Chaper 1 From Discovery to Colonies
Chaper 2 Revollutionary War and the New Nation
Chaper 3 The Civil War and Reconstruction
Chaper 4 Westward Expansion and the Frontier
Chaper 5 World War 1 to the Great Depression
Chaper 6 World War 2 and the Cold War
Chaper 7 Upheaval in the sixties
アメリカ合衆国の国旗。stars and stripesとも。横縞は赤が7本、白が6本の計13本、独立当初の13州を示し、青地内の星は全部で50個、現在の州の数を示す。
|The first American||East of the Mississippi||The Big Surprise||Columbus Finds a New World|
|Horses and Guns||Smallpox||England Enters||The Jamestown Colony||The Pilgrims at Plymouth|
|Massachusetts Bay: The Puritans||More Colonies||Hard Labor||The Colonies Grow up|
The first Americans
The story of our country begins with the first people who lived here.
These people are often called Indians because Columbus gave the people he met in the New World the wrong name.
He thought he was in Asia, which he called “Indies”
In this book, we call these people by the term they usually use for themselves, American Indians.
You may also hear them called Native Americans.
The ancestors of the American Indians came from Asia, long, long ago.
They came during the Ice Age when the oceans were lower and Alaska was attached to Asia by a land bridge.
Then about twelve thousand years ago, when the ice melted, the land bridge was covered by ocean water. Twelve thousand years ago!
You can see how long the Indians were have been in America – many centuries before the Greeks and Romans started their cities.
The first Americans who came over the land bridge probably followed the animals they hunted.
They spread from Alaska to the tip of South America.
These people were not all alike.
They must have come from different parts of Asia.
They must have come at different times.
They certainly settled in different types of places in this New World and adapted themselves to the land they settled.
In Mexico and Central and South America they built cities and temples and called themselves the Maya, the Aztecs, and Incas.
East of the Mississippi
Unlike the Plains Indians, who followed the buffalo over great distances, tribes that lived east of the Mississippi tented to remain in smaller areas.
They had what is called a Woodland culture.
That means they found all of their food by fishing, hunting, and gathering berries, fruits, nuts.
Later they began to plant and harvest crops, many of the Eastern tribes built homes out of the materials available around them, like mud or thatch. They planted beans, squash, and pumpkins, but corn or “maize” was the most important crop for most. The idea of growing corn might have come to them from the natives of Mexico. Growing corn and other crops gave some Native American farmers a lot of eat, but it probably tempted others without farms to attack them for food.
The farming tribes had to build stockades around their villages to protect themselves and their crops.
The planting and harvesting of the corn changed the lives of Indian women greatly.
The women usually did all of the back-breaking work in the field.
They cleverly developed farming techniques that improved the life of the tribe.
For instance, the Powhatans in Verginia used rakes made from deer antlers, and wooden hoes.
More and more the men became warriors to protect the crops.
They did the hunting and fishing, too, trapping fish in woven fences called weirs.
There were different groups of Indians in different parts of the East.
Some Indians, who traveled through the forests hunting, set up temporary wigwams and slept on mats The wigwams were tents made of animal skins or bark.
Others lived in more permanent dwelling, like the log-covered longhouses built by the Iroquois.
One chief of the Natchez Indians had a wide bed with painted columns.
And the explore DeSoto met Native Americans who built both summer and winter houses.
During the summer, the tribes who lived in what is now Florida often slept in wooden frames with roofs but no walls.
In the winter they moved into houses with walls plastered in mud.
These houses, when warmed by a fire, stayed hot and night.
The Big surprise
It may seem strange to you, but for thousands of years only a few ships from Europe had “bumped into” North or South America.
The few that had done so were forgotten.
So when Christopher Columbus set sail from Europe, he thought his ship would go straight to Asia.
He also thought it would be a short trip.
He didn’t even know that the huge Pacific Ocean existed.
It was a big surprise when he bumped into land near North and South America.
This is the way it happened.
Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand of Spain had given Columbus ships and sailors to go to Asia, which they called “Indies”.
