US History Overview 1: Jamestown to the Civil War

US History Overview 1: Jamestown to the Civil War

What I thought I
would attempt to do in this and the next
few videos is just give a scaffold of American history. I’m clearly going to glaze
over a lot of the details, but hopefully it’ll
give you a sense of how everything at
least fits together, at least the major events
in American history. So you can kind of, and
when I say American history, I’m talking about
United States history. And so the first real
successful settlement in what’s now the United
States was at Jamestown. That’s Jamestown,
Virginia right over here. And it was 1607. It was set up as kind of
a commercial settlement and then shortly after
that, and we always learned this in school, you know
the pilgrims on the Mayflower, sailing the oceans
blue and all the rest. They were kind of the next major
settlement in the New World. Or I guess we should say the
next major successful English settlement. There were obviously the Spanish
and the Portuguese were already settling the New World
with a good bit of success at this point, but we’re talking
about the English settlements. And so the pilgrims
settled what’s now Plymouth,
Massachusetts in 1620. And obviously from 1620
until the mid-1700s, you just had a huge influx of
people migrating and cities developing. But I’m going to fast forward
all the way to the mid-1700s. So this is actually
a huge amount of time that I’m just not
providing any details over. Because I’m really just quite
focused on the major events in American history. And so this is a 130-year
period where things were just getting built out more, they
were getting more developed. And I’m going to fast
forward to 1754, because at this period you
had essentially the entire east coast
of what’s now the US. These were the 13
colonies of the– well, they’re not the
United States yet, they’re the 13 British colonies. But these are
English settlements, and then if you go a little bit
to the northwest from there, you have all the
French settlements. And obviously still in these
parts of Quebec and Canada, people speak French. But you had the
French settlements up in this area over here. I’m not going to go
into the details. Each of these can be a
whole series of videos, and hopefully in
the future I will make them whole
series of videos. But you fast forward
to 1754, and you start having the French
and the British start getting into squabbles
over territory where Pittsburgh,
Pennsylvania is right now. In 1754. And that starts the
French and Indian War. And I want to be very clear
here because this is maybe one of the biggest
points of confusion when people first
learn American history. Since it’s called the
French and Indian War, they think it’s between
the French and the Indians. But it’s not. It was the French
and the Indians against the British
and the colonists. So in this war, the
British and the colonists were on the same side against
the French and the Indians. And obviously there
were some Indians that were also on the
side of the British, but it’s called the French
and Indian War because these were the people that the
British were fighting against. Now if anyone outside
of the United States talks about the
French and Indian War, they will not call it the
French and Indian War. They’ll really just call
that the American theater of the Seven Years’ War
because it eventually evolves into a much bigger
conflict between Great Britain and France that’s
going on in Europe, and the French and
Indian War was really just the American theater of it. So between– the
French and Indian War starts in 1754 based on
these disputes over Pittsburgh. But that wasn’t the only thing. You had all of these
other things, all of these other tensions
that were developing. The thing that starts the
war is never the only factor. It’s always just
the tipping point. But that leads to a
bigger war in Europe. And that’s the Seven Years’
War that starts in 1756. And they both end because
they’re really the same war. They both end in 1763
with the Treaty of Paris. Treaty of Paris, 1763. And the big takeaway of that is
that really most of what France had in the New World
now becomes essentially a part of the
British Empire, now becomes British colonies
or British territories. And even Louisiana goes
over to Spain at this point. And we’ll see it
goes back to France for a little bit
in 1800, and then it goes back to the
