The United States of America is a confederal constitutional republic located in North America. It was created out of thirteen former British colonies following the American Revolution in the late 18th century, but has expanded to include 48 states and 12 territories.
The Roaring TwentiesEdit
Following the pivotal role played by the US in the Great War, the country experienced a huge postwar boom. nder a series of pro-business presidents, the New York Stock Exchange became the center of the financial world, and the nation thrived. However, optimistic Americans turned a blind eye on risky practices, such as buying stock on margin. In addition, the US became increasingly entangled in the world economy because of its loans to postwar Europe, even as American leaders distanced themselves politically from the rest of the world, preferring to focus on the Western Hemisphere. When the stock bubble burst in 1929, the US economy was the hardest hit of all, and it spiralled into the decade of turmoil known as the Great Depression.
The Great DepressionEdit
As unemployment soared during the early 1930s, popular sentiment turned viciously against the Republican leaders and against politics in general. In the election of 1932, Democratic candidate Frederick Alan Schmidt, a big government supporter who promised to redefine liberalism, was elected. He instituted banking reform and regulation, and his massive public works projects began to turn the economy around. His effective and charismatic leadership won him an easy reelection. However, his second term was marred from the start, with his attempt at 'packing' the Supreme Court causing him to lose the support of Congree, the Court, and his own party. He was unable to implement any reforms for the remainder of his presidency. At the 1940 convention, the Democrats split up, but the lasting unpopularity of the Republicans resulted in the Prosperity Party, a moderate democratic offshoot, winning the White House. Partnering with the Conservative Coalition, the new administration deregulated the economy, and as recovery remained sluggish, was forced to lead an unprecedented decentralization of the US government. Both as a result of this reduction of federal power and owing to the disgust America still harbored for politicians for failing them in the Great Depression, politics, especially at a national level, became much less important. Moderate-Conservative and Moderate-Liberal coalition governments shared power, but no notable changes were made. It took until 1947, almost twenty years, for the economy to recover, but by 1950 the nation was experiencing fast growth again, and entered the tumultous Post-Depression era.
A significant feature of US politics in the recovery and post-recovery periods was intense interest and involvement in Latin America, motivated by the pro-business nature of an America that wanted desperately to avoid another Great Depression. Cuba, Guam, Puerto Rico, the Philippines, Panama, Alaska, Hawaii and parts of Mexico were already all overseas territories by 1950. But late in that year, the country got itself involved yet again, this time in Guatemala. Intervention on behalf of the United Fruit Company led to the induction Guatemala's induction as another territory in 1951. With the trend of Latin American involvement still on the rise, Hispanics where now a significant US majority. This combined with the states rights and distrust of the federal government led to serious problems as racial tensions between whites, blacks and Hispanics escalated but Washington was powerless to resolve the conflict. The formation of the African Freedom and Equality Movement, a guerrilla group led by Martin Luther King Jr. to overthrow the Jom Crow status crow of the South promised that racial divides would shape the next era of American history.
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