Saturday, 8 June 2013

Top 10 Most Important Events in America's History

The Assassination of Abraham Lincoln

On April 14, 1865, John Wilkes Booth, a famous actor and Confederate sympathizer, fatally shot President Abraham Lincoln at a play at Ford's Theatre in Washington, D.C. The attack came only five days after Confederate General Robert E. Lee surrendered his massive army at Appomattox Court House, Virginia, effectively ending the American Civil War. After 600,000 American men had died in the Civil War Booth decided Lincoln had to die for his crimes, considering Lincoln the root cause for the destruction of the South, the death of hundreds of thousands of its men, and the dishonour done to its institute of slavery.

Booth shot Lincoln in the back of the head with a pistol during a performance of “Our American Cousin,” at Ford’s Theater in Washington D. C, then leapt onto the stage and shouted “Sic semper tyrannis!” and may have shouted, “The South is avenged!” Lincoln’s assassination reminded humanity that when a war ends, the animosity between opposing sides does not. Winning a war does not put an end to hatred, and therefore no victory will ever be the last.

Buying Louisiana

In 1803 Thomas Jefferson doubled the United States of America’s area. America paid 60 million francs, plus an extra 18 million francs to cancel France's debts, which is about $15 million, for the whole of Louisiana. Today that would be worth about $220 million, which is an extraordinarily good sale price for 828,800 square miles. The acquisition of the Louisiana Territory for the bargain price of less than three cents an acre was among Jefferson's most notable achievements as president. American expansion westward into the new lands began immediately, and in 1804 a territorial government was established. On April 30, 1812, exactly nine years after the Louisiana Purchase agreement was made, the first state to be carved from the territory -Louisiana, was admitted into the Union as the 18th U.S. state.

The Manhattan Project

America became the first nation to complete the understanding of nuclear fission and developed the first weapon using this technology. Harry Truman’s decision, in 1945, to use it on the civilian population of Japan, the only serious threat to Allied safety at the time, remains extraordinarily controversial, but it did its job: putting a final end to the mightiest, deadliest war in human history. Japan was largely intent on fighting to the last man, which would have lasted years more. The atomic bombs Fat Man and Little Boy changed their minds in 4 days.

The Vietnam War

In many ways, the Vietnam War was a product of decades of poor politics, not just American, but including the global spread of Communism. America entered the Vietnam conflict largely because it felt threatened by Communism’s spread into democratic South Vietnam, and had sworn to defend democracy. Yet The Vietnam War did establish something good: peace rallies. Tens of thousands of U. S. citizens paraded, marched, and crowded into various public places, especially Washington D. C., to protest the War, and these rallies worked. Most scholars credit them with shortening U. S. involvement in Vietnam. After the fall of Saigon in 1975, Gerald Ford’s administration seriously considered various re-invasion plans but the American public was so sick of the War, that the U. S. government decided to cut its losses. The War was over. America had lost. 58,000 Americans had died for no good reason.

The Death of Osama bin Laden

Adolf Hitler and Josef Stalin had, until bin Laden’s death, been without parallel in the world’s opinion of villainy. Bin Laden’s status the world over was virtually equivalent to this. He still has plenty of supporters, most of them in various places throughout the Middle East, but their percentage is microscopic compared to the favourable response to his death on May 1, 2011. And it was the United States military, without help from anyone else, that did it.

The most important thing is the technical difficulty involved in finding and dealing with him. It is no easy thing to find someone on Earth who does not want to be found. The USA employed almost every single weapon in its arsenal, the most powerful in the history of Earth, in locating him, and he still evaded justice for a decade. That justice that was able to be served, long after most people had given up hope, is a testament to “waking the sleeping giant and filling him with a terrible resolve.” That America never gave up and overcame the difficulties is the true death knell of global terrorism, showing that eventually, terrorism can be stopped.

The Assassination of John F. Kennedy

No one has yet decided quite why Kennedy was killed. There are plenty of conspiracy theories, most centring on the Chicago Mafia. Sam Giancana is thought to have rigged the election to get Kennedy into the Office, but why he did this is a long, complicated story. In general, Giancana believed his interests would fare better under Kennedy. The answer is almost always money. However as much as the Mafia might have thought Kennedy would be on their side, he definitely was not once he took office, appointing his brother Bobby to be Attorney General. Bobby came down very hard on organized crime, especially in the Chicago area, and the conspiracy theory goes that Giancana felt betrayed and resolved to avenge this.

The similarities between his and Lincoln’s assassinations are uncanny. Among them are that both spoke prophetic words regarding their deaths. Lincoln dreamed his death not long before it happened. Kennedy once said, “Look, if someone wants to sit up in a window and take potshots at someone as they ride by, there’s not a hell of a lot they can do to stop him.”

The American Revolution

The establishment of America as a nation all its own occurred from 19 April 1775 to October 1781.

The Civil War

The causes of the Civil War, or more properly, the War over States’ Rights, include much more than slavery, but the sustenance or abolition of slavery was the result everyone watched for, and what all the politicians fought for. At no other time in American history was the nation more polarized over any issue. In hindsight, fighting over it was the only resolution. Many war experts consider it the first modern war, not because of the Gatling gun, but because of musket rifling and the Minie ball. As said in #10, 600,000 Americans died. This was horror on a scale no American ever saw before or since. . By the time it was over, Richmond had been bombed into a moonscape, General Sherman had burned Atlanta to the ground, and the President was killed.

But with the unconditional surrender of the South, the Union was able to welcome back all seceded states, per Lincoln’s wishes, and permanently outlaw slavery of any kind. The Constitution was amended to this effect, Blacks were given the right to vote and hold office, and a nation much more similar to that of the present finally existed in the Western Hemisphere.

September 11, 2001

On a Tuesday morning, Islamic extremists directed by Osama bin Laden hijacked 4 commercial passenger jets and deliberately flew them into major American landmarks. Their sole intent was indiscriminate mass murder, for the purpose of causing as much physical, emotional, mental, psychological and financial harm on America as they possibly could.

Today, the entire world can rest assured that never again will an American airplane be overtaken by anyone for any reason, because no terrorist of any culture or motive can ever again be trusted not to kill himself and innocent bystanders for the goal of entering Heaven. The terrorists will not stop until there are no terrorists. And now the civilized world knows it.

Apollo 11

On July 20, 1969, humanity did itself proud; we set foot on another world. And it was the United States of America who saw it through. England can claim some pride, in that Sir Isaac Newton was proven right about everything he said. Without him, NASA wouldn’t have known which way was up.

But only Americans have walked on the Moon, 12 of them. No one of any other nation has. There are five different flags on the Moon: the first planted is from the USA; out of respect for other superpowers, the USA has planted the flags of the Soviet Union, Japan, the European Union, and India.

NASA is now very intent on going back, and someday the next, much more giant leap will be taken: to Mars. Whoever it is who speaks first on Mars must remember the sentiment Neil Armstrong expressed, “We came in peace for all mankind.”