United States in 1803, but we’ll see that in a second. So 1763, the British– it
was this huge costly war– but they were able to win. And at least from the point
of view of the British, they felt that the main
beneficiaries of this war were the Americans. They were able to get all
this new territory, all this new area that they
can now trade with, or they could now
potentially settle. And so the British
decide to start taxing the Americans
to recoup some portion of the cost of the war. So in 1765 they
pass the Stamp Act. And this wasn’t a tax on stamps. What this was is
that they essentially declared that a
whole set of paper that had to be used
in the New World. So the stuff for
legal documents, stuff that maybe even newspaper. That that paper would have to
be produced in Great Britain, and it had to have a
special stamp on it in order for the contracts or
whatever was on top of it, in order for them
to be legitimate. So essentially it was a huge
tax on paper and on documents. And essentially, this is
what societies ran on. So it was just a way to extract
money from the colonists in order to, I guess, help
pay back some of the costs that the empire felt
that they had incurred on behalf of the colonists. You could debate whether who
was the main beneficiary, but regardless you could
imagine this didn’t make– this whole period over here–
the colonists weren’t happy. Especially because
they didn’t have any representation
in Parliament. This was done without
anybody from the colony saying, hey, wait I
don’t think that’s fair. Or this is fair or whatever. And so you fast forward. 1773, you have the
Boston Tea Party where you have a bunch of
people who, for whatever reason, and there’s multiple
interests here. But there was three ships
in Boston Harbor full of tea and the tea was owned by
the East India Tea company. And they decide, in
protest, and there was a whole series of
acts and other taxes that went back and forth,
but once again, we’re not going to go into
the details here. But in revolt they
dumped the tea. They dressed up as Indians,
as American Indians, and they dumped the
tea into Boston Harbor, and then you could
imagine well that was kind of a very exciting
act for the colonists, but it didn’t make the
British very happy. And then after that, they
passed the Coercive Act. They essentially did
a blockade of Boston. So things started to
get really, really, really tense in the early 1770s. And then you fast
forward to 1775, you have essentially the first
conflicts of the American Revolutionary War,
and we’re going to do a whole series
of videos on really the whole Revolutionary War. 1776, you have the
Declaration of Independence. This is them right here
drafting the Declaration of Independence. And that’s really just
saying, hey, we’ve had enough of you Great Britain! We are now declaring ourselves
as an independent country. No more of this
colonies business. And so all the
way until 1783 you have the American
Revolutionary War. And once again, you can do
a lot of videos on this, but I’m just going
to go over it just so you have a sense of
when everything happened and when everything ended. And we can later dig
deeper into the scaffold. And it ends with
the Treaty of Paris. The US becomes a free
independent state. And then you fast forward. Until this point,
the US has been governed by Congress, and the
Articles of Confederation. But the Constitution
that we have now, it was drafted in 1787. It was ratified– it had to
get at least nine of the states to ratify it– that
happened in 1788. And then it went
into effect in 1789. So it depends what you consider
the birth of the country. Well, it would definitely be
the Declaration of Independence, but the country in
its current form, with its current institutions,
with this current constitution, started in 1789. And that was also the
beginning of Washington’s first of two terms as president,
and those ended in 1797. And then John Adams
comes into the picture. And the reason why I
put this– obviously this is actually the only
president that I showed– is that it was
actually very important that he decided to step
down after two terms. He was hugely popular. If he wanted to,
he probably could have become one of
these characters that stick around maybe
a little bit longer than some people would want. So it was really good that he
set this example of stepping down after two
terms, and that he wasn’t this kind of
power hungry dude. You fast forward
