the US government. The Constitution determined the right of every state for its own legislative power, the ability to exchange criminals, and equal rights for citizens in all states. Constitution established the republican form of the government for every state and the federation was responsible for protection of every state from outer invasions, as well as from inner violence. There were several compromises to the constitution that determined its passage on the federal level. First was the two-chamber compromise that meant creating two chambers in Congress: the Senate and the House of Representatives. The second was a compromise concerning slave representation. Due to different points of view on slavery between the states of the North and the South, it was agreed that every five slave representatives from the South would be counted for three places of representation. Another compromise included determining tariffs on imported goods, but not on the goods exported from the USA, so that the Southern states can be sure they can stand the competition with foreign goods. The slave trade was one of the most controversial points and, by way of compromise, the representatives of North agreed to wait for the ban of slave trade by the Congress in 1808. One of the most essential compromises was reached through the realization that they needed a President; however, the Constitution did not determine the process of elections. They agreed to elect representatives who can then vote for the President.
The two leaders representing different political views were occupying leading positions in the government. Alexander Hamilton was the minister of finance and Thomas Jefferson was the secretary of state. Their opposing views on financial development and agrarian relationship determined the formation of two political forces of federalists and democratic republicans. The federalists were following the way of development, due to their interests in financial and commercial capital, while republican democrats were representing the interests of agrarian layers of the country. Hamilton and the federalists thought that the government should deal with the problems that had national character, despite the fact that some problems were not determined in the Constitution. On the contrary, Jefferson supposed that the power of the Congress is vaguely determined in the Constitution and, in such case, the government should have specific determination of rights and spheres of action.
The Dred Scott decision of the court was connected to the idea that the federal government cannot deal with the problem of slavery and established the decision that no representatives of African ancestors, whether they were slaves or free, had the right to become citizens of America and, thus, were not able to sue in federal court. Moreover, the court also stated that the Missouri Compromise, which proclaimed all states west and north of Missouri free of slavery, was unconstitutional. Later, this had a significant impact on the division of southern and northern branches and later to the Civil War. The court decision turned out to be controversial for the political situation of the states, as the representatives of North were outraged about this decision. Southern slaveholders were satisfied with the court decision, but due to the number of controversies they had to output from the Union.
The court decision created an opportunity for Abraham Lincoln to become a representative of the Republican Party, and after that to be elected as the President. The controversy within the democratic party lead to its division into southern and northern fractions, which helped Abraham Lincoln become the President of the USA without any support from southern states. Consequently, the election of the President in 1860 resulted in the Civil War. The main ideas of the conflict included various views on slavery and questions of the political rights of the states. Some states decided to leave the federation, but these decisions were proclaimed to be against the US law and they had to face the Civil War. The division of the Democratic Party turned out to be profitable for Abraham Lincoln and he managed to win the elections in 17 northeastern and midwestern states. Besides, he had separate votes from several other states including New-Jersey, Missouri, etc. Southern states did not have Abraham Lincoln in election lists and his victory in the election determined the states’ decision to leave the federation.
The main causes of World War II were the imbalance of power in the world and dissatisfaction of countries with the results of World War I and territorial division of the world. England and France divided European territories the way they wanted, and Germany was left with a dissatisfying division of historical territories. Besides, there were numerous colonial questions, and negative tendencies developed significantly among the political powers of Germany. America’s foreign policy before World War II followed the idea of making USSR weaker, as the strength of this new political and territorial division was evident and constantly growing. Besides, the USA preferred keeping away from the continental conflict, but wanted to have ability to provide the European countries with weaponry and produce.
One more reason for America not willing to participate in World War II was its crisis of 1937-1938. However, during the years of war America managed to raise the level of production thanks to war orders for weaponry and produce that were sent to the European continent. Interestingly, Great Britain considered it a good addition to its powers to have American troops join World War II. This led to the unexpected Pearl Harbor attack that provoked the participation of the USA in World War II. Besides, the Battle of England played a significant role in American realization that the war was inevitable this time, as the German Air forces Luftwaffe were able to bomb peaceful cities of England during the whole period of war. In order to protect their own country, the USA had to join World War II and fight the aggressor on its territory to protect the citizens of their country from this aggression. The Battle of England showed to the whole world that German aggressors can be and have to be stopped. Besides, the Royal Flying Forces of England managed to protect their skies even with a smaller air force and showed the whole world that Luftwaffe was not invincible and could be overcome by joint actions of other countries.
