U.S Lesson Notes

Understanding the U.S

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Chapter 1. Geographical Features and Natural Resources
Chapter 2. American Population
Chapter 3. Discovery and Colonization of  the New World
Chapter 4. American Revolution
Chapter 5. The Confederation and the Constitution
Chapter 6. American Expansion and the Civil War       
Chapter 7. Reconstruction and the Birth of Imperialism
Chapter 8. World War I and the Depression
Chapter 9. American During and After World War II
Chapter 10.The Federal System and the Congress
Chapter 11.The President and the Judiciary
Chapter 13. American Education & Chapter 14. American Family and Character & Chapter 15.The Mass Media
 Chapter 12. Political Parties and Election
 Chapter 16. Religion in the United States

U.S Online Notes

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Geographical Features and Natural Resources
American Population
Discovery and Colonization of  the New World
American Revolution
The Confederation and the Constitution
American Expansion and the Civil War       
Reconstruction and the Birth of Imperialism
World War I
Great Depression
American During and After World War II
Federal System and the Congress
The President and the Judiciary
American Education
American Family and Character
Mass Media


U.S Online Notes




U.S Geographical Features and Natural Resources

The U.S ...
--is located in the Southern part of North America and has a total area of 9 , 327 , 200 square kilometers.

--divided into 3 major geographic regions/divisions:

1.  the highlands in the east( The atlantic seacoast west to the Appalachians)

In the deep south,the coast plain is very low and wide. The soil of this region varies greatly.Some parts along the coast are almost pure sand.Other sections contain some of the richest soil in the whole country.
However,the weather,the land and the rivers that run through the south have made it, for most of its history, a great agricultural region.

The coastal plain appears to be fenced in by the Appalachian Mountains that begin in Canada and reach all the way to Georgia and Alabama.
These are old mountains with rounded tops and wooded hills,usually not exceeding 800 meters in height. Most of the mountain ridges are low enough to be easily crossed by modern roads.

In parts of the Appalachians the land is not good for farming.
 The Appalachians have much beautiful scenery, and there are many tourist resorts.

2. a vast plain in between ( The Mississipi River Basin)
This region has great mineral resources,rich soil,a good climate for agriculture, fertile plains,low rolling hills,and no high mountains.
 It is one of the richest sections of the U.S.
The large area to the west of the Mississippi valley is called the Great Plains.
It covers,from north to south,these five states:
North Dakota,
South Dakota,

This area is very flat,which rises gradually toward the west. Except for a few widely separated sections,there are no trees or forests in this whole region.
The soil here is generally fertile. Wheat and corn are important crops in the plains states.But in the west sections,cattle raising is more important.

3. the mountain in the west ( The Rockies West to the Pacific )

To the west of the great Plain lie the Rocky Mountains,“the backbone of the continent”.
These majestic mountains stretch an the way from Mexico to the Arctic and form what is known as Continental David,or Great David,the most important watershed on the continent.

The Rockies are more than twice as high as the Appalachians and high enough to receive more precipitation than the surrounding plains and plateaus.Consequently,they are mostly forested.
There are many national parks here.The most famous one is the Yellowstone National Park:
The Yellowstone National Park
It has an area of about 9,000 square kilometers.
It is in the northwest corner of Wyoming,but also takes up part of Montana and Idaho.
Yellowstone has about 3,000 geysers and hot springs.
It also has mud volcanoes,fossil forests,and volcanic glass.

The Great Basin is a large area of high land Between the Sierra Nevada Mountains and the Rocky Mountains.
It includes nearly all Nevada and large portions of Arizona,New Mexico,Utah, and California.
This wide area receives little rainfall and much of it is desert.
Death Valley is on the western edge of this region. The valley,200 kilometers long and 86 meters below the sea level,is the lowest and hottest place in America.

Along the Pacific coast,from Washington to southern California, extent the Coast Ranges.
One hundred miles farther east and parallel to them lie the Cascade and Sierra Nevada ranges.

Between the Sierra Nevada and the Coast Ranges lies the valley of California, also called Central Valley.
It is a highly productive lowland extending more than 800 kilometers from northwest to southeast.
Since it consists chiefly of alluvium and easily irrigated, it produces enormous amounts of fruits and vegetables.
It is important for such basic field crops as sugar beets, beans,rice, and cotton.
  • The five great lakes are : Lake Superior , Lake Michigan , Lake Erie , Lake Huron , and Lake Ontario.
  • The climate in the U.S varies from extremely cold  in Alaska to semi-tropical in Southern Florida and Hawaii.
  • The Western part of Washington state has the highest rainfall in the U.S.
  • The Great Plains may have dust storm in summer.

  • The U.S is rich in natural resources such as fresh water, forests, minerals and metals.
  • The California Gold Rush -- in 1848 , an American found a gold in California while constructing a watermill , by mid of 1849--thousands of Americans from every state , race and nationality flock to California and had made it their home.
  • Washington DC is the seat of the federal government of U.S
  • New York city is the largest city and port , and the seat of U.N.
  • Chicago is the second largest city in the U.S.
  • Los Angeles ranks third among other cities in the U.S, and is the largest city on the Pacific coast.
  • Philadelphia , the fourth largest city in the U.S , was once the seat of the Continental Congress and the birth place of the "American Declaration of Independence" and the United States Constitution.
  • Detroit is known as the "Motor City ,USA" and Houston as the "Space City , USA"
  • San Francisco is the second largest city on the Pacific Coast and an ideal summer resort , where the largest Chinese settlement is located.
  • Boston , one of the oldest cities in the U.S. one of the seaports of the country.During the American revolution , several noteworthy events tookplace in Boston.
  • Pittsburgh is one of the America's top stell making and mining areas.It's iron and steel output is only next to taht of Chicago.

American Population

The U.S is the 3rd most populous nation in the world after China and India.

In 2000 the population was 281,421,906 people.

White      211 million
Black       34.6 million
Hispanic Origin      32 million
Asians and Pacific Islanders      10 million

Why the U.S is known as “melting pot”?
--because U.S is composed of many immigrants from different nations all over the world.

Before 1875 --Free Immigration & Permanent residency was allowed
1790 – the first US census was taken and  75% of the 1st Americans were of British Ancestry
        ….others were German , Dutch,French,Swiss, and Spanish
Naturalization Act of 1906 standardized naturalization procedures, made some knowledge of English a requirement for citizenship, and established the Bureau of Immigration and Naturalization .

The Immigration Act of 1917 (Barred Zone Act) restricted immigration from Asia by creating an "Asiatic Barred Zone."

The Immigration Act of 1924 aimed at freezing the current ethnic distribution in response to rising immigration from Southern and Eastern Europe, as well as Asia.

Between 1930’s and 1952 , immigrants started to be limited to 270 000 yearly .
1980 -- immigrants were limited to 700,000 yearly.

The people of U.S are predominantly white , which made up the majority of the people.

White Anglo Saxon Protestant ( WASP) -- Make up 45% of the population and control most of the national wealth and political power of the country.

Black people are the minority in US .
After 1619 ,they were sent to colonies as slaves and were given freedom in 1863

Most black continue to live in the south due to discrimination.

INDIANS were the original inhabitants of the US continent , but they were cruelly treated since the discovery in 1492.
They were driven to barren regions called the “INDIAN RESERVATIONS” ,it lacks health care facilities , educational opportunities , decent housing and jobs.

Hispanics – the second largest ethnic minority group mostly from Latin America that descended from Mexico, Puerto Rico and Cuba.
    (21.1 million in 1990 )
      One of the fastest growing population in U.S

Asians and Pacific Islanders , represent 2.9 % of US population or 7,273,662.
    - Chinese were the first to come to the US as peasant and workers of in mines , railroads and agricultural fields, but discriminated due to language and culture barriers.

Population Distribution    

US is a highly urbanized country.Majority of the people live in the metropolitan areas.

New England , Mid West and Middle Atlantic are densely populated
Census as of 2008

New York New York        8,363,7102
Los Angeles California       3,833,9953
Chicago Illinois                   2,853,1144
Houston Texas           2,242,1935
Phoenix Arizona         1,567,9246
Philadelphia Pennsylvania       1,447,3957
San Antonio Texas       1,351,3058
Dallas Texas          1,279,9109
San Diego California      1,279,32910
San Jose California        948,279

Internal Migration

What is internal migration ?
    --Is the moving of people in a country from their birth of origin to another place of the same country.

What factors causes Americans to move?
    The desire for economic betterment is generally the reason of most people.
    Others are climate , racial attitudes , family ties .

Example causes of internal migration

New England was once a center of textile industry but people start to move due to its decline.
California has been the center of aircrafts , motion picture and electric industry – caused a large scale of in-migration

But many Americans today migrated from cities to suburbs or non metropolitan.
    Because of the widespread use of automobiles and construction  of express highways.
    Telephone reduces the need to live near your job or your relatives.

Other reasons are:
    More space and healthy environment ( less poll.)
    lower crime rates
    superior schools

Many middle income families live in the suburbs.But 65 % of Americans are still living in metropolitans.
Review Questions
The over 3 million of early Americans in 1970 were mostly of _______________ ancestry.
How many immigrants were legally received by the U.S each year during the 1980’s?
American Indians now mainly live in the ______ ?
The majority of the American Hispanics are from the following countries______?
The trend in migration from cities to suburbs now prevailed in all regions except the _______ ?
The U.S is the ____ most populous nation in the world.
The first black arrived in Jamestown in 1619 as ______?
Why is the U.S known as a “melting pot”?
What factors cause Americans to move frequently within the U.S?