a little bit more. 1803, I mentioned that after
the French and Indian War what’s Louisiana– I want to be
clear when I say Louisiana. Louisiana isn’t just what’s
the current state of Louisiana. It’s this whole
region that includes the state of Louisiana,
but all the way up to roughly what
the United States’ current border with Canada. And after the French
and Indian War, all of this business
over here went to Spain. And then in 1800, it
went back to France. But then in 1803, Napoleon
had a bunch of stuff that he– his Naval
fleet was destroyed, he had a suffered some
defeats in the West Indies, I guess we could call it. In particular in
Haiti, and he said, well, you know I
probably won’t be able to control this
territory anyway, so he sold it to
the United States for what turned out to be a
very, very, very cheap price. But it was kind
of like, it’s not like he could have
protected it anyway. The United States
might have been able to take it from him without
him being able to do anything. So he might as well
get some money for it so that he could fund
his battles in Europe. So in 1803, the United States
almost doubled in size. It went from these
territories that it had after the American
Revolution for Independence, and now it got all of this
region over here in 1803. Then you fast forward a bit. And the War of 1812,
it’s an interesting one, because there weren’t any
really serious outcomes from it. But what was interesting about
it, this whole time period, even after independence,
the British continued to harass America. They continued to arm Native
Americans who would maybe revolt or cause
trouble for settlers. They would impress
American seamen– and when I say
impress, it didn’t mean that they were
doing something special. It meant that they
were– impressment of seamen meant that they
were taking over these boats, taking the sailors,
and forcing them to become part of
the British military. So they were doing
a whole series of things that was really kind
of antagonizing the United States. In 1812, the United States
declares war on Great Britain. You have the War of 1812. It ends in 1815 with the
Battle of New Orleans. But there wasn’t
any real transfer of a territory or anything
like that over here. What was good, some people call
it the Second War for American Independence, is it really
asserted that America was here to stay, or I should say that
the United States was here to stay. That the Revolution wasn’t
just some fluke that isn’t some just fly by night country. It was able to defeat one of the
greatest empires in the world again. So it’s kind of here to stay. Now you fast forward
a little bit more. This part of what
we would call Texas, this area right over here. It was, before 1836,
it was part of Mexico. But the Mexicans
actually encouraged English-speaking
settlers– these would be American
English-speaking settlers into the area– just because
it was very sparsely settled. But these English-speaking
settlers, a lot of them were slave owners, and then
as we kind of go up to 1836, the state of Mexico that
this was all governed by, they were thinking about
abolishing slavery. So you can imagine that
the settlers there, they didn’t like this idea. So in 1836, you had the
War for Texas Independence, and that’s where you remember
the Alamo, and all of that. And then the first president
of Texas is Sam Houston. That’s why Houston
is named Houston. And then you fast forward
all the way to 1845. And in this time period,
you have this whole talk in the United States
of Manifest Destiny, that it’s part of our
God-given destiny as Americans, to one day extend our territory
all the way to the Pacific Ocean. So people were already eyeing
a lot of the territory. Remember all of this
territory, this was Texas. And Mexico still viewed
it as their territory, even though it was being
governed independently by the people who
called themselves the Republic of Texas. And you had all
of this territory that was Mexican territory. So people were starting
to eye this and say, wouldn’t it be nice to
get a little bit of that? So in 1845, and this
was in agreement with the settlers in Texas,
with the Republic of Texas, the United States annexed Texas. The settlers there
wanted this to happen, so wasn’t a forced
annexation of Texas. But Mexico was not
so happy about this because Mexico
still viewed Texas as part of their territory. And America, to some degree,
depends on how you view it, it seems like they kind of