The King and Queen weren’t interested in finding new continents.
They wanted to get pepper and spices from Asia that they could sell in Europe.
They hoped to make a lot of money.
They also wanted to spread their religion.
Do you think it’s strange that Columbus and the King and Queen would go to all that trouble just for pepper?
Well, they didn’t have refrigerators to keep their meat from spoiling.
Their dinner didn’t taste very good at all!
They believed the pepper would keep the meat fresher, and the spices would cover up other bad taste.
They didn’t know how to grow their own pepper.
Columbus Finds a New World
Columbus and his men set sail for Asia.
They sailed for two months, so long they thought they were lost.
They had only three little ships; the Nina, Pinta, and the Santa Maria.
The sailors were just about to make Columbus turn back when they saw an island.
They thought this was near the “Indies”.
That’s why they gave the natives of America the wrong name.
They called them “Indians”.
Descendants of these natives of America still call themselves Indians, but they are also called Native Americans.
You’ll hear both names in books.
Columbus and his men had come upon a New World.
That was in the year 1492.
You will always remember that if you learn this rhyme:
In fourteen hundred and ninety-two, Columbus sailed the ocean blue.
Horses and Guns
After Columbus claimed the new lands for Spain, many Spaniards came to North and South America.
They battled and defeated the Indians they met.
Are you surprised that small bands of Spanish soldiers could win battles over much larger numbers of Indian warriors?
They won because their weapons were much stronger than those of the Indians.
The Spanish soldiers had sword, guns, and cannons.
The Indians had only spears and arrows.
The Spanish were armor, which is helmet and coat made of steel.
Do you think that would protect them from spears and arrows?
The Indians probably had wood and leather shield.
Would that protect them from Spanish weapons?
Spanish soldiers rode horses, too.
The Indians had never seen a horse before.
They thought the horses and the rider were one animal.
Think how frightening that would be!
But something even more important worked against the Indians.
They caught a disease from Spanish.
The Indians had never been experienced to the disease of the Old World.
When they got smallpox, millions of Indians died before they had the chance to fight the Spanish.
Over one hundred years after Columbus, the Europeans who first settled our country came from England.
For a long time, England had been fighting Spain.
English ships would try to capture Spanish ships coming from America, carrying silver and gold taken from the Aztecs and Incas.
England saw that Spain was going to own a big part of rich “New World”
The men who worked for Queen of England wanted some of the treasure of America for themselves.
An Englishman named Sir Walter Raleigh set out to start a colony in North America.
Several of Sir Walter Raleigh’s ships struggled across the ocean to an island off present-day North Carolina.
But the English people that Raleigh sent over didn’t bother to plant corn.
Instead they dug for gold, which they didn’t find.
To get food, they had to depend on trading for it with Indians.
Does it seem like a very good idea to quarrel with people with who are giving you food?
No! But the English bragged about their cities and their religion because they thought they were so much better than the Indians.
The Indians refused to give them any more food.
So the English had to home.
The Jamestown Colony: Hard Beginning
John Smith was the leader of the Jamestown, the first continuing English colony in America.
There was an English settlement before Jamestown, on an island off what is now North Carolina, but the settlement didn’t last.
In April of 1607, about a hundred English colonists sailed into the Chesapeak Bay off the Virginia coast.
Their voyage across the Atlantic had been paid for by a group called the Virginia Company.
The Virginia Company was made up of people who provided money to pay for the settlement in hopes that they would get back more money in return.
The settlers landed on a site off the James River and called their settlement Jamestown.
The settlers had unknowingly landed in a swampy, mosquito-infected area.
Many settlers died of malaria, disease carried by mosquitos.
Although about one hundred settlers had originally come to Jamestown, by Christmas of the first year, only thirty-two remained alive.
These original settlers came to America to get rich.
They hoped, like the Spaniards who had conquered the Incas and Aztecs, to find gold, silver, and other riches that they could get by trade or force from the American Indians.
But the Jamestown settlers found no gold or silver among the Indians they encountered, who were part of the Algonquim Confederacy.
