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American History: Crucial Figures and Documents Essay

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John Adams

John Adams was a United States of American politician who was born 30th October 1735 and died in July 1826. He was also a political philosopher who became the first vice president of the United States between 1789 and 1797; he served as the vice president for two terms and later became second president of the United States of America in the period running from 1797 to 1801. In 1776, John Adams participated in convincing the Congress to make a declaration of independence besides assisting Thomas Jefferson in the process of drafting the declaration of independence of the United States of America. Needless to say, John Adams was father of the sixth president of the United States o f America, John Quincy. John Adams largely wrote the new constitution of Massachusetts that was ratified in 1780. He can be credited with his zealous participation to have the declaration of independence of the United States of America, a state that the United States takes pride in and enjoys (Adams, 1977).

Bill of Rights

A bill of rights is a constituent of the most crucial rights granted to the citizens of a country. The main purpose of the bill of rights is to defend such rights from being abused or infringed by the government or the state agents. The term originated from England where it was used to make reference to the Bill of Rights of 1689. The bill of right can either be entrenched and therefore cannot be adjusted by the legislatures of a nation by use of the normal procedure; in this case, any modification of such rights requires the use of supermajority is a conducted referendum or the rights can be unentrenched where they are considered as normal statutes and therefore, does not require a referendum. This implies that the legislators of a country can freely amend or modify the rights at will. In the United States of America, Bill of Rights is used to refer to the first ten amendments that were done to the constitution of the United States. At the time of the amendments, the rights provided citizens with freedom of worship, speech and expression, assembly and association. Because of the bill of rights, the United States of American people have continued to enjoy these rights and freedoms (Adams, 1977).

Declaration of Independence

Declaration of independence is an affirmation of independence of a hopeful state or states. Regions are normally declared from a part the whole of a territory of another country. Sometimes a declaration of independence can also be done on a failed state or a territory that has broken away from a larger country or state. In the case of the United States of America, the declaration of independence is a proclamation that done was done of July 4, 1776 by the Continental Congress. The declaration of independence announced the independence of 13 American colonies which by then were in conflict with Great Britain. The States of America no longer were part of the British Empire. It meant that the American people would no longer be under the rule of the British besides offering inspiration that contributed to French Revolution. The declaration also set the Americans free from the oppressions of King George III of England. The States of America are still independent and the American people are no longer under the rule of Britain. This implies that Great Britain no longer have authority on what takes place within the American States (Jayne, 200).

English Revolution

The term “English Revolution” has been used to refer to two singular events that occurred in the history of England in 1688. The process of the events saw the replacement of James II by William III as the monarch. The revolution constituted fears conflict between the members of parliament and the Royalists. The first event of the revolution took place from 1642 and lasted up to 1646, and then the second event lasted from 1648 to 1649. One of the greatest achievements of the English Revolution was it set the territory free from hereditary monarchy headed by a king; England was then transformed into a government formed and guided by the constitution and the powers of the king were subsequently limited by the legislations of the parliament. The revolution set into motion the series of changes in the way England was governed. The balance of power that was achieved by the revolution between the crown and the parliament made the activities of the English government to be more credible than before. The events also led to a financial revolution that ensured equitable distribution of resources. The final result of the revolution was the subsequent economic development that has affected the region positively to date (Grahame, 1836).

Olaudah Equiano

Olaudah Equiano is also known as Gustavus Vassa. He was one of the most famous and radical Africans who were involved in the British movement that pressurized for the abolition of slave trade. He greatly participated in influencing the legislatures of British colonialists to invoke the 1807 slave trade Act to put an end to the slave trade. He was captured and made to be one of the slaves while still a young man; however, he acquired his freedom by trade after which he started engaging into serious activities such as authoring books, doing business and exploring parts of South America. He also explored parts of Caribbean, the arctic, the United Kingdom and the colonies of America. He was educated and converted to Christianity thereby becoming Methodists. Olaudah Equiano is mostly remembered for his influence and contribution to calls for the abolition of slave trade.

