US & Canada from 1200-present

Native Americans

Key Features of Iroquois:

  • Lived east of Mississippi River

  • Cultivated on large farms owned by multiple families

  • Hunted wild game

  • Trade was important, people would travel the rivers to trade throughout Eastern US

  • Built huge mounds for ceremonial purposes​​

    • Most important mound is Cahokia

Key Features of Navajo, Pueblo, Chaco, Mesa Verde:

  • Used rivers for irrigation

  • Cultivated maize, squash, sunflowers

  • Built buildings out of stone and adobe

  • Lived in American Southwest


English, French, & Dutch Colonization

  • English, French, & Dutch didn't have much royal support for administration
    • These colonists had to form governing assemblies themselves
  • They developed good relations with the indigenous people
    • French & occasionally English & Dutch traded fur with the indigenous
    • They allied with indigenous tribes to attack other indigenous tribes to trap the fur from beavers
    • Couldn't spread Christianity easily as the indigenous weren't sedentary & moved around often

American Revolution

Causes of the American Revolution

  • British ruled East Coast of present-day US since 1600s
    • Had local governing councils but also some support from the British crown
  • In late 1700s, British started levying taxes on certain American purchases, like stamps, tea, etc.

    • Sought to raise money for the British Crown to help pay off war debts

    • Americans (colonists of the US) revolted, chanted "no taxation without representation"

  • One problem was that about 25% of Americans were loyalists (people loyal to British) & opposed independence

    • Thomas Paine published a pamphlet, Common Sense, urged people to fight for independence


Events of the American Revolution

British levied taxes on Americans without giving them representation in British parliament

French forces joined the war in 1777 against the British as they rivaled the British since losing the 7 years' war

Americans revolted, independence war started in 1775

Americans signed Declaration of Independence on 7/4/1776

French troops helped American troops win in 1781 as British surrendered

Canadian Independence

Causes of Canadian Independence

  • Canada was home to English & French-speaking people
    • Descendants of British & French fur trappers
    • Many British loyalists moved to Canada after US independence
    • French & English were united with fear of US
  • The War of 1812 promoted more anti-US feelings
    • US attacked Britain due to its encroachment on US during Napoleonic Wars
    • US tried to attack Canada but Canada won
  • John George Lambton wrote Durham Report, advocated for self-government 

Events of Canadian Independence

John George Lambton (governor-general of Canada) wrote Durham Report in which he advocated for self-government in Canada

Britain peacefully agreed to give Canadian independence while maintaining some administrative power in Canada. British North America Act of 1867 created Canadian Dominion. Each province had lieutenant to represent British crown

John A. MacDonald was 1st president of Canada. Annexed many territories (including British Columbia, Alberta, Northwest Territories). Built Trans-Canadian Railroad 

Compare & Contrast: American vs Canadian Independence

Canadian independence was peaceful while American independence resulted in a 6-year-long war. However, Britain had closer ties to Canada as representatives to the British crown serve in Canada's government, while the US became completely independent from Britain. 

US & Canadian Economic Development

US Economic Growth

  • Britain became wealthy due to its early industrialization & needed places to invest its wealth
    • British invested in its colonies as well as US
    • US economy later outperformed that of Britain
    • British investment helped US recover from Civil War as people didn't have slaves to depend on for labor
    • Helped start textile industry of US Northeast
  • US Transcontinental Railroad was really important
    • Boomed Steel & Iron industries as it depended on those
    • Created methods of larger business organization as many train operators had thousands of employees
    • Created 4 universal time zones in the US
    • Also had environmental damage

Canadian Economic Growth

  • Britain paid high prices for Canadian exports to maintain Canadian prosperity to discourage independence movements
    • Some Canadians had a high standard of living
    • Eventually, Canadian industry prospered & didn't need British capital
  • Imposed National Policy
    • Wanted to increase migration, impose tariffs on trade, increase transportation
    • Built Canadian Pacific Railroad
    • Many migrants came to Canada to produce wheat & extract precious metals
  • US invested in Canada & owned 30% of Canadian industry

Society & Conflict

Migration to the US & Canada

  • Many Europeans & Asians migrated to Americas
    • Many worked on plantations or in factories
    • Some provided support services for other migrants, like restaurants, shops, etc.
    • Some came during the gold rushes of California & Fraser River

New Doctrines: Conservatism, Liberalism, Abolishment of Slavery

  • Conservatives believed radical change was unnecessary
    • Edmund Burke advocated for conservatism
    • Believed American Revolution was necessary but French Revolution wasn't
  • Liberalists believed in radical change​
    • John Stuart Mill believed in universal suffrage​
  • Many people campaigned for women's rights
    • Elizabeth Cady Stanton organized the Seneca Falls convention (1848) for women in which they drafted resolutions of women's rights
  • Slavery abolition movements also gained momentum
    • William WIlberforce, member of British Parliament, believed reliance of slaves was bad as it leads to revolts like the Haitian Revolt
      • British Parliament abolished slavery in 1807 in all British colonies​
    • Gran Colombia freed all its slaves
    • Mexico freed slaves to prevent US slave owners from coming to Mexico

Conflicts with Indigenous People

  • As the US expanded, they were expanding into Native Americans' territories
    • Native Americans sought help from British in Canada
    • US forced all Native Americans to live in Indian Territory (present-day Oklahoma)
    • Sioux were trained in equestrian skills & defeated US troops, but US later defeated them
    • US & Canadian railroad building also threatened Native American populations
  • US sought to eliminate all tribal cultures
    • Forced indigenous children to attend schools​
    • Banned native traditions, clothes, and hairstyles
    • Forced natives onto reservations

US Civil War

  • Debate over whether slavery would be allowed in the US
    • 11 Southern States seceded from the US (Union), became the Confederacy
    • Abraham Lincoln adopted Emancipation Proclamation in 1863, freeing all slaves
    • Civil War ended in 1865 in Union victory: Slavery was abolished

State Building & Expansion

Canadian Metis Population

The Metis of Canada (mixed indigenous & French ancestry) declared Louis Riel as their leader. Riel created a government in Central Canada & tried to incorporate in the Canadian Dominion

Canadian officials disbanded his government & put Louis Riel into exile

The Metis again called Louis Riel to rebel against construction of Canadian Pacific Railroad. He led Northwest Rebellion, but government officials ended it & executed Riel

US Expansion & Manifest Destiny

  • After independence from Britain, US got the land until the Mississippi River
  • Napoleon needed money to fight his opponents, so he sold Louisiana Territory to US in 1803
  • Lewis & Clark mapped out the land until Oregon, annexing that region as well
  • US purchased Alaska in 1867 & annexed Hawaii in 1898
  • US engaged in war with Mexico over West Coast & Texas​

Mexican-American War

US wanted to annex Mexican-owned California, New Mexico, and Texas territories. Texas was largely settled by US settlers, so it declared independence from Mexico in 1836 & was annexed by US in 1845

Mexican-American War (1846-1848)

US won, signed Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo (1848). Won California, New Mexico, and Texas territories

US in World War 1

  • Woodrow Wilson (US president, 1913-1921) initially opposed joining the war
  • US economy boomed as it exported munitions to Allies powers (Britain & France mostly)
    • US also gave loans to Allies​
    • Only made financial sense for Allies to win, so US joined the war to help the Allies (1917)
  • German submarines sank British ship Lusitania, killing 128 US citizens

    • This was one reason why US joined the war against Germany

  • US intervention was the only reason Allies won

Great Depression

Initial Economic Problems

  • Europeans had lots of loans from the US
    • Britain & France had to pay war loans to the US
    • Germany & Austria had to pay reparations to Britain & France
    • US loaned money to Germany & Austria to pay reparations
    • US investors stopped giving loans, which put a financial strain on Europe
  • There were unnecessary agricultural surpluses
    • Improved industrial processes required less raw materials
      • Reclaimed rubber could be used twice, threatening rubber industry of Malaya​
      • Oil usage undermined coal economy
      • Artificial nitrogen undermined Chile's nitrate
    • During WW1, European agricultural production was low, so everyone else produced more to supply to Europe, but after, everyone else didn't decrease production, causing surpluses
    • These surpluses led to a decrease in prices
    • Due to surpluses, government ordered the firing of workers to decrease production

Stock Market Crash of 1929

In 1929, people were buying stocks on margin. They'd buy stocks & sell them after making a slight profit

People believed stocks would go down in price, so they all sold all their stocks

On Black Thursday (10/24/1929), all prices plummeted significantly, stock market crashed. People lost their life savings

US in World War 2

US Joins the War

In 1940, Japan conquered many SE Asian & Pacific lands, including French Indochina

US wanted to protect French, so US imposed embargo on Japan

In Dec 1941, Japan attacked US at Pearl Harbor (because US imposed an embargo on them), bringing US into WW2

US Wins WW2 & Japanese Surrender

US initiated operation Magic, used cryptography to decipher Japanese military plans. Figured out Japanese surprise attack on US-owned Midway Islands

US defended & attacked Japanese at Midway Islands

US embarked on island-hopping conquest. Took over Philippines, Mariana Islands, Iwo Jima, Okinawa

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US used atomic bombs on Hiroshima & Nagasaki (1945)

US used fire bomb on Tokyo, destroyed 25% of buildings (1945)

Japan developed military plan called kamikaze. Suicide bombers would nose dive planes into targets

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USSR declared war on Japan right after the atomic bombs were dropped

Emperor Hirohito of Japan was forced to surrender (1945)

Origins of Cold War

US's Military & Economic Alliances

  • US formed NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) with its European allies
    • Believed in spreading capitalism (democratic governments)
    • Marshall Plan (1948) was a US bill that gave $13 billion to European nations to rebuilt after WW2
    • Truman Doctrine (1947) sought to prevent further expansion of communism
    • Wanted to "contain" the spread of communism

Nuclear Arms Race

  • US & USSR competed for nuclear weapons
    • Both nations developed more advanced nuclear weapons to be able to defeat the other nation
    • Never actually used these weapons ("Cold War" means no actual fighting happened)
    • Eventually had super powerful weapons to destroy the entire world multiple times
    • Known as Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD): Both sides have the weapons to destroy each other but they won't do so

Cuba & Bay of Pigs Invasion (1961)

Fidel Castro (Cuba) overthrew capitalist Cuban regime, established Communist regime. Canceled economic alliances with US. Made economic alliances with USSR (1959) 

USSR leader, Khrushchev, agreed to remove missiles. US agreed to remove missiles from Turkey

US's CIA ordered anti-Castro Cubans to invade Cuba at the Bay of Pigs in Cuba

US CIA failed to arrive, causing Castro to easily crush the invasion (1961). 

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John F. Kennedy (US) issued ultimatum to remove the missiles. Imposed naval & air quarantine on Cuba

USSR later put missile test sites in Cuba

US Wins the Cold War

  • Arms race was straining USSR 's economy
  • In 1953, Khrushchev took power of USSR, imposed policy of detente to establish peaceful relations with US to limit arms race
  • In 1980s, Gorbachev instituted economic reform programs which all failed, causing USSR to disintegrate
  • In 1991, all nations part of the USSR became independent, collapsing the USSR in Dec 1991