Discovery and Colonization of the New World ( America )

American Indians and Great Discovery

American Indians lived and labored in America for thousands of years.
They were migrants from Eastern Siberia and might belong to Mongoloids people.
They traveled to new world more than 20,000 years ago when there was a bridge connecting Alaska and Asia.

Christopher Columbus – people think that he discovered the New World in 1492 , but it was actually a rediscovery of the continent.

Europeans made contact first with Americas long before Columbus.

AD 1000 , the Norsemen from Scandinavian happened in America

Mid of 15th Century -  great number long ocean voyages took place “The Exploration of the Unknown”.

What are the reason of the sudden daring exploration?
  1. strong desire for the Eastern goods.--Venice monopolized the trade in Europe which made England , France , Spain and Portugal to compete by sending their own explorers to get their fair share of it.
  2. improvements of the navigation and naval architecture
  3. great spirit of adventure started by renaissance

Between 1488 and 1534 – Europeans made several voyages to explore the world.

Some of the explorers were:

1. Bartholomeu Diaz sailed in 1488 under Portuguese flag went to Cape of Good Hope at the tip of southern Africa


2. Christopher Columbus sailed in 1492 under Spain sailed west in search of the East Indies instead the Island of Caribbean which he called the West Indies

3. Amerigo Vespucci sailed in 1499 under Spain sailed west and discovered the continent of South America.

4. John Cabot sailed in  1497 and 1498 to explore the coast of North America. England rested its claims to the land that would become the United States.

5. Vasco de Gama in 1498 ,completed the work of Diaz and sailed around the tip of Africa and reached India.

6. Ferdinand Magellan in 1519 sailed with 5 ships around the world , he died in Philippines but his one ship completed the voyage in 1522

7. Jacques Cartier in 1534 under French planted their flag in Canada.

Colonization of the New World

The new world was a great and rich land. Resources for agricultural and industrial development were available.
But the ruling class of Europe fell upon the rich land greedily.
Spanish and Portuguese had overrun the vast land of Latin America.

The English realized that the New World was their best place to make fortunes , and to worship and live according to their beliefs.

Some of them moved to America to leave oppressive political institutions , escape church duties , to acquire land holdings or merely to change their general pattern of living.

Material gain was a common factor.

Jamestown , Virginia – the first successful settlement of 104 English settlers in 1607 , half of them died due to hardships and disease.

Plymouth ,Massachusetts – Mayflower ship arrived in 1620 with 102 passengers , they were Puritans. Half of them died due to icy winter. The first thanksgiving day in North America was in this place.

More Puritans arrived the place. They set up the colonies.   The east coast was in the hands of the British.

Georgia – was set up in 1733 by James Oglethorpe  to provides homes for the poor people of England who had been thrown into prison.

The Government of the 13 colonies

  The ssocial tructure of the colonies was like a pyramid.

Due to its varied geography ,economic and social factors ,the colonies were divided into 3 different directions:

1. The New England Colonies ( Massachusetts , New Hampshire , Connecticut and Rhode Island ) …became a center for fishing and shipbuilding

2. The Middle Colonies ( New York , New Jersey , Pennsylvannia , Delaware and Maryland )
    …became a region of small farms.It is known as the breadbasket of the colonies that produces wheat and potatoes.

3.Southern Colonies ( Virginia , North and South Carolina and Georgia )
    …developed a plantation system with the exploitation of slave labor.

    The wealth that came from the robbing of Indians, from buying and selling of the black slaves and exploiting black and white laboring people poured into Europe especially Britain.

    It poured into the rising middle class which became a capital which they built CAPITALISM.

 American Revolution

Britain’s Policy to American Colonies

17th Century

      • Merchants in the colonies were not free to trade.
  • Buying and selling in the colonies monopolized by British merchants.
  • Some colonial industries were forbidden or limited in size.
  • Prices were fixed by British capitalists and politicians
American capitalists hated the English control and restrictions.
Southern slave owners were dissatisfied


  • English laws passed to control colonial trade
  • Only English ships with English crews could take goods to England.
  • Limited the products that could be shipped to England or English colony
  • All shipments to colonies had to go through England.
  • Merchants had to pay a tax on certain goods; tax collectors were sent to the colonies.

17th and 18th Century Period

While England fought wars with France.

--The colonists seized to develop their own industries ,trade and political right.

After England won the French and Indian war in 1763… British government adopted laws to punish the colonies and to get more money from them.

Measures adopted by British
1763 – royal order, forbidding the colonists to buy ay more land from the Indians in the west beyond a certain line , and vesting in the crown the sole power to hold and dispose of such lands.
1764 – Sugar Act , imposing import duties on non –English goods to the American colonies in order to raise more money for supporting British government in the colonies.
1764 – Currency Act , forbidding the colonies to issue paper money.
1765 – Stamp Act , taxing numerous articles and transactions in America to help pay the costs of British government in the colonies.
5. 1765 – Quartering Act , requiring colonists to help house and feed British regular troops stationed in the colonies.
6. 1766 – Declaratory Act , asserting the supremacy of the British Parliament in making laws fro the colonists.
7. 1767- Customs Collecting Act , establishing British commissioners in the colonies to collect customs and other duties.
8. 1767 – Revenue Act , laying taxes on lead ,paint and other articles imported into colonies.
9. 1767 – Tea Act , regulating importation of tea in British dominions in America in favor of the British East India Company

The Colonies and England

Economic relationships

England imposed strict control over trade.
England taxed the colonies after the French and Indian War.
Colonies traded raw materials for goods.

Political relationships

Colonists had to obey English laws that were enforced by governors.
Colonial governors were appointed by the king or by the proprietor.
Colonial legislatures made laws for each colony and were monitored by colonial governors.

Why do you think England tried to establish and maintain control over the colonies?


  • England desired to remain a world power.
  • England imposed taxes, such as the Stamp Act, to raise necessary revenue to pay the cost of the French and Indian War.
Why so many Taxes?

England’s reasons for taxation

  • To help finance the French and Indian War
  • To help with the maintaining of English troops in the colonies
Why were the colonists so mad?
  • Colonies had no voice in Parliament.
  • Many colonists hated the power of colonial governors.
  • England wanted strict control over colonial legislatures.
  • Colonies opposed taxes.
  • The Proclamation of l763 limited the western movement of settlers.

As England expanded control over the American colonies, many colonists became:--dissatisfied and rebellious

The Road to the Revolution

All the measures deeply affected the American colonies in the following aspect:

---agriculture , industries , commerce and investment opportunities;
their habits , practices , and desires respecting self - government; 
their freedom of elections ,press ,speech.

Which Act first set a large scale of opposition in the colonies?

Stamp Act of 1765 , because American colonists thought that the Act deprived them not only of money but of their liberties.

Two protest then emerged from the …

Sons of Liberty
Delegates from the colonies who met at New York.

Added to the tension was the effect of the …
Revenue Act of 1767…which imposed duties to paints , glass, lead , paper , and tea.

Boston Massacre – five men were killed between  clash of American colonists and British soldiers which awakened resentment and anxiety of the colonists.
Soon after the massacre ,the British repealed almost all the acts , only the Tea Act was left.

Tea Act in 1773 worsened the relation between Britain and American colonies.

….This act is to relieved the British East Indian Company out of its financial responsibility.
        ….Paying duties on its exports to America

December 16 , 1773 , in Boston angry merchants disguised themselves as Indians …boarded the ship and tossed cargo of tea into the sea amounting to £ 17 ,000.

Boston Tea Party

Sons of Liberty protest the Tea Act of 1773 by dumping 342 chests of tea into Boston Harbor.
King George responds with the Intolerable Acts to punish the colonists.

First Continental Congress – representatives from the colonies met in Philadelphia to decide on united actions against the British.

  • They agreed to refuse to buy British goods.
  • They agreed to raise volunteer army to protect the colonies if Britain used force to break the protest.
Britain didn’t give up to the colonists petition of
“No taxation without representation” but send soldiers to force them to follow

The Outbreak of War and the 2nd Continental Congress
April , 1775 – British troops were sent to Lexington and Concord to disarm the American militia men.

The “FIRST SHOT in the  AMERICAN WAR of INDEPENDENCE” was fired here.

The 2nd Continental Congress decided to form a regular army…George Washington was made as a Commander in Chief of the continental army

George Washington
Washington is a Virginia Plantation owner and a Veteran of the French and Indian War.
He is the leader of the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War.
Washington understands how to fight against the British.

Declaration of the Independence and the Revolutionary War
Thomas Jefferson – author of the declaration of the American Independence …it is a defense of the human freedom.

The Revolutionary War lasted 7 years.

Battle at Trenton – raised the spirit of the Americans so the war went on.

Battle at Saratoga – American won a great VICTORY  This was the turning point of the war that heightened the spirit of the Americans , national and abroad.
French joined the war with Americans against Britain ,later followed by Spain and Holland.
  • this battle was the turning point of the war; French offered help
Yorktown Battle – American together with French won a decisive victory, and caused General Cornwallis to surrender, AND WAR CAME TO AN END.

PEACE TREATY was signed in Paris on
September 3 , 1783. The colonies became independent.

Black slaves who fought in the war against Britain was given emancipation.


    Hessians soldiers from Germany were also hired by  King George to fight  the colonists.They are also called mercenaries--they fight to get paid.

The Confederation and the Constitution

Main Idea

In order to carry on the war and build a new nation, Americans had to create a framework of government, but their first attempt had many weaknesses.

1. What is confederation?
2. What was the structure of the new national government?
3. What problems did the Confederation face?
4. Compare the powers of the governments under the Articles of the confederation and the constitution?
5. What is check and balance mean ?
6. What are Bill of Rights ?
7. What is the war of 1812 ?