Benjamin Franklin

Benjamin Franklin is one of the greatest founders of the United States of America. He was born in 1706 and died 1790. Benjamin Franklin was not just a politician, but also a well established author and also did lots of printing. Besides, he was also a political scientist, theorists, served in the military, Statesman and an activist. Benjamin Franklin played a major role in campaigns that pressed for the achievement of colonial unity. He is described as an exemplifier in the then upcoming Nation of America. Benjamin Franklin was also very vocal in the formation of the American democratic values, practical ethics, community spirit and teamwork, hard work, enlightenment and greatly opposed any form of authoritative governance, both political and religious. Moreover, he advocated for independent institutions. He made build the nation of America: he authored and published making books that enlightened Americans; he invented lightning rod, bifocal glasses, urinary catheter and Franklin stove amongst others. Today, the United States of America still benefits from the contribution of Benjamin Franklin both in the liberation of American states and in the field of scientific discoveries.

French and Indian War

This is a phrase used by the United States to refer to the war that took place between Great Britain and France. The war took place from 1754 to 1763 in North America; it is important to note that the war turned into Seven Years War in 1756. The main reason for the war was the confluence of rivers Allegheny and Monongahela. The French and Indian War made the British paid attention to the colonies of North America for the first time and asserted its military supremacy. The British permitted the colonial assemblies to tom supervise the instructions that came from the royal governors. The colonies were also permitted to pass legislations that suited their own needs. The French and Indian War was one of the forces that liberated America from the control of the British powers.

George III

George III was called George William Fredrick. He became the ruling King of Ireland between 1760 and 1801. After 1801, he also served as the King of the United King and Ireland until the time of his passing on. The American Revolutionary War took place during his reign as the King. He lost the control over the American colonies. Earlier on, he had supported war against America though he did not actually participate in the organization of the wars. However, he was not strong enough to enlist the loyalty of the Americans. His loss of the control of America was a major factor that contributed to the American quest and success to liberate them from British control. This was coupled by the fact that he intermittently became mentally ill and that he was not all that intelligent as to assert his authority. He never took counsel of his officials leading to hate against him by his close officials.

Glorious Revolution

Glorious Revolution is also known as the revolution of 1688. The Glorious Revolution was an overthrow of King James II of England by the forces from the parliamentarians. The Glorious Revolution was bloodless and hence the name by which it is referred to. James II had planned to rule despotically and bring back England to Catholicism. During the reign of Charles II, it was required that those who wanted to get into the military must accept to be Anglican converts and follow the Anglican principles. When James II came to the throne, he favored Catholic and hence wanted to bring England back to principles of Catholic. He sympathized with his fellow Catholics and even appointed them into positions. His actions were viewed as high handedness and the parliament could not tolerate such actions thereby overthrowing him. He sought asylum in France. His overthrow saved a situation that would have arisen due to his high-handedness.

Patrick Henry

Patrick Henry is prominently known by his famous speech of “Give me Liberty, or give me Death!” He is also distinguished amongst the founding fathers of the United States of America. He was born 1736 and past on in the year 1799. Most importantly, Patrick was one of the most prominent radicals who campaigned for the American insurgency and also Republicanism. Besides he detested corruption by government officers and defended historic rights. However, Patrick was a seriously against federalism and opposed it with zeal and was in the front line in directing others (anti-federalists) against the substitution of the ‘Article of Confederation’ with the Constitution of the United States on the assertion that doing so would result in jeopardy of individual rights as well as freedom that had been achieved earlier on. He was of the opinion that the Americans should take up their arms and fight for their freedom; an idea that was supported by most American citizens. He also pressed for the adoption of the Bill of Rights that granted the American people certain fundamental freedoms and rights that are still protected by the American constitution to-date.

Iron industry

Iron industry is an industry where metal products are manufactured from iron. Iron is naturally extracted from iron ore which is got from rocks and minerals. The development of the Iron industry in the United States of America started in 1855. The iron industry started at a time when the industrial revolution had taken effects and productions for the market were growing at a higher rate. The need to use machines for production of industrial goods increased at a very high rate. In that case, the development of the iron industry made a major contribution towards propelling industrial revolutions. Iron products were used in the manufacture of machines and other metallic capital goods. For the United States, the industry played a significant role in economic development. The Iron industry continues to play a very significant role in the development of the states as some of the industrial productions like the car industry still depend on the use of iron as row materials.

