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  • Contenders for the West to 1820

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    Despite a surprising victory in their War of Independence, the new United States appeared to be unlikely candidates for future continental dominance in 1783. Most of North America was still wilderness, and under claim by the major European powers of the day, Britain, France and Spain. But Europe was soon... More
  • Eastern France 1643–1715

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    Following the Thirty Years’ War, and the pivotal French victory against the Spanish at Rocroi (1643), France’s military reputation was secured, and the period of French hegemony in Europe, under the rule of Louis XIV, began. France initially looked eastward, as a means of facilitating contact with her German allies,... More
  • The United States 1790

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    The independent Republic of Vermont (1777–91) issued its own coinage and currency, and engaged in diplomatic relations with the Dutch, French and British before becoming the 14th state of the Union. The independent 'State of Frankland' was briefly declared in the western Carolinas in the 1780s before being suppressed: the... More
  • The United States 1810

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    Fulwar Skipwith was proclaimed governor of the short-lived 'Republic of West Florida' in November 1810. Within weeks, the 'Republic' had been suppressed by an American military expedition, serving as a convenient pretext for the annexation of the disputed territory from Spain. The expedition had been mounted from Orleans territory, the... More
  • The United States 1820

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    The Treaty of 1818 with Britain fixed the northern United States border at the 49th parallel, confirming the Red River Basin as American, while providing for joint settlement of the Oregon Country. In the south, Andrew Jackson’s 1817–18 Seminole War led, through its overenthusiastic prosecution, to the occupation of much... More
  • The United States 1830

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    By the Missouri Compromise, Maine’s admission as a 'free' state (1820) was yoked to Missouri’s admission the following year as a 'slavery' state. Northern representatives bitterly opposed the spread of slave-holding to the new territories; an amendment prohibited extending slave-holding north of the 36 degrees 30 minutes parallel – a... More
  • Westward Expansion of the United States 1783–1898

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    British recognition of American independence by the Treaty of Paris (1783) dissolved the 1763 Line of Proclamation and effectively doubled the territory of the new republic from its original Thirteen Colonies. A further doubling occurred with the Louisiana Purchase from Napoleonic France (1803), which extended the western boundary to the... More