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Important Topics in American History

Please help me identify why the following events are important for classroom discuss.

The French Indian War

The Great Awakening

The War of 1812

The Monroe Doctrine

Manifest Destiny

Slavery as an Institution

The Mexican American War

The Union and the Civil War

The Confederacy and the Civil War

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? The French and Indian War served as the culminating confrontation between France and England for control of North America. Started in the American colonies by George Washington's confrontation with French troops on a frontier area claimed by both England and France, this war ultimately erupted into a world war - the Seven Years' War. The historical implications of this war were significant. First, English victory meant that Great Britain stood poised to become the greatest power in the world at the time, acquiring control of all North America - including Canada and India. Unfortunately, and after decades of warfare, the British treasury was nearly empty. Consequently, Great Britain started to enforce the long-unenforced Navigation Acts controlling American colonial trade. This led inexorably to a second point of historical significance: that the French and Indian War played a direct result in stimulating the American colonists to revolt against England. The result of such was American independence negotiated via the Treaty of Paris, 1783. A classic literary account of the French and Indian War may be found in the writings of the Nationalist/Whig historian, Francis S. Parkman, as well as James Fenimore Cooper's "Last of the Mohicans."

? The Great Awakening was also one of the most important historical events in American colonial history because it ultimately served as a catalyst for the American Revolution. Essentially a religious revival movement, the Great Awakening started in the 1730s and reached a climax in the 1740s. The main message of the movement turned on the idea of encouraging people to break with the religious constraints of the past and start a new relationship with the divinity. Main figures in this movement included John and Charles Wesley, the founders of Methodism; George Whitefield, an enigmatic speaker from England who launched a series of evangelizing tours throughout the American colonies and who drew huge crowds; and Jonathan Edwards, a New England Congregationalist preacher who mesmerized people with his vivid and horrid descriptions of Hell and damnation, manifest in his famous sermon, "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God." At bottom, the Great Awakening encouraged people to start questioning the religious establishment. For an inherently religious people, this was a momentous step. To question something as important as religion, it then became but a small step to start questioning the established laws of the temporal world - manifest in politics and the economy. As a result, many historians of the period have suggested the Great Awakening set the intellectual stage of the American Revolution.

? The War of 1812, often described by historians as the second American Revolution, played a major role in United States history in several important ways. First, American victory in the war set the stage for the emergence of a new, second-generation, group of American political leaders. People like Henry Clay, John Quincy Adams, John C, Calhoun, and, in particular, Andrew Jackson, all emerged from the War of 1812 on the verge of their important political careers. Second, since the Americans came close to defeat, the war encouraged the development of American infrastructure found woefully lacking during the war. Consequently, a focus on what was called "internal improvements" in the young country's communication/transportation system began in earnest. Throughout ...

Solution Summary

The solution provides concise narratives on the listed topics (see long description for an enumerated list) that are of interest as important events in American history.