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Timelines & Events
The Revolutionary War and the American Revolution saw the creation of the United States when thirteen colonies joined together to fight for and win their independence from the British Empire.
The War of 1812 saw the United States pitted against the British again. This time the issue was trade restrictions by the British and the Royal Navy’s impressment of American sailors. Britain feared US trade would interfere with their war with France. Great Britain also wanted to establish a Native American state in the Midwest so they could maintain ties in the country. They promised the Native Americans territory, which is why nearly 10,000 Native Americans fought on the side of Great Britain.
The war lasted three years and ended with the United States as the ultimate victors, but not without extreme loss. Battles with the British, Canadians and Native Americans were costly, and at the end of the war the nation’s capitol in Washington, DC was set ablaze. The war ended on February 17, 1815 with the signing of the Treaty of Ghent. The US victory boosted national pride and patriotism in the fledgling country.
The American Civil War pitted Americans against Americans. The war between the Union and the Confederate States of America resulted in the death of more than 620,000 Americans and left millions more injured. The two sides fought over issues of slavery and states’ rights. It was a bloody conflict with heavy destruction throughout the nation. The northern victory preserved the United States as a nation and ended the practice of slavery.
The war pitted the communist government of North Vietnam against South Vietnam and its ally, the United States. The Cold War between the Soviet Union and US contributed to the tensions and conflict. The Vietnam War was a controversial action that ended up killing more than 3 million people, more than half of which were Vietnamese civilians. America lost 58,000. The war ended when communist forces seized control of South Vietnam in 1975. The following year, the country was unified as the Socialist Republic of Vietnam. America saw a rise in social protests on the homefront.
When Japan fell in the Second World War, it left Korea divided. As part of the former Japanese Empire, Korea was freed at the end of WWII. Most Koreans called for a united country, but the Soviet Union and US did not agree. The Soviets wanted to expand into Korea and the US wanted to establish another democracy to contain the spread of communism. This brought about the war between North and South Korea years later. The Soviet Union backed the North and the US backed the South.
World War I broke out when Archduke Franz Ferdinand of the Austro-Hungarian Empire was assassinated in Sarajevo by the organization known as Black Hand. Tensions in the area had been rising for decades, though, and Europe was poised for war. The system of alliances among nations drew countries into conflicts they were not directly affected by. Essentially the world broke into two armed camps, which is how Germany, Austria-Hungary and Bulgaria found itself facing off against the world. The rise in military technology building up to the war years and arms proliferation contributed to the bloody nature of the war. By the time it ended, more than 16.5 million soldiers and civilians had perished in what would become known as the “Great War.”
There were three main groups of powers involved in the war:
Central Powers: Germany, Austria-Hungary, Turkey.
Allied Powers: Great Britain, France, Russian Empire.
Associated Powers: United States, Belgium, Bolivia, Brazil, China, Cuba, Czechoslovakia, Ecuador, Greece, Guatamala, Haiti, Hejaz, Honduras, Italy, Japan, Liberia, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serb-Croat-Slovene State, Siam, Uraguay.
Just two decades after the First World War, the world is at war again. The Second World War was the deadliest war in history. It involved more than 30 nations and was the cause of an estimated 50-60 million military and civilian deaths. Six million of those killed were Jews in Nazi concentration camps. The Second World War lasted six long years.
The reason for the war was because of the instability in Europe following the First World War. It was ripe for another conflict. Germany, in particular, was economically unstable and politically divided, which allowed Adolf Hitler and his National Socialist (Nazi) Party to gain power. Hitler signed treaties with Italy and Japan to achieve his plans for world domination. War broke out when his troops invaded Poland in 1939.