wanted to goad Mexico into war, so they sent military really
close to the border of Mexico, even into some territory where
Mexico might have had better claims to it or– I’m not
going to take sides on this, but it seemed like there was
some instigation going on. And there’s some debate about
the actual course of events. But in 1846 you have war
actually breaking out between Mexico and
the United States. And by 1848, the United States
essentially trounces Mexico, and most of the war actually
does go on on Mexican land. And because of that, Mexico
cedes over all of this area. So, California and all of
the rest of Nevada, Arizona, what the part of New Mexico
the didn’t come along, that the United States
didn’t already have. And along that same
amount of time, you both had the British
and the Americans that were eyeing this territory,
the Oregon Territory up here and it even included
part of Canada. And eventually they were
able to resolve it relatively peacefully, and
what they agreed is, is that the Americans would
get all of this territory. And the British would
get everything north of this line right over here. And that’s why Vancouver
and British Columbia and all of that, is Canada now. It stayed as part of the British
Empire for a little bit longer. So by 1848, the Manifest Destiny
essentially had happened. The United States had gotten
everything from California all the way from the Pacific
coast to the Atlantic coast. And clearly I’m really just
covering the high levels, 30,000 level foot view
of American history here. This whole time you had
this tension developing. From the birth of the country
through the election of Abraham Lincoln, you have this
tension over slavery. A lot of people in the
North didn’t like it on moral grounds. A lot of people in the
South didn’t like it– well, they wanted slavery
regardless of what they thought of it morally–
the South’s economy, to a large degree,
was based on slavery. And so all of this, the
tipping point happened in 1860. Where Abraham Lincoln, who was
pretty vocal about the fact that he did not like
slavery, that he wanted to curb the spread
of slave states. And up to this point, you
had all of these compromises every time a state
came into the Union. The slave states wanted it
to be another slave state. The free states wanted it
to be another free state. So you always had
this people kind of jocking for whoever
could have the most states on their
side of the camp. But all of this pro-slavery
and anti-slavery hit a tipping point in 1860
when Abraham Lincoln, who was fairly vocal about
not extending slavery, he was elected. Then a bunch of what we now
consider southern states seceded from the Union. And then in 1861
in South Carolina. South Carolina said, hey, we are
not part of the United States anymore, but there was still a
United States military garrison there, so they attacked it. That started the Civil War. And so during the Civil War–
it lasts until 1865– Abraham Lincoln makes the
Emancipation Proclamation in 1863, which
essentially proclaims all the slaves should be free. This lays the groundwork
for the 13th Amendment to the Constitution. And then unfortunately,
he dies two months before the end of the Civil War. But in 1865, the South
surrenders and so they’re not able to secede. And essentially,
we no longer have slavery in the United States. So I’m going to leave–
and it’s fascinating, and just to give you a sense
of things, here’s the map. The navy blue are the Union
states, the northern states, the light blue are the
territory controlled by the northern states. This orange color
are the states that seceded from the
Union, the Confederacy. And this light orange,
these are territories that they controlled,
but they were disputed. These yellow states right here
were members of the Union. They didn’t secede
from the Union. They didn’t join
the Confederacy, but they were slave states. But probably the most
fascinating thing about the Civil War,
other than the fact that it ended slavery
in the United States, that was probably
its biggest thing, but it was also
the bloodiest war that ever happened in the
United States history. During the Civil War– and
these are unbelievable numbers– 18% of white males
in the South died. 18%, almost one out of every
five white males in the South, died during the Civil War. And for the North, it
was slightly better. It was 6%. But still, a huge percentage
of the men in the United States died fighting the Civil War.