The events of the Cold War influenced the development of the political situation in the whole world. The period of the Cold War included a number of events that provoked conflicts between the USA, the Soviet Union, and other countries. One of the most famous events from the Cold War period was the flight of the reconnaissance American aircraft U-2 that was flying on low heights, but was detected and destroyed by the Soviet Union powers. This episode provoked a significant dissatisfaction from both sides, as the US representatives were not ready to have such a severe reaction to their invasion of the Soviet Union territory. At the same time, Nikita Khrushchev was more dissatisfied with the actions of the USA as he tried to change the negative relationship between the two countries and could not agree to continue aggressive confrontations between the two countries that was promoted by the USA and supported by other countries participants of NATO.
Another event during the Cold War that involved participation of other countries was the beginning of the war in Afghanistan. Western countries did not support the invasion of the Soviet Union army to the territory of another country. The situation between the two countries changed after the Vietnam War, as now the Soviet Union led the war against the underdeveloped country and the USA supported Afghanistan with weaponry, trying to show to the Soviet Union how difficult the war can be in the underdeveloped country. This event provoked a new wave of the Cold War and significantly worsened the relationship between the two countries. Afghan leaders were asking the Soviet Union for help and wanted the Soviet Army to enter their territory to prevent the revolution. At the same time, there was a risk of joining of Afghan political powers and the Chinese government, which the Soviet Union could not let to happen. At the same time, the USA and Western European countries protested against Afghanistan invasion of the Soviet Union and voted against its actions in the country. The events of the Cold War period prove the desire of two major political forces to declare their rights and power over the rest of the world. Every conflict or questionable event was announced to the whole world and drew attention of the society. The Soviet Union aimed to promote communist ideas to other countries while the USA preferred establishing capitalist relationships and considered communist ideas dangerous for the peaceful state of the world. Thus, every conflict in the world involved these two leading forces each trying to prove their power and dominance.
In 1945, Korea was liberated from the Japanese war powers by the Soviet and American troops. They occupied the southern and northern parts of the country. The Northern part of the country was willing to unite the whole territory, even with the help of military actions. The pro-communist leader led the north of the country, and the leader supported by the USA headed the southern part of the country. The conflict started in 1950, when the northern Korean army started moving towards the south of the country. They managed to conquer almost the whole territory, but the international assembly decided to send supportive forces to help southern troops. They landed in the western part of the country and managed to return the territory of almost all the country very fast. However, the war continued for three more years. Because of this war conflict, practically nothing was changed, as the government of the country was pro-communist and close to the ideas of the Soviet Union.
In 1959, Fidel Castro headed Cuba as a result of the revolution on the island. The revolution leader was supported by the Soviet Union, while the USA was trying to prevent Fidel Castro from heading Cuba. By way of protecting Cuba from the invasion of the USA, the Soviet Union decided to place nuclear warheads and missile carriers on the territory of Cuba. The operation was top secret, but the government of the USA managed to detect that something was going on. They asked the Soviet Union to take the weaponry off the Cuban territory. Fidel Castro was against the armory being taken off his country’s territory, but finally the Soviet Union decided to take their nuclear warheads off the island of Cuba. This conflict between the Soviet Union and the USA was extremely severe and almost put a start to a new war in the world. The USA decided to block Cuba from the sea and were against the Soviet nuclear weapon within the 150 kilometers distance from their country. These events show that the Cold War was a state of extreme tension between the countries and determined specific situations of conflict between them, determining the results after each of such events. The state of the Cold War has lead to significant repressions within both countries as the information about possible actions was the most influential weapon during these times.