What is confederation ?
--is a government in which the constituent governments ( states in the U.S) create a central government by constitutional compact but do not give power to regulate the conduct of the individual.
the people are governed by the “Articles of Confederation”

What is the “Articles of Confederation” ?
-- it is a written constitution, that served as a fundamental laws of the new nation [ United States of America ] formally approved in 1781 and used until 1788.

What was the structure of the new national government?

… no power to regulate the conduct of individuals
--more of league of friendship than a national government.[p.49]

The confederation created  was a very loose union of states within a framework of a central government. [p.50]

Problems of the Articles of Confederation
  • Congress had very little power over the individual states
  • It could not settle disputes between states because there was no national court system.[no executive and judicial]
  • Congress could declare war and borrow money, but lacked the power to tax.
The Constitutional Convention

    to address problems in governing the United States of America, which had been operating under the Articles of Confederation following independence from Great Britain

    The convention was attended by many famous Americans like George Washington , Benjamin Franklin , Alexander Hamilton and James Madison. [50]

    James Madison is known as the “Father of the Constitution” because of his much work in writing the constitution.

    Each branch of government were given powers and to check in balance the others if too powerful and sought to dominate the others.[51]
Federalists and Antifederalists
•The new Constitution created a strong national government with certain powers left to the states.
When it was published, the drastic changes surprised and angered some people. They feared the idea of a too-powerful national government.[52]

During the ratification , two sides were formed because of different opinions:

Those who supported the constitution were called     “ Federalist”
Those who opposed the constitution and preferred a more decentralized federal system government were called “anti-federalist”.
    … they support the previous constitution, called the Articles of Confederation, giving state governments more authority and power.

Reasons of anti-federalist
  • New constitution betrayed the revolution and was a step toward monarchy.
  • People’s rights were not spelled out.
  • New Constitution didn’t do away with slavery.

Bill of Rights were added to the constitution after its approval in 1791.[p.52]
  • Freedom of speech
  • Freedom of religion
  • The right to assemble
  • Freedom of the press
  • The right to bear arms
  • Freedom from unreasonable search and the right to legal procedure “due process of law”
  • The right to petition (request) for what a citizen may think is needed from the government.
After the constitution was ratified (signed and formally approved)…
    President and Congress were elected under its provisions (according to the constitution).
    George Washington was elected the 1st President of the U.S and took office in 1789 to 1797.[53]

The constitution was framed (composed) on the following ideas:

1. There should be three branches of government: one to make laws , another to execute them and a third to settle questions of law.
2. The three branches should be able to “check and balance each other”
3. The national government is the government of the people and not of states alone.

The Constitution may be changed by AMENDMENTS .Three fourths of the states must agree to the change.

1791- the 1st ten amendment of the constitution-  three fourth of the states approved the amendments:

LATER, others were added to meet the needs of a changing nation.

The Articles of Confederation compared and contrasted to today’s national government [ Constitution]

The Articles of Confederation
  1. Consisted of only one branch of government: the legislative branch, or Congress.
  2. Congress carried out the duties of both the legislative and executive branches.
  3. No national court system existed.
  4. Congress could declare war and borrow money, but lacked the power to tax.
Today’s National Government
  1. Consists of three branches of government:
  2. The legislative branch, or Congress, is responsible for making laws.
  3. The executive branch, headed by the President, executes, or puts into action, laws passed by Congress.
  4. The judicial branch is made up of the courts and judges who interpret and apply the laws.
  5. The judicial branch forms a national court system.
  6. Congress has the power to tax.
The New Government and the Louisiana Purchase
  • The greatest number of the people lived in the Northern and middle states, only about a million lived in the south.
  • The west territories were still mainly inhabited by American Indians , but immigration continued to pour westward across Appalachian Mountains.
  • In 1780’s American people were encourage to move to the frontier region between Mississippi and the Ohio rivers. It could become then a state if had 60,000 people.
Thomas Jefferson was elected as president in 1800.
  • The purchased of the Louisiana in 1803 owned by France was one of his greatest achievement.The purchased of Louisiana doubled the area of the country.
The War of 1812

The relation between the U.S and Britain during the presidency of Thomas Jefferson became worst because British couldn’t accept the loss of their 13 colonies.

    1st , a series of trade restrictions introduced by Britain to impede American trade with France, a country with which Britain was at war (the U.S. contested these restrictions as illegal under international law);
    2nd , the impressments (forced recruitment) of U.S. citizens into the Royal Navy
    3rd ,  the British military support for American Indians who were offering armed resistance to the expansion of the American frontier to the Northwest.

    James Madison , 4th President declared war on Britain,that lasted for 3 years and ended with victory over British.War started with invasion of Canada.
    This war is known as the “ 2nd war of Independence’’ in American history.

    Strengthening of national unity and patriotism

American Expansion and the Civil War

How many states the U.S consist of when it was first founded?

When the United States was first founded, it consisted only of 13 states with a territory of about 900,000 Sq.Km.The Treaty of Paris of 1873 defined its national territory as being to the east of the Mississippi river.
The territorial expansion proceeded with the growth of U.S capitalism.

What is Monroe doctrine?

     A policy which warned the European powers against any attempt at intervention in Latin  American affairs with the aim of keeping Latin American countries for the United States itself.
     An American foreign policy opposing interference in the western hemisphere from outside powers

 1803 – during Thomas Jefferson presidency, America bought Louisiana from Napoleon Bonaparte from France
 1819 – During James Monroe ,U.S purchased Florida from Spain.

What is the idea of Monroe Doctrine ?  
“America for Americans” .--This became the basis of the U.S foreign policy

Louisiana Purchase
--Jefferson purchased Louisiana from Napoleon, French leader. It doubled the size of the U.S.

Indian Removals

President Jackson created the Indian Removals Act
--Native Americans were moved to a small area in the middle of U.S.

Industrial Revolution/Better Transportation

Early-mid 1800’s: new inventions and more production.
Canals and railroads built along with steamboats and steam engine trains.
Allowed for more people to travel across the country.

Texas Wins Independence

Texas once apart of Mexico. A group of Americans that moved there wanted independence.

Texas War for Independence 1835-1836
Texas became an independent country that was called the “Lone Star Republic”

 Mexican-American War 1846-1848

Texas still an issue, border issues, fight for California.
U.S. offered to buy land, but Mexico refused, and went to war.

Manifest Destiny/Expansion of West

     Idea that U.S. had the right to expand from Atlantic to Pacific Ocean.
     Gained Oregon Territory by splitting land with England.
     Pioneers, traders, hunters were now heading west.
     1846 – States added: Oregon, Washington , Idaho , part of Montana and Wyoming

Settlement of California

Gold Rush in mid 1800’s drew thousands to California.
Prospectors, forty-niners, boomtowns.
Since so many headed to CA, it became a state. 
People today are still drawn to go to California.

Antagonism Between
North -- Anti-slavery/free state/Union
South --Slavery/Confederacy

Advantages of  North and South


?     Large Population
?     More Industry
?     Better Transportation
?     Abraham Lincoln
?     Organized Military
?     More factories which could be used to make weapons


?     Better Military Leadership at first.
?     Fighting on Home Soil.
?     Defense, did not have to conquer North, just defend their land.
?     Cotton, could lead to European allies.

Main Causes of Civil War

  1. State’s Rights
  2. Slavery
  3. Cotton Gin by Eli Whitney in 1793
  4. Preserving the Union
  5. Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe
  6. Slave vs. Free States

Did the North and South really have that many differences?


  • No slavery
  • More factories and manufacturing
  • Wanted to be one whole nation
  • 22 states


  • slavery
  • More farms and farming
  • Wanted to be its own nationThe Fugitive Slave Law

The Fugitive Slave Law, passed in 1850, said that if slaves ran away to the North or Canada, they would have to be returned to their rightful owners.

Some Northerners didn’t want to give the slaves back because they believed in individual rights. They wanted to free the slaves, but the Fugitive Slave Law gave them no other choice. It was the law, and they had to obey it.The Fugitive Slave Law was important in leading to the Civil War because it caused many arguments between Northerners and Southerners. The North was angry because the slaves could come into the free states and still be slaves. So the free states weren’t really free states anymore.

Other situations before Civil War
  • The “Missouri Compromise” measures passed by the U.S. Congress brought a solution to the immediate problem of the extension of slavery. And it also postponed the more crucial issue of the continued existence of slavery in a free society.
  • The doctrine of "popular sovereignty" means to let the inhabitants of the new territories decide the question of slavery for themselves.
In theory, it seemed fair, but in actual practice, as far as slavery was concerned, the doctrine did not work ---- as events in the Nebraska Territory soon proved.
  • The Kansas-Nebraska Act
IN 1854, Stephen A. Douglas, a senator from Illinois, proposed a bill which suggested that the Nebraska area be divided into two territories, Kansas in the south and Nebraska in the north. Under the doctrine of " popular sovereignty", the inhabitants would determine whether or not they should enter the Union as free or slave states.
The results of the Act were disastrous. Slave-holders poured into Kansas to make it a slave state, while Northerners moved in to make it a free state.In 1856, shooting first started between proslavery and antislavery forces. It was the prelude of the Civil War struggle of five years later.

In 1854, a northern alliance of people who determined to abolish slavery founded a new party, which they called "Republican". It rapidly absorbed the other abolition parties. From then on the Democratic Party and the Republican Party became two main parties in the country.