  1. Post

    Most of the deaths were due to disease. Had the Native Americans not succumbed to European diseases Europeans would probably still be sneaking into North America for wood pulp. After all, the Native Americans slaughtered the Vikings and delayed attempts at colonization for 500 years.

  2. Post
    jennifer yoo

    they did not attack fort sumter, the president sent troops to resupply the fort. SC took it as an act of aggression so he first shots of the civil war begun at ft. Sumter.

  3. Post

    Not true…. Spain did mainly. The genocide of the native americans was mainly done by spanish viruses and diseases.

  4. Post

    I find it funny that the huge percentage of the white males dying in the south would be a big deal. It's funny because mostly in the south were black people. Therefore it wouldn't take much to wipe out a "huge" percentage of white males in the south. 😛

  5. Post
  6. Post
  7. Post
  8. Post
  9. Post
  10. Post
  11. Post
    Stonemansteve II

    So, what, history and astronomy isjust NOT important at all?!! Must not be since there hasn't been a new video in either for over a year!!! WTF?!!

  12. Post
  13. Post
  14. Post

    It's true. It's why states like Mississippi and other southern states had a hard time entering the union as a state.

  15. Post
    Mauro Augusto Mexia

    Lincoln wanted to send all the slaves back to Africa. Maybe that's the reason they killed him… Look up Liberia. History is a mystery…

  16. Post
    Grant Williamson

    Just a clarification the war of 1812 had no winner the americans believe they won and the canadians believe they won hence no winner. both repelled multiple invasions and failed to invade and both burned down each others admin buildings (white house & parliment buildings). it ended in a draw with the empire leaving the american privateers alone.

  17. Post
    Riley Gardner

    This is fantastic! The few things that threw me off 1) Texas independence had a lot more issues than slavery. It had to do with federalism vs. centralism and various rights. Not only slavery. 2) Lincoln died after the war ended.

    But awesome video!

  18. Post
    Riley Gardner

    Actually, nevermind. Just saw the explanation in the other video about the end of the Civil War. Awesome! (But I still stand by my Texas revolution comment. :D)

  19. Post
    **Channel innactive** SortOf

    im a jounear and i like to say thanks the taks test is next week and i need alot of information about the US history section so i can pass this

  20. Post
  21. Post
  22. Post
  23. Post
    thomas edqvist

    this is alot of help! My oral English final is tomorrow and the Theme is USA. Thanks a lot for the help! (Y)

  24. Post

    So happy you made these videos. I don't remember anything from elementary school and high school didn't teach me any of this stuff. This is the only thing I can use to learn this stuff

  25. Post
  26. Post

    Solid refresher on dates and events, did nothing to explain why any of it mattered. I hope the other videos are better.

  27. Post
    Jimmy De'Souza

    Regarding the war of 1912, the US didnt win. The US continually failed to successfully attack British holdings despite greater numbers due to Britain having a more professional army. Britain however could not properly fight the US either due to being engaged with the Napoleonic war.

    When the Napoleonic war finally ended most of the causes of the war immediately dissapeared, it was seen as pointlessly dangerous to continue the as yet inconsequential bloodshed so a peace was brokered.

  28. Post
  29. Post
  30. Post
  31. Post

    A jet tour of the american history that is very helpful to adult immigrants like me who does not have time to read in details.

  32. Post

    Yeah, it was the US who annoyed the Brits during the 1812-1814 antebellum. They wanted Canada so bad. And, they thought it would be easy to take it. They miscaculated their attacks. Dearborn was able to go near Montreal but failed.

  33. Post
  34. Post
  35. Post

    The war resulted in no territorial changes and invasions by both sides repelled. Canada won in the sense that they didn't get conquered, but then the US also won in that sense.

  36. Post
  37. Post
    Hip Hughes

    Need more review? Check out my channel, HipHughes History…..over 100 U.S. History Videos for your intellectual and comedic appetite. Rock on Khanners. Hashtag ShamelessPromotion

  38. Post
  39. Post

    this lecture gave me more information, in an easy to understand way, then a week of my history class would have ever.

  40. Post
  41. Post

    WAIT! WAIT! WAIT! You said for the "War of 1812" that the US was able to defeat England.. AGAIN?!?! England (but mostly those pesky Canadians)… ransacked the capitol, and burned "the house" to ground. And, defeated the US in every major battle… except the battle of New Orleans… but by then, the war was officially over.

  42. Post
  43. Post

    Want to know something interesting about white people? A lot of people want to think white people were never discriminated against and that they had the easy life but no. During the early years in the USA after freeing themselves from the UK, there was a massive Irish Immigration. Why? The UK turned its attention to Ireland, they could no longer rule the US. We were killed for having a slightly different religious belief, forced to serve rich British people. Then the potato famine was the deciding factor. The citizens of the US hated and despised Irish immigrants. Forced to work for not money but table scraps for the rich. If you were lucky you got to work in dangerous factories or mines. Most of our people were on the streets, beggars. Many were beaten, had rocks thrown at them… even some cases killed while coming off the boats. And that treatment continued once they settled in. Irish people formed the first ever gangs, but not the ones you know today. It was for protection.