6. The main causes of World War I were the dissatisfaction of Germany with the territorial division of Europe, significant differences of political views, and the economic situation inequality that was the result of unequal division of territories. The Triple Entente coalition united Great Britain, France, and the Russian Empire that divided the spheres of influence on the continent. Germany realized that it had the right for some colonial territories and decided to prepare a military invasion in order to establish a new balance in the world. World War I involved participation of almost all European countries and they used the slightest cause for starting a war. The USA was trying to keep away from the war, because it was not willing to lose significant financial flows from all participants of the conflict, as it provided all sides of the conflict with weapons and military equipment. However, keeping the position of a moral judge was no longer possible after the actions of German troops and deaths of more than a hundred of American citizens as a result of Lusitania catastrophe. Besides, the last fact that forced President Wilson to enter the war was a secret message to Mexican government that was decoded by American forces. The message was asking Mexicans to join the military conflict against the USA. Wilson asked the Congress for permission to join the war and the Congress agreed.
American forces brought significant support to English and French troops and their knowledge that America was ready to provide them with even more military forces made them use all their backup forces, which led to their final victory in World War I. Despite the significant military force support, the USA had enormous financial power over all European countries. The USA credited the Entente countries with weaponry and finance that let them enhance their military equipment in their fight against the aggressor. As a result of this support, the USA wanted to participate in the formation of the European continent and to dictate the politics to European countries. Its participation in World War I made it possible. The participation of the USA in this war made the country a financial and political leader in the world as a result of its actions during the war in Europe.
As a result of the Mexican War of 1846-1848, the annexed Mexican territories were discussing the issue of establishing slavery in these states. Some political forces argued that there was no need to make these states participate in slavery as the territories were not good for cotton production, but in the end, all the annexed states accepted slavery, except for California that joined the Union before the civil war and decided to adopt anti-slavery laws. President James Polk considered America to be the leader of other nations that lived on its territory, and he supported the ideas of establishing slavery over the territories acquired as a result of the Mexican-American War. Northern Democrats and Whigs were supporting this idea, while southern Democrats and Whigs were against it. David Wilmot considered that no slavery or unequal attitude should be established in the former Mexican territories and he protected the ideas of southern parties.
The presidential elections in 1848 presented four main parties including the Whig party, with its representative Zachary Taylor, Democratic Party with Lewis Cass, Free Soil party with by Martin Van Buren and the Party of Liberty with its representative Gerrit Smith. The tension between the supporters of different political ideas and the representatives created the causes for the continuation of Civil War. Zachary Taylor represented the political force that was against slavery, and he had support of the working and middle class of American citizens. Meanwhile, other parties united the representatives of the pro-slavery community that considered it a profitable decision to have slaves and to be able to produce significant amounts of cotton and establish trade with other countries. These controversies and the dissatisfaction with the election results became the basis for the future civil military conflict. Besides, Zachary Taylor did not have the majority of votes and was elected as the minority President. Representatives of the opposing parties were not willing to follow the decisions of the newly elected President and started an opposition campaign against his ideas and views, thus, provoking creation of other parties with abolitionist ideas.
The main provisions of the Articles of Confederation included solving questions of diplomacy, war and peace, questions of western territories, usage of monetary funds within the territory of the country, as well as international debts. The Articles of Confederation supposed that all other questions would be solved by the states. The Articles were agreed and supported by all 13 states. The Articles of Confederation were the first legislative document of America and required significant changes in the following years. Nevertheless, they made a significant mistake establishing a central leading organ that had limited power. The Congress could not control most of the important and state forming decisions and could not change the basic positions of the Articles. The leading barrier for changing the Articles was the necessity of a unanimous decision of all 13 states, and this was impossible.
However, the Articles of Confederation had a long list of weaknesses, as they established significant independent power of states and did not support a strong central power organ. The judicial power was also not determined. The question of territory protection was established, but the Articles did not presuppose the creation of a centralized army and military forces to protect governmental decisions and the territories of states. One of the most significant drawbacks of the Articles was the full power of states to create their own currency without the necessary acceptation of it by other states. This could cause conflicts and competition between states. Besides, the single organ of central power included creation of Congress that would include equal number of representatives from each state. This was considered to be unfair by the states that had a bigger population than others and had less power to influence important decisions. This fact lead to a number of conflicts after the adoption of the Articles of Confederation. The problem of Western lands was solved by the decision to unite the western lands under the control of a central government. The process had to take over 20 years, which meant that the next decision concerning these territories would be determined by the new Constitution of the country.