The Breakout of  Civil War
  • When Lincoln was elected President, the southern states almost immediately began to secede from the Federal Union.
  • On February 4, 1861, representatives from the seceded states met in Montgomery, Alabama. And they organized the Confederate States of America.
  • Jefferson Davis of Mississippi was chosen President and Alexander H. Stephens of Georgia became Vice-President.
  • Richmond, the capital of Virginia was chosen as their Confederate capital.
  • Also a constitution was passed. This constitution accepted the doctrine of state sovereignty, and approved of slavery.

The Breakout of  Civil War

     On March 4, 1861, Abraham Lincoln took the oath of office. In his inaugural address, Lincoln was firm but kindly in his sentiment toward the South. He denied that the government had any intention of interfering with slavery in the states where it legally existed. And he appealed to the South's traditional sentiments for the Union and expressed his desire to avoid war.

     For the next month, Lincoln took no measures against the seceded states, He continued to seek for a peaceful solution to the problem. But soon actions, not words, took command of the situation.

   In April 1861, the Confederates took Fort Sumter in South Carolina and the Civil War began.

The Process of Civil War

   The war lasted for four years from 1861 to 1865. In 1861, when the people of the North and South were plunged into war, each side expressed high hopes for an early victory.

The Process of Civil War

Comparison of Power:

The North:

  • twenty-three states with a population of 22 million
  • he industrial superiority, abundant facilities for manufacture of arms and ammunition, clothing, and other supplies
  • over two thirds of railroad mileage of the country
  • the merchant marines and the navy remained in Union hands
  • the federal government was better able to borrow money to help pay for the war.
The South:
  • eleven states with a population of nine million
  • the rural
Military advantages:
  • actively preparing for war
  • in possession of many federal forts and arsenals
  • superior military leadership. About a third of the regular army's officers were" from the South, including the best such as Robert E. Lee,  a military genius.
  • fighting on its own soil.

Fight of the Civil War [66]

    The first part of the war: the South won some impressive victories on the battle field.
     As the war grew longer, however, the basic weakness of the Confederacy began to emerge.
Two of these weaknesses:
  the South's lack of capital
  the lack of industry to manufacture necessary weapons and other military supplies.

In the North:
  During the first part of the war in 1862, Lincoln government put the Homestead Act in force
  the Act granted many westerners 160 acres of land for a nominal fee.
   In September of the same year, Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation [67]
  It liberated some four million black slaves in the South.

In the North:
   Both two revolutionary measures brought large numbers of blacks, white workers and small farmers into the Union army.
   In July 1863, came the turning-point of the war at Gettysburg. Here, in. a three-day battle the Confederate army under the general Robert E. Lee was defeated by the Federal army.
   The battlefield was made into a national cemetery, where Lincoln gave a very famous speech, the Gettysburg Address, on 19 November, 1863.

The Gettysburg Address

Delivered on  November 19, 1863
    Four score and seven years ago, our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, 1)conceived in Liberty, and 2)dedicated to the 3)proposition that all men are created equal.
Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long 4)endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a 5)portion of that field as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives to that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.
       But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate-we can not 6)consecrate we can not 7)hallow-this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or 8)detract.
The world will little note, nor long re-member what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work, which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us-that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion-that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain-that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom -and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not 9)perish from the earth.

Fight of the Civil War

In April 1865, the war ended with the surrender of the Confederate commander, Robert E. Lee.
The Civil War lasted fully four years. Over 600,000 people died, and 400,000 were wounded.
The outcome of the war placed the northern capitalists in solid control of the federal government. It swept away the last obstacle to the development of U. S. capitalism.

Five days after Lee's surrender, on the night of April 14,1865, an unfortunate thing happened. On that night Lincoln and his wife, Mary, went to Ford's Theater in Washington to see an English comedy, There a half-crazed actor named John Wilkes Booth stole silently up behind the President. Thinking that he was avenging the South's defeat, Booth shot Lincoln in the back of the head.

Abraham Lincoln

President Abraham Lincoln on Jan, 1, 1863, declared the Emancipation Proclamation that freed all the slaves!
President Lincoln’s 4 brother-in-laws were Confederates.
He was the 1st president to wear a beard. 

What are the significance of the Civil War in American History?

  1. It preserved the Union
  2. It solved the agricultural problem
  3. It destroyed the feudal slavery-plantation system which had been an obstacle on the path of capitalism.

Reconstruction and the Birth of U.S Imperialism

Critical Thinking Questions:
  1. What challenges faced the South after the Civil War?
  2. What actions did Union leaders take during wartime to reconstruct the nation after the war’s end?
  3. How did Lincoln’s assassination affect the nation?
  4. Why did President Johnson and Congress differ over Reconstruction?
What effects did the Civil War have on the economy and social system of the South?

With the end of the Civil War the South was in shambles. ..
  • In some areas every house , barn , bridge were destroyed.
  • 2/3 of railroad tracks had been destroyed
  • And more than physical damage, the whole basis of the South's economic life also lay in ruins.
  • Confederate money was now worthless.--Banks closed,borrowed $ was never returned.
  • With the freeing of the slaves, the plantation system had completely broken down. The South's whole social system was in a state of collapse.

            …many men were killed
    Schools and colleges were empty of students.
    Policemen, courts, and judges were few.
    …Criminal groups roamed and raided the countryside.
    Freedmen- 4 Million of them with no land, no jobs
            JOB OPPORTUNITIES bleak
Many legal and political questions regarding the South needed to be answered. Rebuilding the South Was seriously Needed

"Reconstruction" is a term that refers to the policies implemented between 1863 and 1877 when the nation was focused on winning the Civil War, abolishing slavery, defeating the Confederacy, reconstructing the nation and amending the US Constitution .

There were FOUR main plans

    1.) Lincoln’s 10% Plan
    2.) Johnson’s Plan
    3.) Radical Republicans Plan
    4.) Southern Conservatives
         - to get back into power.
         -They accomplish this by limiting African American voting rights!

Lincoln’s 10% Plan
    Conditions for former Confederate states to rejoin the Union:
Ten percent of voters must swear loyalty to the Union.
Must abolish slavery

Opposition P. 73
Lincoln’s plan sparked debate in Congress.
Some thought only power to re-admit belonged to Congress; others thought the South never officially left the Union.
Congress refused to allow members from the states readmitted under Lincoln’s plan to be seated.

Lincoln’s Assassination
nA grief stricken nation mourned Lincoln’s death.
White southerners were concerned. Lincoln’s death meant a change in Reconstruction plans and a new president. Some disliked Andrew Johnson and felt he was a traitor. 

Lincoln’s Successor
After Lincoln was killed Andrew Johnson became President.
Johnson’s reconstruction plan is  ridiculed by Radical Republicans as being too easy on the former Rebels.

Johnson and Congress Differ over Reconstruction

Republican leaders thought they could work with Johnson, but they did not understand his views. Born into poverty, Johnson despised the wealthy planter class, but he held no ill will toward southerners. He supported states’ rights and limits on government power.

Reconstruction under President Johnson
Johnson’s attitude
  • African Americans had rights, but those rights did not include a role in government. Johnson declared, “White men alone must manage the South.”
  • Johnson pardoned nearly everyone who applied, and prewar leaders were restored to power. Congress refused to seat these former Confederates.
The Black Codes under Johnson  [73]
  • Designed to keep freedmen in slave like conditions, Black Codes gave planters a cheap labor supply. The laws varied by state, but they allowed freedmen certain rights, such as the right to marry and to own property. The series of laws kept freedmen dependent on the plantation for their existence.
Keeping a way of life [74]
  • Local sheriffs and Civil War veterans supported and enforced these laws. White citizens formed private groups, supposedly to keep order in the South. The Ku Klux Klan formed in 1866 and soon began terrorizing African Americans and whites who were loyal to the Union. Violence against blacks was rarely prosecuted.
Congress Takes Control of Reconstruction

Northerners felt if southern states were allowed to abuse freedmen, the North’s victory would be diminished.
Radical Republicans wanted to reshape southern society and favored a more thorough program of Reconstruction. They wanted freed slaves to have economic opportunities and political equality. But moderate Republicans still controlled Congress. 

13TH. Amendment –
This amendment freed the slaves.

14th. Amendment –
This amendment gave the former slaves CITIZENSHIP,all persons born in the US!
15th. Amendment –
This amendment gave African American men over 21 the right to vote.

Radical Reconstruction

Republicans took control in the election of 1866.Radicals now had the votes needed to pass the Reconstruction Acts.

These laws put the southern states under U.S. military control and required them to draft new constitutions. Congress also passed the Tenure of Office Act in March  1867 to keep Johnson from using his power as commander in chief to interfere with Reconstruction.    

Republicans took control in the election of 1866.Radicals now had the votes needed to pass the Reconstruction Acts

These laws put the southern states under U.S. military control and required them to draft new constitutions. Congress also passed the Tenure of Office Act in March  1867 to keep Johnson from using his power as commander in chief to interfere with Reconstruction.     

Johnson’s impeachment
The House of Representatives voted to impeach Johnson for violating Tenure Act of 1867.
The Senate failed to convict by one vote, and Johnson remained in office.  
Although no longer in control of Reconstruction, Johnson continued to issue pardons, and by the end of 1868 the rights of almost all Confederate leaders had been restored.

Who were the Scalawags ? (page 74)
Scalawag was the name given to southerners who supported the shift in power to Congress and the army.
Many were farmers who had never owned slaves.
Some joined the Republicans to prevent the planter class from returning to power; others were southerners ruined by the war; still others wanted to end the dependence on plantation agriculture. 