Iroquois Nation

Iroquois Nation is compost of the indigenous people of North America and is otherwise known as the Haudenosaunee. The Iroquois unified together in an organization called the Iroquois confederation otherwise also known as the confederation of tranquility and Power. The original homeland location of Iroquois was situated in upstate New York. During the American uprising, the Iroquois took side with the British (forces) making the Americans attack their homeland (in 1779) and drove most of them to the southern parts (of Ontario) where they have stayed upto date. The series of discourse that came after the American Revolutionary War saw the motherland of Iroquois offered to the New York land investors. Despite the treatise, some of the Iroquois declined to leave New York and have since remained their. The structure of the Iroquois Nation was a source of inspiration to American colonists’ development of the government of the United States of America. The chiefs of the nation were invited during the meeting of the Continental Congress. Upto date, the statutes of the Iroquois people has not been altered and it continues to inform Grant Council of the Longhouse people and has also exerted a great influence of external nations.

Jamestown

Jamestown is a region that was the Virginia Colony; it is located on Jamestown Island and is considered to be the first permanent settlement of the English people in the now known United States of America. Its location and importance at the time is due to the fact that it would offer the best opportunity of defense against the other European forces. It was also founded for trade purposes; in this case, the Jamestown was also developed into existence by traders to make quick returns on gold minerals besides achieving religious freedoms. During its early stages of development, the inhabitants did not work due to the fact that they used to have slaves back in England. It was until they were told to work and get food or else they would die. Its importance was noted during the period of the American Revolution in which the military base was established on it; the military base was serving as a place where America solders and the British soldiers were exchanged. For the current Americans, Jamestown is now being used to refer to sponsored attraction by the Commonwealth of Virginia. The attraction was started in 1957 as the Festival Park of Jamestown.

Thomas Jefferson

He was the third president of the Unite State of America. He was born in 1743 and past on in 1826. He is recorded as the chief author of the Declaration of Independence of the United States of America. He is also credited as one of the founding fathers of the United States Jefferson is also known for the historical support he had for the Republicanism. His drafting of the Declaration of American independence document that was later revised in the Congress helped set the United States of America free from the British rule and power. The American people till enjoys the fruits of independence that Thomas Jefferson critically participated in drafting and ratifying.

Lexington

Lexington is a township situated in Middlesex County which is located in Massachusetts. The popularity of the town is due to it being the first scene where the first incident of the infamous American Revolution took place in 1775. Lexington is also mostly known for its historical homes to numerous historical premises, monument and also parks. Within the town is situated monuments that represents where the Battle war was started, the American Revolution which is recorded as the oldest war memorial still standing. The town currently serves as one of the main tourists’ attractions in the United States of America. It therefore contributes to the United States of America revenues. It is still important to the American citizens and serves to remind them of the struggle the forefathers put to liberalize the states.

Massachusetts Bay Company

This was an English founded company was chartered and established the Massachusetts Bay colony in New England. The company later took over Dorchester Company which was responsible for the establishment of a fishing colony in 1623 and was short-lived. Massachusetts Bay Company was one of the only chartered companies that were independent of board of governors in England; the company was formed by some Puritan businessmen. In 1684, the charter was withdrawn thereby ending the existence of the company and in1691, Massachusetts was made a royal colony by a new charter and its jurisdiction was stretched to cover Plymouth and Marine. Massachusetts Bay Company first existed as a profit making company but later was transformed into an organization with religious leaning dominated by Puritans. The Massachusetts Bay Company was also known as Massachusetts Bay Colony and was the origin of many ideals that supported the American Revolution. The Colony is significant in terms of its contribution to the fight for the American independence and self governance since the inhabitants of the colony were composed of people who supported self-governance ideals (Ayers et al, 2008).

Mid-Passage

The Middle-Passage is called so because it was the middle part of a three-part expedition that ended in the Europe. The first part of the voyage transported merchandise that included clothes, firearms and cloths which were exchanged for African slaves at the African coasts, the second part involved transportation of Africans to America where they were then exchanged for items like sugar and other commodities and the last part involved taking back the ship to Europe. It is clear that the Mid-Passage coincided with America where slaves were transported to. The Passage enabled the Americans to trade and own slaves who they used for economic benefits. Currently the United States of America includes African-Americans who originated from America and whose presence in the nation is attributed to the Middle-Passage (Ayers et al, 2008).

Pequot War

This was an armed war that took place between 1634 and 1638 between an alliance of Massachusetts Bay and the colonies of Plymouth. The conflict was organized against the tribe of Pequot. Mainstream of the Pequot ethnic groups were executed while others were sold to become slaves in Bermuda. Following were series of war that saw the Pequot members defeated and later submitted themselves as slaves to buy their lives. The religious Puritan people managed to conquer and had mythical influence in the process of establishing policies in the colonial America for three centuries that followed. Due to the war, the members of Pequot commemorate the anniversary of the Mystic massacre annually. This has significant to the tribe as it enables them to reflect back on their historical experiences in pre-independent America.

