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.
Many of us know about the attack on pearl harbor. In fact, America has a day of remembrance known as Pearl Harbor day. The picture of attack planes flying overhead, shooting at American ships and personnel has been ingrained into the words Pearl Harbor. The effects of such an attack were widespread, for it signaled America’s entry into World War Two, the creation of the Pacific Theatre of War and led to a long, brutal conflict with Imperialist Japan.
World War 2 was a theater of great horror and terror, but it was also home to many a story of courage, strength, bravery and ingenuity. While we can easily look at who was in the right and who was in the wrong today, in the thick of the war, each side was convinced that they were in the right. The Nazi’s and German soldiers fought for a cause they believed in, they fought for their country, for their family, even for their faith. When the terrible truth about the Holocaust emerged, and was thrown in front of those who had no idea of such things, they wept and trembled at what they had seen. German civilians, after the war, were forced to march through concentration camps and see what horrors had been committed by the government. A great many recoiled in terror.
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.