Who were the carpetbaggers?
Northerners who came south for economic reasons after the Civil War
( adventurers and fortune hunters)
What were the Problems with Reconstruction ?
  • Reconstruction brought  violent opposition  throughout the South.
  • The KKK and similar organizations wanted to restore the old political order. (p.74)
  • Their methods included threats, house burnings, and killings against not only blacks but whites as well.
  • State governments were unable to control violence.
Who are the Southern Conservative? (page 75 )

They were whites who resisted the freedmen's exercise of political power.
Why did they resist freedmen’s exercise of political power?
…Because they fear black domination

End of Reconstruction

Republican Rutherford B. Hayes was awarded the White House over Democrat Samuel J. Tilden
1877 - President Hayes removes remaining troops from the South to end Reconstruction

President Grant
Ordered federal troops not to interfere any further in Southern politics
18th President , Republican

U.S as a Great Industrial Power and Imperialist ( page 76 )

Highly Developed Industry...

The civil war sped up the growing industrial revolution in the U.S, which in turn brought many changes in the nation.
Towards the end of 19th Century
        U.S had already become a highly developed capitalist country and reached the stage of IMPERIALISM.

Results of Industrialization
  • Machinery replaced hand labor in manufacturing goods
  • Railways extended from coast to coast
  • Ships were built
  • Transportation and communication were greatly improved.
  • Investment in business grew larger and corporations replaced small privately owned firms.
  • The factory system spread throughout the northeastern U.S.
  • Cities became more populated, but were crowded and had problems with disease[ e.g. cholera and typhoid]
  • More jobs were available for people in the cities.
  • British ideas for machines spread to the U.S.
  • Due to the War of 1812, the U.S. was forced to manufacture its own goods.
  • textile factories were built
  • The steam engine was created
The Age of Big Business
  • Corporation
  • Stocks
  • Dividends- money paid to corporations
  • Trust- group of companies joined together to become a monopoly
  • Monopoly- market in which there are many buyers but only one seller
  • Anti-trust Legislation
Barons During the American Industrial Revolution:
   --barons are wealthy and powerful business people
Vanderbuilt -- shipping and railways
Morgans and Fords --electronics
Rockefellers --petroleum
Carnegie --steel
What was going on during the industrial revolution in U.S ?

Business were monopolized by big companies
Small and medium sized enterprises being swallowed up by bigger ones.
Financial groups emerged , they began to dominate:
  • 1. the country’s economy
  • 2. controlling numerous banks.
  • 3.controlling insurance companies
  • 4. manufacturing and railroads companies.

During the period of industrial revolution, what was the concern of Big Businesses?
They were not concerned with the public interest but only with profit making.

What were the causes of the rise of working class movement / unions?
  • The workers worked long hours under bad conditions
  • They were paid low wages
  • Child labor was common
  • They were paid less than men, men’s wages were kept down

Results of Rising Workers Movement

Protest , strikes , boycotts and closed shop methods emerged to force employer to hire union members.
E.g. Pennsylvania railway workers strike of 1877, first large scale struggle

To honor workers, holidays were designated :

May 1 – was set as International Labor Day.
March 8 – International Women’s Day

U.S Overseas Expansion

Mid of 19th Century
---U.S basically completed its territorial expansion on the continent.

U.S looked greedily at Asia and Latin America for Overseas Expansion
The First Imperialist War --U.S –Spanish War [79]

Why did U.S go to war against Spain 1898?
To grab Cuba – but became “independent”

As a result of the war , Which countries were ceded to U.S by Spain ?
Puerto Rico , Guam and Philippines

Panama Canal
Controlled by U.S during President Roosevelt under U.S policy aggression in Latin America to keep hold on the Carribbean Countries

Far East Expansion

1.Which country was the main objective of U.S for overseas expansion?China
2. When did U.S imperialism invaded China? 1844
3. Which dynasty signed the treaty in 1901?Qing Dynasty
4. What is this treaty called?Unequal Treaty of 1901
or Boxer Protocol [????]
5. What is this treaty about ?
   It is a peace treaty between China and the Eight Power Alliance.
    e.g. rights for European alliance to maintain military forces in the capital.

Treaties Between China and U.S as a result of U.S IMPERIALISM:
Treaty of Wang Xia [???? ]
    --US would enjoy whatever privileges China granted to other nations
Treaty of Tianjin [???? ]
    --consular jurisdiction for allies and foreign countries.
    --foreign trade and travel

Because of foreign policy, U.S became an IMPERIALIST POWER and a major influence in world affairs.

World War I (1914–1918)

   With the emergence of industrial America came the emergence of imperial America and the United States as a world power. The growing industrial might of the nation was reflected clearly in United States mad policy of aggression and expansion abroad.
---In 1898, the first imperialist war, the U. S. Spanish War, broke out. The war was quickly fought and won by the United States.
--The peace treaty gave Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Philippines to the U. S. and Cuba became independent, but remained subject to close American control.
--The U. S. Spanish War was but a beginning in world- wide U. S aggression.
nBy the early years of the twentieth century, Theodore Roosevelt who became President in 1900 carried out the aggressive policy in most faithful and open manner.
--Through "Monroe Doctrine“ policy, he carried out the policy of aggression in Latin America and brought most of the Caribbean countries under U. S. control.

Timeline of Events :
Austrian Archduke Francis Ferdinand and wife assassinated in Sarajevo by Serbian nationalist, Gavrilo Princip (June 28).
Austria declares war on Serbia (July 28).
Germany declares war on Russia (Aug. 1), on France (Aug. 3), invades Belgium (Aug. 4). Britain declares war on Germany (Aug. 4).
German submarine blockade of Great Britain begins (Feb.).
Lusitania sunk by German submarine—1,198 lost, including 128 Americans (May 7).
Britain and France declare war on Bulgaria (Oct. 14).
Battle of Verdun—Germans and French each lose about 350,000 men (Feb.). Extended submarine warfare begins (March). British-German sea battle of Jutland (May);
On Eastern Front, the Brusilov offensive demoralizes Russians, costs them 1 million men (June–Sept.).
Battle of the Somme—British lose over 400,000; French, 200,000; Germans, about 450,000; all with no strategic results (July–Nov.).
Romania declares war on Austria-Hungary (Aug. 27). Bucharest captured (Dec.).
U.S. declares war on Germany (April 6).
Submarine warfare at peak (April).
U.S. declares war on Austria-Hungary (Dec. 7).
Armistice between new Russian Bolshevik government and Germans (Dec. 15).
Great offensive by Germans (March–June). Americans' first important battle role at Château-Thierry—as they and French stop German advance (June). Second Battle of the Marne (July–Aug.)—start of Allied offensive at Amiens, St. Mihiel, etc. Battles of the Argonne and Ypres panic German leadership (Sept.–Oct.). British offensive in Palestine (Sept.).
Germans ask for armistice-Treaty of Versailles (Oct. 4). British armistice with Turkey (Oct.). German Kaiser abdicates (Nov.).

Which group of powers fought in WW I?

The Allies or the Entente
 U. S. A.
 and other countries.
    [Belgium, Serbia, Italy, Japan, Greece, Romania, and Portugal]
The Central European Powers

What were the causes of World War I?
The basic causes of the war lay in the political, economic and colonial rivalries of the great powers, stretching back into the late 19th century.

I. Imperialism (page 83 )
 when one country takes over another country economically and politically

European Tariff wars
Foreign Markets competition

II. Militarism
policy of building up strong military forces to prepare for war
- manufacturing
-building of naval forces to safe guard trade route and shipping[83](e.g.Germany and Britain)

III. Alliances ( page 84 )
     agreements between nations to aid and    protect one another

What causes alliances between colonial nations in Europe?

     pride in or devotion to one’s country
e.g. movement to unify the people of all German speaking countries

IV. Assassination ( page 84 )
    Immediate cause was the murder of Austrian Archduke Franz Ferdinand

--Austria blamed Serbia for Ferdinand’s death and declared war on Serbia.

--Germany pledged their support for Austria -Hungary.
· example of Pan-German nationalism

--Russia pledged their support for Serbia.
· example of Pan-Slavic nationalism

--Germany declares war on Russia.

--France pledges their support for Russia

--Germany declares war on France.

--Germany invades Belgium on the way to France.

--Great Britain supports Belgium and declares war on Germany.

M - ilitarism
A -lliances
N -ationalism
I -mperialism
A -ssasination

When the Great War began, President Wilson immediately called upon his fellow countrymen to observe strict neutrality. This appeal met with general approval, for the great majority of Americans wished to avoid involvement in the war. And yet, by 1917, Wilson himself was leading the country into war.

Several reasons for the United States to join the War so late:

--The United States  lacked military preparedness when the war began.
--Another factor for the U.S. to join the war was the American financial and industrial commitment to the Allied cause.
 --Finally the important factor was Germany's submarine campaign against merchant ships. That was to attack every ship that approached the British Isles. This Germany's action helped turning American and other neutral opinion against Germany.

Americas entrance into war:

Why did the U.S. finally enter the War in 1917?

I.Submarine warfare angered the U.S.! German U-Boats torpedoed American ships trading with the Allies.
II. The Lusitania was a British passenger ship that was sunk by the Germans.  1200 people were killed, including 128 Americans.

On April 6, 1917, the United States declared war on Germany.
The intervention of the United States gave the Allies decisive superiority in manpower as well as in war supplies.

Soon after the declaring of the war, American Congress passed the Selective Service Act which required all men between the ages of 18 and 45 to register and serve the army.

When the German government announced that unrestricted submarine warfare would resume on February 1, 1917, President Wilson cut diplomatic relations with Germany. A stunned, angry American public now eagerly followed where Wilson led.

