storia d’america

The story of the United States

THE INDIANS – native Americans – came from Asia to Alaska 20.000years ago. Then they settled in the Greta Plains. (The Great Plains are a large expanse of flat land (=pianure) that covers about 10 states of US and part of Canada). They were Nomadic tribes and moved to follow the bison that gave them food, bones and skins.
Men usually hunted, women and children stayed at home.

The Europeans started settling in America after 1942. The Spaniards went to the South, the French to the North and the British to the East coast. Most of the British colonists were Puritans that escaped the religious persecution and left for America on board of the Mayflower in 1620. They arrived in winter and found a very difficult life. The Indians helped them and, the following year, the British settlers celebrated the Thanksgiving day to thank the native people.

The British government (King George III) protected the new colonies but they had to pay heavy (pesanti) taxes. After 10 years of protests the American war of Independence started (1775). On July 4th 1776 the American colonies signed the Declaration of Independence from the British government. In 1783 British and Americans signed the Treaty of Paris which recognize the independence of the first 13 states of America. Their president was George Washington. The other American countries were dominated by the different European nations.

In the Southern states there was another form of immigration, the black slaves from Africa. (16th century) The Indians were too weak to work hard and most of them died, so the Europeans took the African people and sent them to work in the plantations. Many slaves went to Brazil, others to the Caribbean Islands and the rest to the southern states of the U. S..

When Abraham Lincoln became President of America in 1860, he wanted to abolish slavery. In 1861 a violent conflict started between the industrialized countries of the North and the agricultural states of the south that wanted to maintain slavery, the American Civil War.
The war finished in 1865 with the victory of the North. The northern General Grant and the southern General Lee met in 1865 and agreed on the terms to end the war.
In 1863 Lincoln had already signed the Emancipation Act which declared the end of slavery. Unfortunately, the southern states did not accept the new situation and the blacks continued being persecuted. The segregation laws did not permit marriage between black and white people, they could not attend the same schools and could not sit on the same carriages. The blacks were paid less than the whites and could not vote.

After the Civil War the southern states became very poor. It was difficult for cow boys to sell their cattle (bestiame) and they had to take them to big cities like Chicago. The trip was long and difficult. They met Indians, they had to build new town where to rest, but the new territories were places without laws were crime and prostitution proliferated.
Fortunately, the advent of the railway partially solved the problems. Cow boys did not need to ride with their cows, and farmers started settling in the East creating new towns.

The 20th century saw new waves (ondate) of immigrants from all over the world because of the great industrial development of the U.S.. America became a multiracial place but it was difficult to solve the problems of different cultures living together.

America took part in the two World wars. After 1945 there was a period of hostility between America and USSR called the cold war.

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