USA Brief History

According to Commit4fitness, the United States, the world’s fourth largest country, has a lot to offer a traveler. Here is a fantastic nature and an interesting life. Americans are easy to get in touch with and they are happy to help a tourist. It is easy to travel around the United States if you have access to a car, often a condition for reaching remote nature reserves or places of interest. Accompanied on the trip was my son Mikael who helped make this one of my nicest and most fun.

For four weeks we drove from Los Angeles to Chicago through the states of California (CA), Nevada (NV), Arizona (AZ), Utah (UT), Idaho (ID), Wyoming (WY), South Dakota (SD), Minnesota (MN), Wisconsin (WI) and Illinois (IL). Our drive gave us the opportunity to experience major cities such as Los Angeles, San Francisco, Las Vegas, Salt Lake City, Minneapolis and Chicago as well as a variety of smaller cities and communities. We also visited several national parks, such as Death Valley, one of the warmest places in the world (it was almost +50 degrees C on our visit), Grand Canyon National Park, Monument Valley, Arches National Park, Yellowstone National Park, Big Horn, Black Hills of South Dakota, Custer National Park, Mount Rushmore and Badlands National Park. When we drove through the Swedish countryside in Minnesota and visited places with Swedish-sounding names like Mora, Lindstrom, Scandic and others. patted the heart a little extra.

The meetings with people were many, fun and memorable; a young woman whose sister played handball in the Partille Cup in my hometown of Gothenburg, the hotel owner Patricia Manygoats in Kayenta, Mormons in Salt Lake City, a gang who drove around South Dakota on their Harley Davidson motorcycles to play poker, the bar owner Dana, to half lakota-sioux indian, in Interior and Miss “Lutefisk” in Minnesota’s Swedish countryside etc.

The cultural experiences were of a varied nature; from the TV concert of the Mormon world-famous choir in Salt Lake City to a “revolver duel” in the small wild west town of Williams along Route66 in Arizona.

Access to a car is a must if you want to implement an arrangement similar to ours and have maximum flexibility during the trip. However, you must be prepared for the fact that the distances are long in the USA, often longer than you might think. When we handed in our rental car, a Chevrolet Cobalt Coupé, in Chicago, we had driven 10,294 kilometers since the start in Los Angeles!

US history in brief

United States history, older before Christ


The first humans came to the North American continent from Siberia via the land bridge that connected Siberia with Alaska. and thus different Native American cultures spread across the continent


Researchers date the oldest traces of probable human settlements in Alaska and New Mexico to this time

3,000 A primitive form of corn was grown in New Mexico and Arizona

300 The first traces of village life found in the United States date to this time

United States history, older after Christ


The Vikings came to North America and thus became the first Europeans to reach the continent

1492 Christopher Columbus lands in the New World on October 12

1565 The Spaniards found the colony of Florida


Made the English a first attempt to start a British colony on American soil. This happened when the nobleman Walter Raleigh came to the island of Roanoke off North Carolina

1598 The Spaniards found the colony of New Mexico

1607 The English found the colony of Virginia

1608 France’s first permanent residence in Quebeck is founded

1620 The English found the colony of New England

1624 The Dutch open a trading post at the mouth of the Hudson River


The Dutch found the colony of New Amsterdam on the island of Manhattan. The name was changed to New York when it was taken over by the British 40 years later


It is estimated that there were 4,600 inhabitants in the new colonies, in addition to the indigenous population

1638 – 1655 Sweden had the colony New Sweden, which was located next to the Delaware River

1681 The English establish the colony of Pennsylvania

1750 African slaves made up 40% of the population

1763 France cedes territories of the Great Lakes to Britain


The prelude to the freedom struggle began with the so-called “The Boston Tea Party” when some rebellious colonists, disguised as Indians, threw the tea bag from three English ships overboard in the port of Boston.