The settlers were disappointed and began to argue among themselves until John Smith took charge and ordered everyone to work.
Those who did not work, said Smith, would not eat.
Still, there was not enough food at first.
The settlers got some food from the Indian, sometimes by taking it, sometimes by trading things like tools and kettles for corn.
The Indians also wanted English guns, but John Smith would not trade them.
The Pilgrims at Plymouth
The second English colony was Plymouth in what is now Massachusetts.
The Pilgrims arrived here in 1620 on the Mayflower, but their reasons for coming were very different from the Virginia colonies’ reason.
Pligrims could not practice their religion in England without being punished, so they wanted to find a place where no one would bother them.
They set sail for Virginia, but storm blew them much farther north, they finally landed.
The Pilgrims elected William Bradford as their governor.
While still on board the Mayflower, Bradford helped write a plan of government for the Plymouth Colony, called the Mayflower Compact.
The Mayflower Compact is important because it is one of the first times settlers in the New World freely agreed laws by which they would govern themselves.
The people at Plymouth suffered like the first Virginians.
They almost starved, and they too were helped by Algonqui-speaking natives, who gave them corn.
The next year, 1621, they had a good crop and had a celebration to give thanks to God for helping them.
The Indians always held a thanksgiving in the fall, when the crops were safely harvested, so the Pilgrims probably got the idea from them.
Another group of English colonists soon followed the Pilgrims across Atlantic to New England.
They were called Puritans because they wanted to “purify” or change the Church of England.
They thought their Church and country were becoming corrupt.
The English King Charles Ⅰ, didn’t trust the Puritans and didn’t like the changes they sought.
He threw many Puritans in jail and kept others from holding important jobs.
In 1629 a determined group of Puritans decided to leave England and settle in America. They hoped to establish a Christian community that, they believed, would become an example for the world to see.
“We must consider,” said the leader of the Puritans, John Winthrop, “that we shall be a city upon a hill.”
The word from the Bible, “a city upon a hill,” made the Puritans feel that they would be plainly visible to people who would be watching to see if they succeeded or failed.
Soon there were many other colonies between Massachusetts and Virginia, and extending south of Virginia.
In one way or another, the English had a hand in the development of these colonies. Even the colony that the Dutch had begun was soon taken over by a brother of the English king, the Duke of York.
Take a look at the map of the thirteen colonies.
Which one belonged to the Duke of York?
Two other colonies were, like the Massachusetts Bay colony, started by people seeking the freedom to practice their religious beliefs.
In England, Catholics and Quakers were sometimes punished for their beliefs.
So many Catholics and Quakers decided to leave their homes and make the hard voyage across the Atlantic to gain the freedom to worship as the chose.
The colony of Maryland was started by Catholic, Lord Baltimore.
The colony of Pennsylvania was started by a Quaker, William Penn.
Both Maryland and Pennsylvania provided safe places for the colonists to practice the religion of their founders.
They also allowed people to practice other faiths, unlike the Puritans in Massachusetts.
Because the new colonies between Massachusetts and Virginia allowed people to worship freely, and because they had good land, they grew quickly.
They became a safe haven for people from many different countries, not just for English.
Sephardic Jews from Spain and Portugal found a home with the Dutch of New York.
People from almost every country in Europe immigrated to New Jersey, Delaware, and Pennsylvania.
One large group of people who came to the colonies did not want to come.
They were brought from Africa as slaves.
When these people from Africa were put on ships for America, their lives changed overnight.
They were taken from their families and countries, and they had such terrible voyages to the New World it’s hard to believe anyone stayed alive.
The first group of Africans arrived at Jamestown.
Like many people who came from England, these Africans probably came as indentured servants, not slaves.
Being indentured usually meant they had to work hard several years for a wealthy man who had paid for their passage to America.
They received food, clothes, and shelter but no money.
When their years of service were up, they were given tools, and they went off to find land of their own as best they could.
But big landowners weren’t happy when their indentured servants left.
They wanted more and more workers to plant tabacco.
Workers were also needed on the big rice plantations farther south, and also on some farms in the North.