Pilgrims

Pilgrims are those who embark on pilgrimages which literally refer to a field or place that is far. It is always done on religious bases. It was mostly practiced by Christians, Muslims and other religious groups. The pilgrims were the first native of America from the West and were religious Puritans. The pilgrims established public education in their colonies thereby enlightening the people in the region; they also established democratic governance and believed in self-reliance. In fact the idea of self reliance led to the events leading to American Revolution. Their interest in public affairs still has influence over two hundred years later. The government interest in public affairs has become very important in n today’s American society.

Puritans

They consisted of a group of Protestants (i.e. in the 16th & 17th centuries). Puritanism was instituted by Marian (exiles) that were from the clergy. This took place in 1559. Puritanism provided a good foundation for the democracy in America that was beneficial to the people at then and the current citizens.

Quartering Act

This was an act that was passed by the Parliament of Britain to make sure that the British troops would be appropriately stationed and well fed during their service period in the North America. The Quartering Act was a source of conflict in the colonies and became one of the issues addressed in the document of the Declaration of Independence. The act required that the American people provide food to the British solders without pay. The rebellion against the act became one of the driving forces of the American Revolution that saw American get independence and enjoy democratic governance.

Revolutionary War

This was a war that was fought between the patriots of America and the British troops in 1775. The aim of the War was to liberate America and achieve independence of the thirteen states. The war was ended after the signing of the Treaty of Paris. The British colonists later bowed to the pressure and granted the Americans independence. The Americans became free from the British due to the strong and fears revolution that was fought in Lexington. After the war, the thirteen states of America were subjected to self governance. The United States of American citizens still benefit from the achievements of the revolution such as democratic governance.

Roanoke

This is an island found in Dare County and is towards the coast of North Carolina. The island was named after the people who inhabited it during the period of exploration by English men. It was the place where the English established their first colony in the American region. The colony of the island disappeared mysteriously and is historically known as the lost colony. The island constitutes part of the current North Carolina. This becomes one of the interesting fields of inquiry to many academic scholars who are interested in the lost colony.

Salem Witch Trials

These were trials that were linked to issues of witch crafty. A chain of investigations were structured before local magistrates; the local trials were afterward followed by trials in the county courts to put on trial those who were charged of witchrafty. The trials were commonly carried out in Suffolk, Middlesex which were Massachusetts’ colonial counties. The trials were as a result of widespread claim of witchcraft activities in the regions. The trials helped to resolve the issue related to witchcraft in the region thereby alleviating the possible conflicts that might have arisen due to claims of such practices. The story of these accusations has captured great interests of the imaginations of various writers and artists over along period of time now.

Stamp Act

The Stamp Act was formulated in 1765 by the British powers and was meant to impose tax on the British American colonies. The act stipulated that all manufactures on papers had to be generated from Britain and had to bear a revenue stamp that was imprinted. The stamp duty was meant to help Britain to find funds to finance its debts that had grown during the Seven Year War. The Americans later started opposing the Stamp Act which was later repealed 1766. However, the act still also contributed to the Revolution. During the declaration of Independence of America, the Stamp Act was also one of the issues mentioned in Declaration.

U.S. Constitution

The U.S. Constitution is a collection of the supreme laws of the United States of America. It is the premise on which the United States of America exists. The adoption of the constitution, with effect, granted the existence of the United States of America and also recognized the independence of the American people. The constitution embodies the inalienable rights of the American citizens (Stetson, 1997).

Reference List

  1. Adams, J. (1977). Papers of John Adams, Volume 1. United States: Harvard University Press.
  2. Ayers, E. et al. (2008). American Passages. A History in the United States: to 1877. United States: Cengage Learning.
  3. Grahame, J. (1836). The history of the United States of North America, from the plantation of the British colonies till their revolt and declaration of independence, Volume 1. London: Smith, Elder and Co.
  4. Jayne, A. (2000). Jefferson’s Declaration of Independence. Origins, Philosophy, and Theology.United States: University Press of Kentucky.
  5. Stetson, D. (1997). Women’s rights in the U.S.A. Policy debates and gender roles. New York: Taylor & Francis.
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