    And that's not all, draft laws were much different. During the civil war many Irish immigrants were drafted after only taking 5 steps off the boats. A large portion of the Union Army were made of Irish Immigrants. Fighting to end slavery for a country we just landed on. Many signed up for the 3 square meals a day and it was better than being treated like trash on the streets. My ancestors actually fought in the Civil War. Irish families were very large with many branching off families, but they actual great+ grandparents not some distant uncle or anything. This discrimination lasted for some time. But even still, I'm still proud to be Irish and American.

  44. Post
  45. Post
  46. Post
  47. Post
  48. Post
    Davey J

    History is very much open to interpretation, and this talk is a good example of that. Definitely embellishes and demeans in several areas.

  49. Post
  50. Post
  51. Post
  52. Post
  53. Post

    Thank you, that kind of helped me a little. I'm taking a super difficult U.S History course online that is required before I start my Masters program. So far I did bad on the first two quizzes, and there is soooooo much information, you just touched on the basics, well this class goes in super detail and my mind is very exhausted from all of it. But your video was interesting to watch.

  54. Post

    I'm just watching this for fun, because I fell in love with your videos when I was hardcore struggling in calculus. Now that I'm done with school, I can actually enjoy these 🙂

  55. Post
  56. Post
    mona lisa

    You could have mentioned that the declaration of independence was inluenced by Illuminism or the French Revolution. Kinda ended up a superficial video…

  57. Post
  58. Post
  59. Post
  60. Post
  61. Post
  62. Post
  63. Post
  64. Post
  65. Post
  66. Post
  67. Post
  68. Post
  69. Post
  70. Post
  71. Post
  72. Post
  73. Post
  74. Post
  75. Post
  76. Post
  77. Post
  78. Post
  79. Post
  80. Post
    Ramona Sprayberry Phillips

    WOW– it is sure most of those who comment do not care to learn , and cheat their selves out of so much. Thanks for the lessons — I appreciate you work.

  81. Post
  82. Post
  83. Post

    love the video and really appreciate the effort put into covering so much. just a little thing that bothered me: the emancipation proclamation only proclaimed freedom for slaves who were part of the Confederate states, so states like Missouri were left alone

  84. Post
  85. Post
  86. Post
  87. Post
  88. Post
  89. Post

    I didn't go to high school and don't know a lot about history, but am starting a college class on history today. This overview was SUPER helpful, thank you!

  90. Post
  91. Post
  92. Post
  93. Post
  94. Post
    Hank Rola

    All this guy is proving is that you can rationalize anything. The winners rationalize history, and this teacher-guy parrots it. If you want to know the truth of our reality, you'll have to struggle. They are giving you a sanitized explaination. Every one knew slavery was wrong long before the Civil War. They only decided to have a Civil War when it was CONVENIENT.

  95. Post
  96. Post
  97. Post
  98. Post
    Living History Comes Alive

    Love the channel. Please check mine out..Living History Comes Alive. Your opinions matters. Thank you.

  99. Post
    مكين مجلس

    1607: Jamestown

    1619: Slaves are brought to America

    1620: Plymouth (Mayflower Compact)

    1754: French and Indian War/Seven Years War Begins

    1763: Treaty of Paris (1763)

    1765: Stamp Act

    1773: Boston Tea Party

    1774: First Continental Congress

    1776: Declaration of Independence

    1783: Treaty of Paris (1783)

    1783: Articles of Confederation are created (poor central government, no power)

    1787: Constitution created

    1788: Constitution ratified

    1789: Constitution in effect

    1791: Bill of Rights

    1789: Washington elected

    1797: Washington’s term ends

    1802: Marbury vs. Madison

    1803: Louisiana Purchase

    1812 – 1815: War of 1812

    1815: Battle of New Orleans (British defeated)

    1836: Texas independence

    1842: Webster Ashburton Treaty

    1845: Annexation of Texas

    1846 – 1848: Mexican-American War

    1853: Gadsden Purchase

    1860: Abraham Lincoln is elected

    1863: Emancipation Proclamation

    1865: South surrenders, Civil War Ends

  100. Post

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *