-NOVELAS DE REFERENCIA: THE SCARLETT LETTER, THE RED BADGE OF COURAGE
1. THE ORIGIN OF THE USA:
1607: Jamestown founded: Idealism, colonizing projects, self interest and religion.
2 settlements (opposite):
SOUTH (Virginia): Economic (tobacco and cotton) > African slaves. The church hadlittle influence. Rigid social structure.
NORTH (New England): Religious > Individualism and egalitarianism. Puritans (Mayflower, Plymouth) > Calvinism (Geneva).
2. THE WAR OF INDEPENDENCE (OR AMERICAN REVOLUTION) (1775-1783)
The American Revolution has many similarities with the ones that followed: It was a colonial war and its goal was independence (like later in Latin America, Asia orAfrica). It was a rebellion against monarchy, substituted by a republic. It was a civil war, but the fight didn’t oppose two big sections of the country (it was fought in every syate, county and village). The result was a creation of a nation which was different from those of the Old World. New principles in the relation of men to government: constitutionalism.
It also has some differences: It was acivil war, but not a class war (all the classes were represented on both sides). It was a revolution, but power was not taken over by a group of extremists (no dictatorship, no reign of terror). It brought about democratic reform > egalitarian principles.
ORIGINS OF THE WAR
What had held the Empire together were common interests and common enemies. However, conflicts between Britain and thecolonies began to arise. Americans and Englishmen were not of one mind in their understanding of the constitution. From 1754 to 1763 there was a great war between Britain and France in North America. Officers of the government in London were interested primarily from a military point of view. They proposed to require the colonials to bear a share of the cost of running the expanded territory thatwas acquired for their own protection, but the colonials refused. Besides, Englishmen denied the recognision of the legislative power of the elective assemblies, saying that just the King and the Parliament had the power in America.
Colonials rejected all the taxes and restrictions: Sugar Act (taxes and commercial regulation); Stamp Act (designed to produce colonial revenues and thus reduce theheavy tax burden on Britain; stamps added to newspapers, pamphlets, legal documents... REPEALED); Declaratory Act (asserting the Parliament’s right to legislate for the colonies; Townshend Acts (external taxes on import lead, glass, paint, paper and tea... it led to BOYCOTTIN English products... REPEALED); Tea Act (it gave monopoly of tea in America to the East India Company, trying to save itfrom bankruptcy > colonial response: Boston Tea Party; Intolerable Acts (strangulating set of commercial restrictions > Colonial reaction: calling of a CONTINENTAL CONGRESS in 1775 > Violence between British troops and colonial militias).
THE STRUGGLE FOR INDEPENDENCE
Brilliant young propagandists (Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, James Wilson, Alexander Hamilton...) closed tracts thatessentially denied all power of Parliament over the colonies. Early in 1776 resistance hardened into war and more people supported independence. On July 2, 1776, Congress voted for Independence and on July 4 it published the Declaration of Independence, written by Jefferson. Soon there were two divisions in the Congress, those who wanted a strong governement (South and Middle colonies) and those whoopposed monarchy, central governement and executive authority and wanted dominant local groups > Republicans (New England). Republicans prevailed until 1780. The USA adopted the Articles of Confederation and every state adopted a new constitution. France and Spain supported the colonies against Britain.
1783: Treaty of Paris, recognizing American independence and placing the western boundary of the...