1775 The North American War of Independence begins on April 19


“Declaration of Independence” adopted in Philadelphia. At the time of the declaration of independence, the United States consisted of 13 colonies with about 2.5 million inhabitants

1783 The Peace of Paris ends the North American War of Independence

1789 – 1797 George Washington was president

1789 The US Constitution is adopted, which is largely still in force today

1790 Washington, District of Columbia becomes the capital of the country

1793 Industrialization begins in the United States

1797 – 1801 John Adams was president

1801 – 1809 Thomas Jefferson was president

1803 Ohio becomes the first state in the Northwest Territories

1809 – 1817 James Madison was president

1817 – 1825 James Monroe was president


Presented is the “Monroe Doctrine” which stated that the United States did not intend to tolerate European countries attacking the Western Hemisphere, or establishing new colonies there. The doctrine came to have great foreign policy significance and not least to justify the US influence in Latin America

1824 The Bureau of Indian Affairs is formed, which is responsible for relations with the Indians

1825 – 1829 John Quincy Adams was president

1829 – 1837 Andrew Jackson was president


Defeat Indian Chief Black Hawk and his 1,000 Fox and Sauc Indians as they try to defend their territory

1837 – 1841 Martin Van Buren was President of the United States


The Cherokee Native American tribe is being forced out of its traditional homeland, “The Road to Tears.”

1841 WH Harrison was president

1841 – 1845 John Tyler was president

1845 – 1849 James K Polk was president


War with Mexico. The states of Arizona, California, Utah, Nevada and New Mexico are moving to the United States

1849 – 1850 Zachary Taylor was president

1850 – 1853 Millard Fillmore was president

1850 – 1920

During the second half of the 19th century and until 1920, the United States experienced a large immigration during which the population increased from 25 million to 106 million inhabitants, about 1 million of these came from Sweden

1853 – 1857 Franklin Pierce is president

1857 – 1861 James Buchanan was president

1861 – 1865 Abraham Lincoln was president

When Republican and anti-slavery Abraham Lincoln was elected president in 1860, eleven southern states broke away from the “United States” and formed their own confederation. This was the beginning of a devastating civil war that lasted four years and claimed the lives of 600,000 people.

In the middle of the war, Lincoln proclaimed the abolition of slavery, which was confirmed after the capitulation of the southern states in 1865.


The American Civil War begins on April 15 with the attack on Fort Summers in South Carolina


The “Homestead Act” is introduced, which gave all white, freed slaves and single women the right to 65 hectares of land. Thus began the end of the free life of the Indians


On January 1, President Lincoln declares that all slaves are now free
Union forces defeat Robert E. Lee’s Confederate forces at Gettysburg in July


General Robert E. Lee will surrender on April 9 to Ulysses Grant, Commander of the Union

President Abraham Lincoln assassinated by John Wilkes Booth on April 14 in Washington DC by a Southern
supporter Adopts the thirteenth constitutional amendment abolishing slavery

1865 – 1869 Andrew Johson was president

1866 The United States’ colored people get the right to vote

1867 Russia sells Alaska for $ 7.2 million

1869 The first transcontinental railway is inaugurated

1869 – 1877 Ulysses S Grant was president

1870 African Americans receive American citizenship

1876 ​​The Battle of the Little Big Horn in Montana takes place

1877 – 1881 Rutherford R Hayes was president

1881 James A Garfield was president

1881 – 1885 Chester A Arthur was president

1884 A telephone line between New York and Boston opens

1885 – 1889 Groover Cleveland was president


The Apache chief Geronimo capitulates after fierce opposition to the settlers’ settlements

The Statue of Liberty was erected in New York

1889 – 1893 Benjamin Harrison was president

1896 Segregation laws are introduced throughout the American South

1893 – 1897 Groover Cleveland was president

1897 – 1901 William McKinley was president


The USS Maine exploded in Havana, Cuba, thus beginning the Spanish-American War. After a short strife, Spain recognized Cuba’s independence and gave up Puerto Rico, the Philippines and Guam.

USA history 1900 – 1999

1901 – 1909 Theodore Roosevelt was president

1909 – 1913 William H Taft was president

1913 – 1921 Woodrow Wilson was president


When World War I broke out, President Woodrow Wilson declared US neutrality


The Lincoln Highway from New York to San Francisco will be the country’s first transcontinental highway


Domestic opinion against the US declaring neutrality has fluctuated sharply since the declaration of neutrality in 1914, saying that the country should take an active part in why the US declares war on Germany on 6 April. This helped the Allies gain the upper hand on the Western Front, which was crucial to the end of the war.

