Perth in Western Australia is sometimes mistaken for Perth in Scotland, and it happens for a reason. In fact, James Stirling, the first governor of Western Australia, named the city after Perth, Scotland in the year 1829 in honour of the birthplace of Sir George Murray, who was the Secretary of State for War and the Colonies, and held that position in the British House of Commons in Perth, Scotland. However, the history of Perth, Western Australia dates back to much earlier, the Aboriginal times.
The United States of America has always had an obsession with guns. Images of patriots firing muskets at Redcoats, cowboys heading out on posses, hunters chasing down buffalo and Special Forces triumphing over extremists are common components of the collective American psyche.
This sets America apart from many other nations. Most Western countries strictly limit gun ownership, and having a gun is not nearly as culturally important for other nations. Why is this?
Though slavery in America has long since been illegal in the United States, the ramifications of the African slave trade that almost broke the new nation are still felt throughout American society, politics, and culture today. While the rest of the world had long engaged in the forced servitude of people throughout history, America was introduced to the first African slaves by Dutch merchants in 1619, which spiraled into more than two hundred years of an economic reliability on slaves. However, the enslavement of Africans in the New World was just one faction of slavery in America, with the forced servitude of Native Americans throughout the American Southwest and California also being present, and resulting in the genocide of many Native Americans throughout the territories.
With the ink of the Revolutionary War Treaty of Paris documents barely dried, the Louisiana Purchase in 1803 took the fledgling American nation from being 13 colonies that stretched to the Mississippi, to a country that encompassed everything from the Atlantic to the Rockies. Not only did the land acquisition of the Louisiana Purchase doubled the small nation’s property, but it proved Thomas Jefferson’s hopes of a farming, agriculturally-led country with a thriving middle class and the dreams of a grand, progressive and democratic society would become a reality.
The very word “West” in American history has all sorts of different connotations; from cowboys and Indians to dust bowls and Davy Crockett, the American West is as diverse as it is expansive. The drive that led the Founding Fathers, and particular Thomas Jefferson, to seek agreements that would allow American soil to stretch from sea to sea, is one that shaped, and shook the very foundations of the republic. American progress has been defined by the Manifest Destiny, a 19th century belief that the growth of the American nation to encompass the entirety of the Americas was inevitable—but it also presented many strifes.