Explorers

“Perseverance and spirit have done wonders in all ages.” George Washington, August 1775.  This quote is significant because it sums up the general attitude of the patriots fighting for the United States. By rallying together and fighting passionately for their beliefs, this rag-tag group of farmers, bankers, and merchants defeated the huge, well trained British army. Columbus arrived in the New World in 1492 and the european powers would soon follow. Many spanish colonies were established, but later abandoned, the French settled in parts of the U.S. and Canada, and England established Roanoke which ultimately failed. By the 1600 Spain and Portugal were the only countries with significant colonies in the United States, but in 1784 there were colonies settled by Germany, Russia, Spain, Portugal, France England and the Netherlands. Tension grew between the British and French colonies leading to the French and Indian War which resulted in the secession of France from most of their colonies. Ater heavy taxing of English colonies by King George III, a group of rebels or patriots formed and began fighting for their independence from their mother country. There were many important people, events, and decisions during this time period, but some stood above the rest.

 

Of the many important people from this time period, one of the most influential was George Washington. George Washington was the well respected commander of the Continental army; in fact he earned much of his respect from having fought in the French and Indian War. He was an amazing strategist and war general who was able to inspire those under his command. He helped his army survive Valley Forge and a couple of long, harsh, winters with few resources. When the war was over, he was so appreciated that he was offered the position of King over the English colonies, but declined and became the first U.S. president. One could say he is partially responsible for both winning the war and establishing the democratic government implemented in the United States of America today and that is why he is and extremely influential person for this time period.

 

Out of the the many relevant events from this time period, the one that that had the largest impact was when the Congressional Congress wrote the United States Constitution during 1776 and 1777. It came into force in 1789. Before this was written there were no supreme laws or concepts of rights. The constitution created these unalienable rights that applied to everyone in the United States, a concept that had not existed before this time. Many other documents were crafted in the image of the constitution as a set of rules after it was enforced. If the Constitution had not been written, life in the United States of America would be drastically different.

 

Finally, of the many important decisions made in this time period, the one that stands out as the most significant was France deciding to help America. First, they sent money and food. Later they sent weapons and troops. Finally, in 1777, France greatly helped the Patriots win their battle against the British in Saratoga. Without France’s aid, the colonists may not have won as soon as they did against the British.
Historians often talk about the Domino Theory of history, that one thing always leads to the next. This is very true of the time period from the arrival of the first European explorers to the New World to the end of the American Revolution. Without George Washington’s skills and ethics, the patriots may not have won and a monarchy could have started. If the Constitution had not been written the freedom of speech, religion, and press would not exist. having the right to anything would be unheard of, and the government would be run much differently. If the French had not helped so generously, we might not have won the American Revolution or our progress would be slower at the least. This age of exploration and independence truly shaped the way citizens of the United States of America are living today and they are some of the reasons that the U.S. is one of the larger powers of the world.

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