U.S. History and Politics

History of the USA in the 19th and 20th centuries

American Civil War (Civil War)

The United States did not develop evenly. The north and the south went economically and socially different paths. While the north became more and more industrialized and an open society with opportunities for social advancement developed, there was a quasi feudal agricultural economy in the south, which produced cotton and tobacco in sometimes huge plantations and relied fully on slave workers who were practically without rights. In the north of the country people were in favor of the abolition of slavery. In the south, however, they were against it because there were a lot of slaves on the plantations and cheap labor.

In 1860 an opponent of slavery became president: Abraham Lincoln. In 1861, eleven southern states declared themselves independent and split off. Such a split is also called secession. So it came to the civil war. The northern states fought against the southern states, which also called themselves Confederates.

The north, far superior in terms of population and economic power, finally triumphed in 1865 after four years of bloody struggle. State unity was assured, the abolition of slavery became law. However, the old contrasts were still decisive for a long time and still have an effect up to the present day.

American Civil War

End of the pioneering days

The pioneering days and with it the time of the “Wild West” ended in 1890. The entire continent was now settled.

Many people also emigrated to America. Especially after 1900, with the growing industrialization, many people came mainly from southern and eastern Europe. The US began to control immigration with quota regulations. They also wanted to preserve the “white” character of the country.

After the Second World War there was again large immigration. The racist quota system of 1924 was abandoned. In addition to immigration from Europe, there was significant immigration from Asia and especially from Mexico, Central and South America. The Hispanics became the largest ethnic minority in the United States.


US policy has increasingly focused on interests outside of its own country. The course became imperialist, that is, out to rule over others. The USA supported the Spanish colonies in the struggle for independence in order to create their own advantages. The Spanish-American War ended victorious for the United States. Puerto Rico, Hawaii, and the Philippines became US overseas holdings. Between 1865 and 1914, the USA also rose to become the leading economic power.

First World War and Great Depression

In 1917 the United States entered World War I, which ended in 1918. After an economic boom, there was a stock market crash and a major economic crisis in 1929. Unemployment rose enormously, and poverty grew. President Franklin D. Roosevelt implemented reforms from 1932 onwards that eventually improved the situation.

Second World War

In 1941 the United States entered World War II, which ended in 1945 with the victory of the Allies. The US dropped atomic bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. This ended the Second World War in Asia too.

Cold War

Conflicts soon emerged with the Soviet Union, which had previously been allied to the war, leading to the Cold War. In 1949 NATO was founded as a Western military alliance. There was an arms race and several conflicts that were fought at gunpoint (Korean War, Cuban Missile Crisis, Vietnam War).

Civil rights movement

The civil rights movement resulted in segregation being abolished in 1964 and blacks being given full voting rights in 1965. In 1968, a further civil rights law prohibited discrimination against people on the basis of race, skin color, religion or nationality, for example when renting an apartment.

The 1990s

With the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, the Cold War ended. The USA intervened militarily in several conflicts, for example in the Second Gulf War between Iraq and Kuwait (1991), in the Bosnian War (1995) or in the Kosovo War (1997). The 1990s brought an economic boom.

History of the United States in the 21st Century

9/11 and its consequences

In a terrorist attack on September 11, 2001 – also known as 9/11 for short – around 3000 people died. Safety regulations were subsequently massively strengthened. War has been declared against terrorism. The perpetrators of the attacks were suspected to be in Afghanistan and Iraq. In October 2001, the Taliban regime was overthrown in Afghanistan.

In 2003, the attack on Iraq led to the Third Gulf War, which led to the overthrow of the Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein. However, American policy favored a further destabilization of the entire Middle East and North Africa. Millions of refugees and increasing terror also in Europe are the sad consequences.

Barack Obama

Barack Obama became the first black president of the USA in 2009. He was the 44th President of the United States. He ended the occupation of Iraq. In 2009 he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts to promote peace and international understanding. He also worked to improve health care. The law for this is often called Obamacare after him. In particular, every American should take out health insurance. Obama was re-elected in 2012 and remained in office until 2017. He belongs to the Democratic Party.

Donald Trump

Donald Trump became the 45th President of the United States in 2017. He belongs to the Republican Party. He made the slogan “America First” his motto. Trump began to build a wall to neighboring Mexico. He set tariffs so that, for example, cars were built in the US and not in other countries. He barely put any measures in place to contain the coronavirus, which resulted in more people developing and dying from corona in the United States than in any other country.┬áTo get more information on United States and Central and North America, check loverists.

Trump ran for a second term in 2020 but lost the election to Joe Biden. Trump could not accept his defeat and accused Biden of electoral fraud. But he could never prove that.

Joe Biden

Republican Joe Biden won the November 2020 election. On January 20, 2021, he was sworn in as the 46th President of the United States. Vice President is Kamala Harris.