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- A Brief History of the United States - 3/72 -



This epoch extends from the discovery of America in 1492 to the settlement at Jamestown, Va., in 1607. During this period various European nations were exploring the continent, and making widely scattered settlements.



This epoch extends from the settlement at Jamestown, Va., in 1607, to the breaking out of the Revolutionary War in 1775. During this period the scattered settlements grew into thirteen flourishing colonies, subject to Great Britain.



This epoch extends from the breaking out of the Revolutionary War in 1775, to the adoption of the Constitution in 1787. During this period the colonies threw off the government of England, and established their independence.



This epoch extends from the adoption of the Constitution in 1787, to the breaking out of the Civil War in 1861. During this period the States increased in number from thirteen to thirty-four, and grew in population and wealth until the United States became the most prosperous nation in the world.



This epoch extends from the breaking out of the Civil War in 1861, to the surrender of Lee's army in 1865. During this period a gigantic strife was carried on between the Northern and the Southern States, the former struggling for the perpetuation of the Union, and the latter for its division.



This epoch extends from the close of the Civil War to the present time. During this period the seceding States have been restored to their rights in the Union, peace has been fully established, and many interesting events have occurred.


The following works will be found valuable for reference and additional information. It is not the intention to give a catalogue of U. S. Histories and biographies of celebrated Americans, but simply to name a few works which will serve to interest a class and furnish material for collateral reading. Bancroft's and Hildreth's Histories, Irving's Life of Washington, and Sparks's American Biographies, are supposed to be in every school library, and to be familiar to every teacher. They are therefore not referred to in this list. The Lives of the Presidents, the Histories of the different States, and all works of local value are useful, and should be secured, if possible. The Magazine of American History will be found serviceable for reference on disputed points of American History and Biography. Holmes's American Annals is invaluable, and the early volumes of the North American Review contain a great deal of interesting historical matter. The American Cyclopaedia and Thomas's Dictionary of Biography are exceedingly serviceable in preparing essays and furnishing anecdotes. With a little effort a poem, a good prose selection, or a composition on some historical topic may be offered by the class each day to enliven the recitation.

_Beamish's Discovery of America by the Northmen.--Bradford's American Antiquities.--Baldwin's Ancient America.--Squier and Davis's American Antiquities and Discoveries in the West--Sinding's History of Scandinavia.-Cattin's North American Indians. --Thatcher's Indian Biography.--Stone's Life and Times of Red Jacket, and Life of Brandt--Cooper's Leather Stocking Tales--Morgan's League of the Iroquois.--Schoolcraft's Memoirs of Residence Among the Indians, and other works by the same author. --Foster's Prehistoric Races of the United States of America. --Bancroft's Native Races--Matthew's Behemoth, a Legend of the Mound Builders (Fiction).--Lowell's Chippewa Legend (Poetry). --Whittier's Bridal of Penacook (Poetry).--Jones's Mound-Builders of Tennesee.--Goodrich's So-called Columbus.--Ancient Monuments in America, Harper's Magazine, vol._ 21.

[Illustration: A SPANISH CARAVEL. (From a drawing attributed to Columbus.)]



[Illustration: BALBOA.]

GEOGRAPHICAL KNOWLEDGE IN THE FIFTEENTH CENTURY.--The people of Europe had then never heard of America. About that time, a great desire for geographical knowledge was awakened. The compass and the astrolabe--an instrument for reckoning latitude--had been already invented. Voyagers were no longer compelled to creep along the shore, but began to strike out boldly into the open sea. The art of printing had just come into use, and books of travel were eagerly read.

[Footnote: _Questions on the Geography of the First Epoch_.--In the accompanying map there are no divisions of the continent, as none existed at that time. When they are called for in the following questions, the object is to test the pupil's geographical knowledge.

Locate the West Indies. San Salvador (now called Guanahani, gwah-nah-hah'-ne, and Cat Island). Cuba. Hispaniola or Hayti (he-te), name given to the island in 1803 by Dessalines. (See Lipp. Gazetteer.) Newfoundland. Cape Breton. Roanoke Island. Manhattan Island.

Describe the Orinoco River. Mississippi River. St. Lawrence River. James River. Ohio River. Colorado River. Columbia River. St. John's River (see map for Epoch V).

Where is Labrador? Central America? Florida? Mexico? New Mexico? California? Oregon? Peru?

Locate St Augustine. Santa Fe (sahn-tah-fay). New York. Montreal. Quebec. Albany. Jamestown. Port Royal. Isthmus of Darien. Cape Henry. Cape Charles. Cape Cod. Chesapeake Bay. Hudson Bay.

Marco Polo and other adventurers returning from the East, told wonderful stories of the wealth of Asiatic cities. Genoa, Florence, and Venice, commanding the commerce of the Mediterranean, had become enriched by trade with the East. The costly shawls, spices, and silks of Persia and India were borne by caravans to the Red Sea, thence on camels across the desert to the Nile, and lastly by ship over the Mediterranean to Europe.]

The great problem of the age was how to reach the East Indies by sea, and thus give a cheaper route to these rich products.

COLUMBUS conceived that _by sailing west he could reach the East Indies_. He believed the earth to be round, which was then a novel idea. He, however, thought it much smaller than it really is, and that Asia extends much further round the world to the east than it does. Hence, he argued that by going a few hundred leagues west he would touch the coast of Eastern Asia. He was determined to try this new route, but was too poor to pay for the necessary ships, men, and provisions.

[Footnote: Several facts served to strengthen the faith of Columbus in the correctness of his theory. The Azores and the Cape de Verde islands were the most westerly lands then known. There had been washed on their shores by westerly winds, pieces of wood curiously carved, trees, and seeds of unknown species, and especially the bodies of two men of strange color and visage.]

[Footnote: Christopher Columbus was born in Genoa, Italy, 1435. He was trained for the sea from his childhood. Being the eldest of four children, and his father a poor wool-comber, much care devolved upon him. It is said that at thirty his hair was white from trouble and anxiety. His kind and loving disposition is proved by the fact that in his poorest days he saved part of his pittance to educate his young brothers and support his aged father. Columbus was determined, shrewd, and intensely religious. He believed and announced himself to be divinely called to "carry the true faith into the uttermost parts of the earth." Inspired by this thought, no discouragement or contumely could drive him to despair utterly. It was eighteen years from the conception to the accomplishment of his plan. During all this time his life was a marvel of patience, and of brave devotion to his one purpose. His sorrows were many; his triumph was brief. Evil men maligned him to Ferdinand and Isabella. Disregarding their promise that he should be governor-general over all the lands he might discover, the king and queen sent out another governor, and by his order Columbus was sent home in chains! No wonder that the whole nation was shocked at such

A Brief History of the United States - 3/72

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