World War I saw the first use of the airplane as a war-making machine. At the beginning of the war the American army had 55 planes, but at the end, the number had increased to 3227.
World War I ( page 86 )
 As American troops entered the war the Allies began to act on the offensive. In the face of combined attacks ( air , land , water ), the German government appealed to Wilson for a negotiated peace settlement to which Wilson agreed.
An armistice was concluded in November 1918 and the war ENDED.

 The Treaty of Versailles (ver-sigh) was signed between the Allied powers and Germany.

  •  It took land away from Germany.
  •  It dismantled Germany’s military.
  •  It forced Germany to make reparations   (payments) to the countries it harmed in the war.

 This treaty so destroyed the German economy and the morale of the German people, that within 20 years, they would start another world war.


How did the war affect the U.S.?
  • Women filled factory jobsWomen’s war effort helped bring about passage of the 19th Amendment after the war giving women the right to vote.
  • Black soldiers still served in segregated units.
  • In the “Great Migration” thousands of African Americans moved to the North to work in factories

The American government would certainly seek to speak with a stronger voice in world affairs.

In 1921, the American 'President invited Britain, Japan, France and some other countries to the Washington Conference.

Three major treaties were concluded at the Washington Conference:
  1. the Four-Power Treaty, respecting the status quo in the Pacific;
  2. the Five-Power Treaty, on naval arms apportionment;
  3. the Nine-power Treaty, guaranteeing the independence and integrity of China in appearance, but actually a public international affirmation of the Open Door policy.
During and immediately after the First World War, America enjoyed a period of prosperity and fast development in economy. The ten years between 1919 and 1929, usually called the "roaring Twenties" or the "Jazz Age", ….
What was the “Roaring 20’s or Jazz Age? Page 88-89
The Twenties brought a rush of new inventions and manufacturing techniques which changed the way people lived.
 People moved away from the countryside in such numbers that by 1925 half the population of America lived in cities and suburbs.
Women won the right to vote and many started to earn their own money.
Cars became commonplace and people began to move about among all regions of the country.
 Radio, movies, an abundance of standardized national products and national advertising all helped to turn America into a greedily consuming society.

1920’s was often used to describe the period of American life.
There was an industrial boom because material damage and shortages was to be repaired and filled.
For many people the main drive of the 1920’s was to get some degree of personal wealth and comfort.



( p. 89 )
At such a prosperous time Herbert Hoover was elected President in 1928.
In his 1929 Inaugural Address, Hoover declared "in no nation are the fruits of accomplishment more secure.”

What does his statement reflected?
… the mood of optimism in the country.

Great Depression and New Deal (page 89)

Warning signals were beginning to appear to some observant people.
  • Agricultural depression
  • unstable trading conditions in Europe,
  • and a vast over extension of credit in the country were soon to have a devastating impact on American life.
The Roaring 20’s or the "Jazz Age"

The new concept of “credit”
  • People were buying:
  • Automobiles
  • Appliances
  • Clothes
Fun times reigned
  • Dancing
  • Flappers
  • Drinking
Why was this bad?

Credit system
People didn’t really have the money they were spending

The U.S. was a major credit loaner to other nations in need
Many of these nations could not pay back

Great Depression or Black Thursday, Black Friday, then Black Monday, and Black Tuesday
The collapse of the Stock Market in October, 1929 brought an abrupt end to the prosperity.
  • Farm crisis was worse than ever (prices fell)
  • industrial production fell.(drop by 40 to 80 %)
  • Unemployment rose sharply.(15 million were out )
  • Thousands of banks and small businesses failed.(2/3 were closed)
  • Many families became homeless and had to live in huts
Herbert Hoover was president at the start
Philosophy: We’ll make it!
What He Did: Nothing
The poor were looking for help and no ideas on how to correct or help were coming.
He sought to attack the depression with : VOLUNTARY COOPERATION--no federal relief for people in distress.
He thought " the sole function of government is to bring about a condition of affairas favorable to the beneficial development of enterprise"--his policy prove to be inadeqate.

People everywhere were affected by the depression, it might be his policy the reason why he was rejected at the presidential election of 1932 against Roosevelt--who took over and tried to put the economy back together that people even saw a glimmer of hope

Roosevelt New Deal
 From 1929 to 1932, there was a steady decline in all major areas of the American economy.
Franklin Roosevelt, was easily elected President.

When he was inaugurated unemployment had increased by 7 million.
Instated the “New Deal”

--After he was elected President in 1932, he at once showed that he was determined to deal with the great economic depression.

The total sums of measures that he took to end the depression are called the New Deal.
  • to raise commodity prices by limiting production,
  • devaluing the dollar,
  • maintaining high tariffs on foreign goods,
  • to carry through a modest inflation: by providing money at low rates of interest to farmers and to industry,
--Agricultural Adjustment Act was passed in 1932, which enabled the government, amongst other things, to pay grants to farmers to induce them to reduce the amount of crops grown and this came to cover such commodities as cotton, wheat, corn, pigs, rice, tobacco, milk, sugar and other goods.

National Recovery Act of 1933, to control working hours and working conditions, to fix minimum wages.
 Through the National Recovery Act a vast scheme of public works was begun and four million men were immediately set to work on projects of clearance and construction. This was later expanded to take in housing and slum clearance, reforestation, flood control and soil erosion work.

 At the same time a number of more fundamental reforms were enacted.
The banking system was adjusted and the Securities and Exchange Commission was established to regulate the stock market. Under the Tennessee Valley Authority and extensive flood control, electric power, and general development program was put into operation.
Social Security Act of 1935 was signed by Roosevelt, which provided a system of pensions for the retired, unemployment insurance, and care for the dependent and disabled.
By this Act the principle of government responsibility for the aged and jobless was permanently institutionalized.
Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal( page 91)

The basic ideas behind the New Deal:
--that the federal government has the prime responsibility for the welfare of the people and must not be limited by narrow concepts of states rights;
that bold experimentation is the way to find solutions to new social problems;
that active presidential leadership of Congress and the people is vital in a world of growing complexity.

What are the significance of the new deal during the depression?
  Did the new deal solve the problem ?NO
It failed to produce recovery
Or to solve the problem of unemployment
    but at least reduced the suffering , confidence came back, some systems were improved[ working conditions,hours and salaries;banking and social security]
                                                                         Back to Top

World War II (1939–1945)


In Europe

The rise of Nazi Germany and its aggression can be traced directly back to World War I.
Following that war,
---Germany was economically devastated.The Treaty of Versailles unfairly placed the full blame for the war on Germany and demanded heavy reparations payments in return. Although Germany never paid the bulk of these reparations, the treaty humiliated the German people and obstructed the nation’s efforts to rebuild itself and move forward economically and technologically.
---Then, in the late 1920s and early 1930s, the worldwide Great Depression took a further heavy toll on the country.

As resentment and desperation in Germany grew, radical political parties gained in popularity. They ranged from Communists to right-wing nationalists. Among the more extreme activists of the latter category was Adolf Hitler, who had founded the National Socialist German Workers’ Party (more commonly known as the Nazi Party) in 1920–1921. By the time of the depression in Germany, Hitler’s party had more than 100,000 members and was growing rapidly

In Asia

Like Germany, Japan was severely affected by the Great Depression. Japan relied heavily upon imported resources and desperately needed more land for its expanding population. Japanese military leaders, who at the time had a strong influence over the civilian government, saw territorial expansion as the best solution. As a result, beginning in 1931, Japanese forces began occupying territory in the Chinese region of Manchuria. By 1937, Japan and China were officially at war. In 1940, the Japanese government announced its intention to establish a “new order in East Asia,” under which the region would be freed of Western influence and guided by Japan. In 1940, Japan signed a formal alliance with Germany and Italy, setting the country on a clear course to enter World War II.

Group of Powers Who Fought in World War II
1. Axis powers (Germany, Italy, Japan, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria)
2. Allies (U.S., Britain, France, USSR, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, Denmark, Greece, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, South Africa, Yugoslavia).

Timeline of Events:

1931 - Japanese occupied Manchuria region ( North East China) --attack in Shenyang railway.
1937- Japan major attacks in Beijing , Shanghai and Nanjing


--Germany annexes Austria


-German-Soviet -- Nonaggression Pact
-Germany invades Poland --Britain and France declare war on Germany
-USSR invades Poland from the east
-Britain and France give Hitler ultimatum (Sept. 1), declare war (Sept. 3).
-almost all countries in Western Europe were defeated in a Blitzkrieg


--Nazis invade Netherlands, Belgium, and Luxembourg (May 1
--Chamberlain resigns as Britain's prime minister; Churchill takes over (May 10).
--Italy declares war on France and Britain;
invades France (June 10). Germans enter Paris; city undefended (June 14).
France and Germany sign armistice at Compiègne (June 22).
--Nazis bomb Coventry, England (Nov. 14).


--Germany couldn't keep up with Britain's air power , so Hitler attacks Russia (June 22).
--Japanese attacks on Pearl Harbor, Philippines, Guam force U.S. into war; U.S.
--U.S. and Britain declare war on Japan.
--Germany and Italy declare war on U.S--Congress declares war on Italy and Germany countries (Dec. 11).


--British surrender Singapore to Japanese (Feb. 15).
--U.S. forces on Bataan peninsula in Philippines surrender (April 9).
--U.S. and Filipino troops on Corregidor island in Manila Bay surrender to Japanese (May 6).
--Village of Lidice in Czechoslovakia razed by Nazis (June 10).
--U.S. and Britain land in French North Africa (Nov.8)


--German 6th Army surrenders at Stalingrad—turning point of war in Russia (Feb. 1–2).
--Remnants of Nazis trapped on Cape Bon, ending war in Africa (May 12).
--Mussolini deposed(July 25).
--Allied troops land on Italian mainland after conquest of Sicily (Sept. 3).
--Italy surrender (
--Nazis seize Rome (Sept. 10).
--Cairo Conference: FDR, Churchill, Chiang Kai-shek pledge defeat of Japan, free Korea (Nov. 22–26).
--Tehran Conference: FDR, Churchill, Stalin agree on invasion plans (Nov. 28–Dec. 1).


