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    The Condensed UnillustratedHistoryNote: things in brackets [these things] are my comments

    Chapter 1.Between 50,000 and 15,000 years ago people from western

    Asia migrated over Beringia [where the Bering Strait is] to Alaska.The fertile land and abundant food tempted them to movethroughout North and South America. These people are calledIndians, Native Americans, American Indians, Amerindians orAmerinds [Ill call them Indians]. They had differing lives, beliefs,traditions, languages and histories. Neighboring peoples might

    speak languages as different as Hungarian and English, and theymight be friends or enemies who were at constant war. Somewere hunter-gatherers, some grew crops, some fished, and theylived in groups ranging from large families to villages of severalthousand. Since peoples [some like to call different nationstribes but its not correct!] moved into new territories and theircultures changed through time it is difficult to generalize aboutIndians. In 1500 there might have been between 250,000 and 10million people living where the US is today.

    Chapter 2.In October 1492 Christopher Columbus (a Portuguese-trained

    Italian mariner working for Spain), landed on the islands off thesoutheast coast of America. There had been Europeans in Americabefore this, but their visits did not have an impact on the historyof either continent. Spain soon made colonies on the Caribbeanislands and sent military expeditions that conquered the richAztec and Inca empires in Central and South America. Spanishexplorers from the colonies in Mexico and Cuba would later

    explore the western and southern US territory. [even though thisis not the United States and there are no states yet I am going tocall it the US and give states for locations].

    In 1539-1543 the Spaniards Hernando de Soto and FranciscoCoronado made expeditions into much of the southern US. DeSoto, sailing from Cuba, landed in Florida and traveled west,crossing the Mississippi River and going into Texas and Oklahoma.

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    Coronado traveled north from Mexico and reached the centralPlains region. Later, Spain would build settlements in the US. Theoldest is St. Augustine, Florida (1565), then Santa Fe, New Mexico(1609). Very few Spanish lived in these places.

    In 1497-98 the Italian mariner, John Cabot [his Englishname], working for England, reached Canada and explored thenortheast US coast. Another Italian, Giovanni Verrazano, was hiredby France to explore America. In 1524 he sailed along the Atlanticcoast and discovered the harbor of New York. In 1534 the French

    Jacques Cartier also explored Canada and the St. Lawrence River,but not as far south as the US.

    The European countries would use these early explorationsto claim they owned American territory.

    Chapter 3.In 1585 a group of about 100 English settlers landed on

    Roanoke Island, North Carolina. Sir Walter Raleigh led them. Theircolony failed and they returned to England, but in 1587 Raleightried another group of colonists. By 1590 this colony haddisappeared and no one knows what happened.

    In 1607 England established another colony. It was in Virginiaand the colonists named their settlement Jamestown. This was abusiness venture from a group of investors, the Virginia Company,

    and the colonists were their employees. They hoped to find gold,like the Spanish had. The colonists searched for gold and did notknow how to do manual labor like chopping trees or growing food.

    They died of starvation, disease and Indian attacks: about 75% ofthe colonists died the first year. The Virginia Company sent newcolonists and slowly Virginia began to succeed. In 1613 theybegan sending valuable tobacco to England. But by 1624 thecompany was bankrupt and the English government took controlof Virginia.

    In America it was hard to get enough workers, and in Englandthere were too many workers and not enough opportunity. Most ofthe colonists in the southern colonies would arrive to America asindentured servants: they made a contract to work for a period(usually 5-7 years) in exchange for travel to America and food,housing and clothing. Some English people were convicts or

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    orphans, but most of them chose to move to America. The firstAfricans arrived in the US in 1619.

    Chapter 4.In 1620 a group of extremist Anglicans arrived in America.

    They had left England because they felt the Anglican Church wastoo much like the Catholic church and wanted to purify it. Theyare called Puritans, and were strongly influenced by Calvinism.