1921 – 1923 Warren Harding was president

1923 – 1929 Calvin Coolidge was president


The United States was hit by a severe economic downturn, the so-called “Great Depression”, in the late 1920s. Panic broke out on the New York Stock Exchange in October 1929 and stock prices fell dramatically. During this period, many companies collapsed and unemployment rose sharply

1929 – 1933 Herbert Hoover was president

1933 – 1945 Franklin D Roosevelt was president.

Under Roosevelt’s leadership, a stimulus package was introduced called “The New Deal” which became the basis of the modern welfare state. His economic program resulted in an upsurge amplified by the military rearmament that began with the outbreak of World War II.

1939 Commercial television channels start regular broadcasts


After Japan bombed the Pearl Harbor naval base in Hawaii on December 7, the United States decided to take part in World War II on the side of the Allies. The United States’ efforts, just like during the First World War, were of crucial importance for the end of the war


UN based in San Francisco
Japan capitulates after US atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki

Franklin D Roosevelt died in April

1945 – 1953 Harry S Truman becomes president after Roosevelt


The Atlantic Pact (NATO) is formed where member states promise to come to the rescue of each other in the event of an attack from outside

1950 – 1953 Korean War


In the early 1950s, the so-called McCarthy investigations were underway, hunting down people with communist sympathies.

1953 – 1961 Dwight D Eisenhower was president


Alan Shepard becomes the first American in outer space

John F Kennedy gives his support to the so-called “Pig Bay Invasion” when Cuban exiles would take back power from Fidel Castro

1961 – 1963 John F Kennedy was president

1962 The Cuba crisis begins in October


President John F Kennedy is assassinated in Dallas in November. Lee Harvey Oswald is considered the lone killer.

1963 – 1969

Vice President Lyndon B Johnson becomes president after the assassination of John F Kennedy

1964 – 1975 Is the United States involved in the Vietnam War


Civil rights activist Martin Luther King is assassinated

Robert Kennedy is murdered


Neil Armstrong lands on the moon

1969 – 1974 Richard Nixon was president. He escalated the Vietnam War


The SALT negotiations (Strategic Arms Limitation Talks) result in an agreement with Moscow on limiting the number of long-range nuclear weapons. (the so-called SALT 1 agreement).
Nixon paid a historic visit to Beijing, which greatly improved relations between the two countries


The United States is stepping up efforts to launch a dialogue between Israel and its Arab neighbors after the “October War”.


President Richard Nixon resigns after the Watergate scandal and is succeeded by his Vice President Gerald Ford

1974 – 1977 Gerald Ford was president

1975 The United States withdraws its troops from Vietnam

1977 – 1981 Jimmy Carter was president


Carter succeeded in bringing Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin and Egyptian President Anwar Sadat to the negotiating table, leading to the Camp David Accords and peace between Egypt and Israel. This was Carter’s greatest foreign policy triumph as president

1979 Staff at the US Embassy in Tehran are taken hostage by Iranian students

1980 The hostage in Tehran is released

1981 – 1989 Ronald Reagan was president


The small Caribbean island state of Grenada was invaded to slow the spread of communism The
Sandinista regime in Nicaragua was isolated by trade embargo and a mining of the country’s ports
Nicaragua’s anti-communist guerrilla, Contras, was actively supported, both with money and advice
Reagan rejected the proposal for the SALT-2 treaty. a ceiling on the number of nuclear weapons


Disarmament negotiations resumed and an agreement was reached aimed at reducing the number of nuclear weapons. The
agreement gained great symbolic significance even though only a small part of the total nuclear arsenal was covered.


During Reagan’s last two years as president, the White House was hit by several scandals. The most serious was the Iran-Contras scandal, in which White House staffers secretly sold weapons to Iran via Israel. Part of the profits from arms sales were used to support the Contras guerrillas in Nicaragua
“Indian Gaming Regulatory Act” opens Native American land for legalized gambling

1989 – 1993 George Bush was president

1990 – 1991 The United States participates in the Kuwait War


President Bush and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev sign the START agreement
1993 – 2001 William (Bill) Clinton was president


Democrats lost control of both houses of Congress for the first time in 40 years

1998 The so-called Monica Lewinsky scandal was revealed

USA Brief History

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