Pretty soon, laws were passed in Virginia and elsewhere that said the Africans would have to spend their entire lives who came to the United States were brought as slaves.
The Colonies Grow Up
We have heard how hard it was for the first colonists in Virginia and Massachusetts just to get started.
We know they were helped by the Indians, but then turned around and fought them.
We’ve also heard how the first colonies grew and how more colonies were started.
By 1763 there were around two million people in the thirteen English colonies!
Cities were slowly growing.
New York City, Boston (in present-day Massachusetts), and Charleston (in present-day South Carolina) were busy trading centers.
From them tobacco, wheat, lumber, rice, and furs were exported mostly to Britain, and into them came manufactured goods from Britain.
Philadelphia, designed by William Penn to be a “green country town” with five parks, by 1775 became the second largest city in Britain Empire.
Only London was bigger.
So you might think of Britain and her thirteen colonies as being like a mother with children who have grown up.
The colonies had been getting along with one another and the mother country fairly well. Also the colonies had helped Britain fight the French in America, although not as much as Britain wanted.
In return, Britain protected the colonies.
|The Parent Says "NO"||Britain Wants Money||The "Boston Masasacre"||The Boston Tea Party|
Yes, by 1763 the colonists thought themselves to be grown-up.
They were happy that the French were finally gone.
Imagine their annoyance when Britain suddenly told them not to do something very important not move westward anymore!
The Indians were to keep the land west of the Appalachian mountains.
Britain was going to take over France’s place in buying furs from them.
Britain was tired of fighting and tired of playing for it.
There was another big problem.
To pay for the wars it was fighting elsewhere, Britain wanted more money from the colonies and began increasing taxes.
Britain had earlier given the Virginians the right to have an assembly where they could decide how to run the colony.
By 1763, all the colonists were used to electing their own assemblies, and said that no one could tax them except their own representatives in their own legislatures.
The British also started passing other laws that colonists found unfair.
The colonists were told they had to find houses for British troops, for example.
Many of the colonists began to believe the British government and its King, George Ⅲ, were trying to take anything their rights.
Colonists from all classes, from lawyers to laborers, were angry.
Many refused to buy British goods until Parliament took away one of the taxes, the Stamp Tax.
The British gave away and removed the tax, but the argument grew worse anyway.
The British sent home the legislature of New York, and they sent British soldiers, called “Redcoats” for the color of their uniforms, to Boston.
The trouble started at Boston Harbor on a cold day in March 1770.
Some British soldier were standing guard duty.
A group of colonists began to throw snowballs at the soldiers and call them names.
A crowd gathered, and in the crowd was a man named Crispus Attucks, who had escaped from slavery when he was young and became a sailor.
We don’t know exactly what Attucks and the other colonists did when they gathered at Boston Harbor.
But we do know that at some point the Redcoats fired their guns, killing five colonists including Crispus Attucks, and wounding eight more.
That’s why the incident is called the “Boston Massacre.”
News of the “massacre” shocked all the colonist.
It even caused the British to take back, or repeal, more of their taxes.
Things were fairly quiet for a while, but then a new British government gave an unfair advantage to a British tea company so it could sell its tea to the colonists at a cheaper price than anyone else.
To stop that in December 1773, some Bostonians disguised themselves as Indians and dumped chests full of the company’s tea into Boston Harbor.
Colonists joked that they had given a “Boston tea party.”
The British were furious and closed off Boston’s port until the colony paid for the tea.
They also took away some of the other rights of Massachusetts.
Colonists everywhere were shocked again, and they sent help to Massachusetts.
They also sent leaders to meet Philadelphia to talk about what to do next.
This gathering in September 1774 was called the Continental Congress.
The Congress decided the colonies would not buy British goods until British government repealed the many acts that upset the colonists.
The colonists wanted the Stamp Act repealed and Boston Harbor reopened.
They were tired of feeding and housing British soldiers.
And they felt they should not be taxed by the British legislature (Parliament) because they had no say, or representation, in Parliament’s decisions.
They cry of “no taxation without representation” swept through the colonies.