--U.S. and British troops land at Anzio on west Italian coast and hold beachhead (Jan. 22).
--U.S. and British troops enter Rome (June 4).
--Allies launch Normandy invasion (June 6).
--Hitler wounded in bomb plot (July 20).
--Paris liberated (Aug. 25).
--Athens freed by Allies (Oct. 13).
--Americans occupied Philippines (Oct. 20).


--USSR agrees to friendship pact with China (Feb. 11).
--Mussolini killed at Lake Como (April 28).
--Suicide of Hitler announced (May 1).
--Berlin falls (May 2).
--Germany signs unconditional surrender terms at Rheims (May 7).
--Allies declare V-E Day (May 8)
--Potsdam Conference—Truman, Churchill, Atlee (after July 28), rejected by Japan
--President Truman ordered the dropping of A-bomb on Hiroshima (Aug. 6).
--USSR declares war on Japan (Aug.8)
--Nagasaki hit by A-bomb (Aug. 9).
--Japan agrees to surrender (Aug. 14). V-J Day—Japanese sign surrender terms aboard battleship Missouri (Sept. 2).


The Federal System and Congress

What principles does the U.S constitution follows?

The political system of the United States is established on the basis of the three main principles:
1.federalism or federal system
2.the separation of powers
3.respect for the constitution and the rule of law.

Where does the U.S government gets its powers ?
  ---the constitution

The Federal System         p.108

What is it called the division of powers by a constitution between the central government and state governments ?

How does federalism functions in the U.S ?
---It should be observed that federalism operates only on two levels, the national and the state. Units of government within a state enjoy no independent existence.

The constitutional division of power among those who make the laws, carry out the laws, and question the laws is __________ ?
----Separation of powers

What does “Separation of Power” means ?
This principle means that…
legislative power belongs to the Congress only
executive power belongs to the President only
 judicial power to the the Federal Courts only

Every American citizen is required to respect the Constitution and to obey the laws of the United States.

How do the U.S citizen can strive for the change of a law by legal and peaceful means?
---The citizen who disapproves of a particular law can legally and peacefully strive for its change through participation in government, that is, through voting or communicating with the representatives.

 Which U.S government division or office is responsible in making laws?
     ---is the legislative branch of the national government and consists of two houses: the House of Representatives and the Senate.
 According to the Constitution, the two houses are of equal importance and check each other.

How many years the members of congress serve in the government ?
Members of the house are elected directly by voters for two year term and senators for six year term

How many members of congress does each state have?
The Constitution gives each state, be it big or small, two Senators and provides that Representatives shall be apportioned among the states according to population.
The Senate has 100 senators and the House of Representatives has 435 members, roughly with one for each half a million inhabitants.

How old a person should be before becoming a politician?

Congress are successful politicians, mostly between the age of 35 and 70.
House of Representatives must be 25 years old and must have been citizens for seven years.
Senators must be at least 30 and must have been citizens for nine years. 

How many senators and representatives are voted to seat as members of the congress?
        The Senate has 100 senators and the House of Representatives has 435 members, roughly with one for each half a million inhabitants.

Getting elected to Congress depends on a number of factors , what are they?

  • party strength in the area,
  • personal character and appeal,
  • first-term or incumbent status,
  • occasional national tides,
  • campaign strategies and fundraising abilities.

How do Americans elect their congressmen?
Congressmen is a regional affair. A Senator is chosen by all the voters in his state, and a representative is elected in each congressional district
 A Congressman usually votes to win the favor of his local district…

What powers does congress have?
     "all legislative powers granted by the constitution"
Among these powers are:

  • the power to "spend and tax in order to provide for the common defense and general welfare of the United States";
  • the power to borrow money;
  • the power to regulate commerce with foreign nations and among states;
  • the power to declare war, raise and support armies, and provide and maintain a navy;
  • the power to establish post offices and post roads;
  • the power to set up the federal courts under the Supreme Court.
  • the Constitution gave the Congress the right "to make all laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into execution“.
  • participating in the process of constitutional amendment and impeachment (given to the House)
  • and trying an impeached federal officer (given to the Senate).
  • The Constitution confers special additional responsibilities on the Senate.
  • The Senate has the power to confirm presidential nominations.
  • The Senate must also give its consent, by a two-thirds vote of the senators present, before a president may ratify a treaty. This gives the Senate a special role in foreign policy.

What is a bill?
   a prepared written draft of laws

How does a bill becomes a law?
To Senate or House Speaker
    Hearings are conducted , members debate and vote for majority for passing  ,then it is send to the president for signing.
    Within 10days without action from the President , bill can also become a law.
    If the President vetoes it, the bill becomes dead , congress can over rule by voting in favor of the bill by a two third majority.

Page 114
What is an interest group?
group of persons who share the some common interest or attitude
What are examples of interest groups?
unions , trade associations , environmental groups ,political committees , etc.
What is lobbying?
    --an act of lobbyist by influencing legislation/the act of making laws in the state legislatures
What is a lobbyist?
    Lobbyists are people hired by groups or organizations with particular interests to convince members of Congress to pass or defeat legislation.


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The President and the Judiciary

President and his powers:

1. The U.S president is elected by ______? Electoral college

2. What is Electoral college?
    --electors from each state who formally elect the United States president and vice president
  --representatives in every state chosen to act in behalf of the state’s people  to elect their president.

3. The President of the U.S is both the head of the _______ and the head of _______.

4.The U.S elects its president every________ ? four years

5. What gives the executive power to the U.S President?
The Constitution gives the Executive Power and wide powers to the President.

6. Is the U.S President responsible for government departments ,agencies and offices ?
No , they are led by him and are responsible to him.

7. What is Inaugural Address ? p.118-119
    An introduction delivered at an inaugural ceremony especially by a United State President after an oath to fulfill the responsibility while seated as president.

8. What are some of the important roles of the U.S President?
    The President must carry out the government programs enacted law by Congress:

  • Veto Power over bills
  • Appointment of officers and heads of the government departments , ambassadors and judges of the Supreme Court, with the consent of the senate.
  • Power to conduct foreign affairs including appointment of officers for diplomatic relations
  • Power to make treaties with foreign countries but must be approved by two thirds vote of the senate
  • Acts as the Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces
  • Congress can declare war upon other nations but the President can start and fight a war if he wants to.
    e.g. most of the wars in American history was started by President rather than congress

9. The U.S president has wide powers, does it mean that his power has no limit ?
--the president’s power still has limit under the laws of the congress , and his policies may not be effective or imposed without the declaration of the Supreme court.

10. If the president uses his power wrongly or improperly , what might happen to him?
--he will be impeach means ,________ ?
--he will be charge , and with enough evidence , he will be removed from the office as a president.

How do you understand that the U.S president holds big influence in law making body ?
    --He can call congress into special session and can adjourn congress if the house and the senate cannot agree on a final date.
    --he can proposed legislation
    --he can veto a bill

Executive Department
President Advisers:
    White House
    National Security Council (NSC)
    Council of Economic Advisors (CEA)
    Office of Management and Budget (OMB)

    The leaders of every department is appointed by the head of the executive departments of government , and they act as official advisers

The Federal Court System    p.122-123
What are the two systems of laws and courts in the U.S?
    federal –enforce federal laws
    state – enforce state laws
The Judicial Branch of the government is consist of how many courts?
    1.The Supreme Court
    2. The Appellate Court
    3. The District Court

The U.S Judicial Branch of Government is headed by ___________ , and is composed of ___________ judges ,known as _________ headed   by the _________ ?
        Supreme Court
        9 judges
        Chief of Justice

What is the highest authority of the Supreme Court?
            To interpret the constitution

The second highest level of the federal judiciary is called the __________ ?Appellate Court
They review the decisions of District Courts

The lowest court is The District Court which serves as the __________ ?trial courts

How long does a judge could stay in the federal court as a judge? 

    The judges of all the federal courts are appointed for life but can be removed from office only for misconduct and after trial by the senate.

Defendant – the person charged with the offense
Plaintiff – party of a person who brings a civil action or sues to obtain a legal remedy form a court for injury to his her rights.

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American Education

American education offers a rich field of choices for the international student. From abroad, and even from within the U.S.A., there is such an array of institutions, programs and locations that the choices may overwhelm the student. To simplify the choices, a student must carefully study how each program and location can fulfill the student's goals. In order to make informed decisions, a student will need to know how the U.S. education system is organized.

Does the federal government have the power to make laws on education?
    --it is the state that is responsible for education within its territory.
    --government may give financial help but not orders.

Who manages the schools in U.S ?
    Local Community Board of Education

How are schools and colleges/universities financed?
Schools are financed by some sources like
    --State funding of local school districts varies dramatically among states
Tax – 50%
State’s fund – 40-50%
Federal – 8-9 %

What is the Article of Faith of education in the American Dream?
    America is a land of opportunity and that good education will enable a child to achieve a higher standard of living .

How many years does elementary and secondary education cover?
12 years from ages 6 through 18

What are the main categories of American Education?
    Elementary Education
    Secondary Education
    Higher Education

What do teachers emphasize in elementary stage?
    reading , arithmetic , and language arts

Does a qualified teacher in one state qualify in another state?
    --each state has its own policy for qualifications and test for teachers.