    The Virginia Company agreed to let them settle in northernVirginia, where they could form their own colony, but their ship,the Mayflower, got lost and landed instead on Cape Cod,Massachusetts (near Boston). Because they were far from anygovernment they decided to make an agreement amongthemselves. This important Mayflower Compact set up a

    government to make fair laws, change them when necessary, andthe signers promised to obey the laws and to work together (thisis a main foundation of American government). Only half the 100settlers survived the first winter, but other Puritans joined theircolony. This colony was called Plymouth Plantation (also spelledPlymouth, named for the Plymouth in England), and a larger groupof Puritans began another colony near Boston. This becameMassachusetts colony in 1691. Puritans felt they should have anideal community, and it was under strict religious control. People

    who would not obey were exiled or killed. The minister RogerWilliams believed that the government and religion should beseparate and in 1535 he escaped the Massachusetts authoritiesand founded the colony of Rhode Island, where people couldfollow whatever religion they liked.

    Other colonies developed on the Atlantic coast. Some wereprivate property, like Pennsylvania [which promised religiousfreedom and attracted Germans, Swiss, Irish and Scots as well asEnglish], or were crown colonies. New York, a Dutch colonyoriginally called New Amsterdam, was conquered by the English in1664.

    Chapter 5.By 1733 the British colonies were [north to south]: New

    Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Delaware,New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, North

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    Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia. There were regionaldifferences:

    New England (Massachusetts and its neighbors) was rocky,cold, and suitable for small farms and fishing or trade. The MiddleColonies (New York, Pennsylvania) had more religious tolerance, ahigh number of Germans, Dutch and Swedes, and better land forfarming. The main city, Philadelphia, was the largest Americancity (in 1770 it had 28,000 inhabitants [and was the secondlargest English city after London]). The Southern Colonies [theones named for rulers, Virginia, the Carolinas and Georgia] wereagricultural and the wealthy landowners had huge estates. Almostall American colonists lived within 100 km. of the coast, and/orclose to rivers. Most were farmers, but there were a few importantcities (Philadelphia, Boston, New York) as centers of trade with

    England. As more colonists arrived [the population was 1 million in1750] they moved away from the coast. Settlers often made smallfarms in the wilderness. Starting around 1760 they began to settlewest of the Appalachian Mountains in Kentucky and Tennessee.Since they had to rely on themselves, the pioneers had to beindependent, self-reliant, hardworking, democratic andcooperative [American ideals even today].

    Chapter 6.

    Britain and France fought throughout the 18th century. InNorth America, France claimed Canada, Louisiana [the territory,not the state; the territory was about 25% of the modern US], andsome islands. Ren La Salle, a French fur trader, had explored theMississippi Valley [the river valley, not the state] in the 1670s. In1756 the British and French began the French and Indian War [inEurope, the Seven Years War. All the wars had different namesfor America and Europe]. The other wars had only had smallskirmishes in America, but the French and Indian War had a lot offighting in North America. In 1763 the French gave up its claims toCanada and the US east of the Mississippi River [the treaty wascalled the Peace of Paris].

    Britain won the war, but the victory was hard on the colonies.Before the 1760s the British government had not interfered muchin colonial life, and the French threat made the Americans dependon British defense. This changed after 1763. King George III had

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    decreed that colonists would not move west of the AppalachianMountains because they were in conflict with the Indians there.

    They had to pay special taxes because the war had beenexpensive and the British soldiers had to stay in America. Itseemed reasonable to the British government that the Americanspay more than average British citizens because they were costingmore. But many colonists objected to the taxes, and began toorganize against them.

    Among the new taxes and laws was the 1765 Stamp Act.Colonists had to buy special tax stamps for things likenewspapers, wills, contracts, marriage licenses, playing cards,bills of sale, and other legal papers [the Stamp Act, therefore,taxed almost everyone in the colonies]. All the American colonieshad local governments [assemblies made up of local men, but

    with royal governors]. These local assemblies traditionally hadcontrol of taxes; since they controlled the money they couldpartially control the governors.

    In 1765 representatives from nine colonies formed a StampAct Congress to organize opposition to the Stamp Act. They, andmany colonists, bel

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