Primary and Secondary School: Begins around age six for U.S. children. They attend five or six years of primary school. Next they go to secondary school, which consists of either two three- year programs or a three-year and a four-year program. These are called "middle school" or "junior high school" and "senior high school" (often just called "high school"). Americans call these twelve years of primary and secondary school the first through twelfth "grades." 

Higher Education: After finishing high school (twelfth grade), U.S. students may go on to college or university. College or university study is known as "higher education." You should find out which level of education in your country corresponds to the twelfth grade in the U.S.A. You also should ask your educational advisor or guidance counselor whether you must spend an extra year or two preparing for U.S. admission. In some countries, employers and the government do not recognize a U.S. education if a student entered a U.S. college or university before he or she could enter university at home.

Study at a college or university leading to the Bachelor's Degree is known as "undergraduate" education. Study beyond the Bachelor's Degree is known as "graduate" school, or "postgraduate" education. Advanced or graduate degrees include law, medicine, the M.B.A., and the Ph.D. (doctorate). 

Where you can get a U.S. higher education

   1. State College or University: A state school is supported and run by a state or local government. Each of the 50 U.S. states operates at least one state university and possibly several state colleges. Some state schools have the word "State" in their names.

   2. Private College or University: These schools are operated privately, not by a branch of the government. Tuition will usually be higher than at state schools. Often, private colleges and universities are smaller in size than state schools.

   3. Two-Year College: A two-year college admits high school graduates and awards an Associate's Degree. Some two-year colleges are state-supported, or public; others are private. You should find out if the Associate's Degree will qualify you for a job in your country. In some countries, students need a Bachelor's Degree to get a good job. Two-year college or "junior" college graduates usually transfer to four-year colleges or universities, where they complete the Bachelor's Degree in two or more additional years.

   4. Community College: This is a two-year state, or public college. Community colleges serve a local community, usually a city or county. Many of the students are commuters who live at home, or evening students who work during the day. Often, community colleges welcome international students. Many of these schools offer special services to international students such as free tutoring. Many community colleges also offer ESL or intensive English programs.

      Some community colleges provide housing and advising services that an international student might need. Again, find out if a community college degree will be enough for you to get a job when you return home. Most, but not all governments, recognize degrees from junior and community colleges.

   5. Professional School: A professional school trains students in fields such as art, music, engineering, business, and other professions. Some are part of universities. Others are separate schools. Some offer graduate degrees.

   6. Institute of Technology: This is a school which offers at least four years of study in science and technology. Some institutes of technology have graduate programs. Others offer shorter courses.

   7. Technical Institute: A technical institute trains students in fields such as medical technology or industrial engineering. Although the course may prepare you for the career you want, the degree may or may not be equivalent to a college or university degree. Some colleges and universities do not accept credits from students who have attended technical institutes and want to transfer. If you are considering a technical institute, find out if your government, and U.S. colleges and universities, accept the school's degree. 

   8. Church-related School: Many U.S. colleges and universities were founded by religious groups. The relationship, however, between the school and the religious organization may be very flexible. Sometimes, these schools prefer to admit students who are members of the sponsoring religious group. Nearly all these schools welcome students of all religions and beliefs.

      Traditionally, many church-related schools have required that students take Bible courses and attend chapel services. But these practices are becoming less common.

Undergraduate (College) Years

Course of study: U.S. students usually study a wide variety of subjects while in college. Many students do not specialize exclusively in one field until graduate school.

The first two years of college are called the "freshman" and "sophomore" years. Students in the first year are called "freshmen," and they are "sophomores" in the second year. Some schools require freshmen and sophomores to take courses in different areas of learning: literature, science, the social sciences, the arts, history, and so forth. Freshmen and sophomores are known as "underclassmen".


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Mass Media

 Mass Media Definition

“Mass" – reaches many people

“Media” – communication not through face-to-face interaction , but its ‘mediated’ through technology.

Types of Media

B. 3 types of Mass Media

    1. Print Media:
            communicate information through the publication of words and pictures---newspapers, books, magazines
      2. Broadcast Media:
            communicate information electronically through sounds and images---TV, Radio, and Motion Pics
      3. Group Media:
            are communications technologies such as the internet. They are the result of the technology revolution and are used extensively in politics

Technological advances in America have made mass communications inexpensive and immediately available 'to everyone.

Americans spend more time absorbing the products of the mass communications media than in any other activities except working and sleeping.

C. Categories of Mass Media

1. Newspapers: newspapers have been around since the dawn of our country and were originally organs of the political parties but now are independent, privately owned, for-profit businesses
           a. Despite competition from other mediums—esp. radio, tv, and more recently group media—Americans still read newspapers in fairly significant                               
            Wall Street Journal  = 1.7M;
            USA Today = 1.6M
            New York Times = 1M
No country in the world has more daily newspapers than the U. S. A. There are almost 2,000 daily newspapers, with a total circulation of 62 million.

There are some other newspapers in the country that have a wide interest and influence. They include ...
the Christian Science Monitor,
the Chicago Tribune,
and others.
2. Magazines: have smaller circulation but are perhaps more influential because political/opinion elites read them and then communicate the ideas to mass audiences
            Newsweek       (3.2M)circulation
             Time                (4.6M)
            US News      (2.3M)
Digest magazines consist largely of articles reprinted from other publications. Reader's Digest is the most popular monthly magazines in the United States. It is established in 1922, and has a circulation of over 28 million copies for each issue.

Many magazines are aimed at occupational groups such as farmers, teachers, and doctors. Dozens of children's magazines are published, including comic books. There are magazines about hobbies such as photography, hunting, fishing, and sewing.
3. Radio: before TV the dominant mass media and made celebrities out of news personalities. Now: more a forum for talk than for live coverage of things. Still an important national news medium which many predicted would be replaced by TV. It hasn’t.
                        a. 99 of 100 households own radios and more than 9 of 10 households listen to the radio everyday—largely in their cars
                        b. people get entertainment, facts, and interpretation on the radio from radio hosts like Rush Limbau, Matt Drudge, Al Franken, and Janeane Garofalo among others

VOA (Voice of America) perhaps is the most famous radio station of the United States for the expansion of propaganda to foreign countries. VOA radio station is in Washington D.C. It was launched in 1942.

There are two types of radio broadcasting America---AM (amplitude modulation) and FM (frequency modulation). FM can produce a wider range of, sounds and can also broadcast in stereophonic sound. In recent years, FM has become increasingly popular.
4. TV: grew explosively after WWII and is now the dominant mass communication medium. Most people get their political news from TV news, especially local news broadcasts–
            In the United States, there is no government-owned television network.They're owned by private companies and organizations                        A. Virtually every home in the US has a TV
B. research indicates that TV news commentary is probably the SINGLE greatest influence on public opinion and according to polling TV is “the most believable” source of news
C.  about 2/3 of all American households have cable TV which is a big reason for the decline in viewing of the 3 old National TV newtworks—NBC, CBS, and ABC
5. Internet: increasingly more important and the newest of the media. The internet is so important now that many news stories appear on the WWW before they appear in newspapers and news magazines and radio
a. Newest, most important news oriented internet innovation is the BLOG, or "weblog".
 b. Best place to see examples of this phenomenon is The Drudgereport—let’s take a stroll to his site…

American Family , Character and Customs

1. Compare the American families With the Chinese ones, and find out the chief differences between them.
            a. American family have more than 1 child
            b. American parents give more freedom to their children than Chinese parents do.
            c. American parents give more freedom to their children than Chinese parents do.
            d. Most of American parents pay more attention on the education of their children's ability and independence. While Chinese parents pay close attention on how many scores their children got.
            e. American parents never beat their children. Chinese parents do. 
            f.Almost children do not say Father Mother to their parents, just name their name. But Chinese children say father mother to their parents.

2. Why do some American women now want to work rather than stay home as homemakers /housewives?

Supplement family’s income to enjoy higher standard of living
Feel bored to stay at home all day when children are at school

3. What attitudes about child-rearing are widespread in the United States?

Father teaches the children sports and go outdoor on the weekends
Parents seek advice of child rearing specialists.
Many parents tend to improve their children skills and independence

4. How do you comment on the high divorce rate in America?

            Divorce in America is easy,according to some sources...

"50% of all marriages in the America end in divorce."
 50% percent of first marriages, 67% of second and 74% of third marriages end in divorce,

5. Why do Americans migrate frequently from one region to another?

“Americans are highly mobile people”

6. What attitudes towards difficult problems do Americans usually have?
            They take pride in meeting challenges and overcoming obstacles.
            Optimism is ingrained in American culture.

 7. How do Americans deal with the relations between truth and politeness?

Truth has a higher priority than politeness.
“ Honesty is the best policy” Trust builds relationships.
Example: In Western countries ,when doing business being honest can build you relationship and trust.
In China,  when doing business, having more friends are important. 

8. How do Americans consider the social rank?

            Americans have a little feeling, they do not enjoy being treated with special difference for age or position

9. Do you think Americans are informal? Explain.   

Americans are even more informal and casual than their close relatives - the Western Europeans.

For example,

  • American bosses often urge their employees to call them by their first names and feel uncomfortable with the title "Mr." or "Ms.".
  • Dress is another area where American informality is most noticeable, perhaps even shocking. For example, one can go to a symphony performance in any large American city and find people dressed in blue jeans.
  • Informality is also apparent in Americans' greetings. The more formal "How are you?" has largely been replaced with an informal "Hi". This is as likely to be used with one's superior as with one's best friend.

10. When an American is talking about his weak points, what do you say in such circumstances?

        Say something to encourage them



End of U.S notes


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