Early History of Europeans in North America
The recorded settlement of Iceland has conventionally been dated back to 874, although archaeological evidence indicates Gaelic monks from Ireland, known as Papar according to sagas, had settled Iceland before that date.
Two Icelandic sagas, commonly called the Saga of the Greenlanders and the Saga of Erik the Red, describe the experiences of Norse Greenlanders, who discovered and attempted to settle land to the west of Greenland, which they called Vinland. The sagas suggest that the Vinland settlement failed because of conflicts within the Norse community, as well as between the Norse and the native people they encountered.
On October 21 1492 Columbus landed on San Salvador in the Bahamas and more permanent European links were established with the New World beginning with Spain.
The British War for Religious Freedom
James VI and I (James Charles Stuart; 19 June 1566 – 27 March 1625) was King of Scotland as James VI from 24 July 1567 and King of England and Ireland as James I from the union of the Scottish and English crowns on 24 March 1603 until his death in 1625.
The kingdoms of Scotland and England were individual sovereign states, with their own parliaments, judiciaries, and laws, though both were ruled by James in personal union. On the death of Elizabeth I in 1603 James became king of England and Ireland.
When James VI of Scotland became James 1 of England, the king sought legitimacy by claiming that he was a descendant of king David of Judah and ordered the Bible to be translated into the common tongue of the English speaking people, and then claimed the divine right of a king from a divinely chosen line.
Later in the reign of Charles 1, a civil war began when king Charles 1 in 1641 decreed by the divine right of a king of David; that the High Anglican form of worship and Book of Common Prayer must be used in ALL churches in the kingdom.
This false claim of descent (See The Dynasty of David article) from David and the idea that such descent somehow conferred divine rights to do whatever he wanted, and the story that the Stone of Scone came from Jacob; were political inventions to enhance the prestige and authority of the king.
In the war of 1645-1646 Charles I was defeated by a combination of parliament’s alliance with the Scots and the formation of the New Model Army.
In 1646, Charles surrendered to the Scots, who handed him over to parliament. He escaped to the Isle of Wight in 1647 and encouraged discontented Scots to invade. This ‘Second Civil War’ was over within a year with another royalist defeat at the hands of Parliamentarian general Oliver Cromwell. The key battles of Marsden Moor and Naseby Field securing the free exercise of religion in the British Isles.
Convinced that there would never be peace while the king lived, a rump of radical MPs, including Cromwell, put him on trial for treason. He was found guilty and executed on 30 January 1649 outside the Banqueting House on Whitehall, London.
British Immigration to America
The first successful English colony was Jamestown, established May 14, 1607 near Chesapeake Bay. The business venture was financed and coordinated by the London Virginia Company, a joint stock company looking for gold.
Due to the religious feelings in England a non-separatist Puritan movement established the Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1629 with 400 settlers. They sought to reform the Church of England by creating a new, pure Anglican church in the New World.
Other colonies were founded many based on land grants by British sovereigns to large companies or wealthy individuals who populated their grants through such devises as forcing petty criminals and orphans to immigrate, or enticing the impoverished into indentured servitude where persons would sign on for a specific period of service in exchange for passage and a parcel of land for themselves.
By the late 1700s the British American colonies became embroiled in the rivalries between Britain and France, with the French Masonic Lodge using American Masons to drive a wedge between Britain and her most prosperous colonies to weaken the British. Part of this having to do with a real fear that Britain would seize France’s Louisiana possessions in any future confrontation with France.
An American civil war was fomented against Britain by skilled high degree Masons such as George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, and John Adams, backed by the French Masonic Lodge. Many other leaders of the American Revolution, including Paul Revere, John Hancock, the Marquis de Lafayette, John Paul Jones and the Boston Tea Party saboteurs, were also Freemasons. Another senior Mason Haym Salomon, financed the revolution.
On October 26, 1776, exactly one month to the day after being named an agent of a diplomatic commission by the Continental Congress, Benjamin Franklin set sail from Philadelphia for France to negotiate and secure a formal alliance and treaty with France. Franklin spent the war in Paris coordinating French [including Continental Masonic] support for the revolution.
The Jesuit colony of Maryland strongly supported the revolution, later contributing the house of one of its founders, Andrew White which became the White House, and a parcel of land which became the District of Columbia.
After the war the Masonic Lodge of France donated a statue of the Queen of Heaven [Semiramis aka Aphrodite, Ishtar, Easter, Diana] to the Masonic Lodge of the United States. This statue renamed “Liberty” stands in New York harbor to this day.
Presidents Before the Ratified Articles of Confederation
The presidents before the ratified Articles of Confederation were Peyton Randolph, 1774-1775; Henry Middleton; John Hancock, who served for two years (and would later serve again under the Articles); Henry Laurens who ultimately resigned over a controversy concerning diplomat Silas Deane;
John Jay, who also served as Chief Justice of the New York Supreme Court at the same time he held the office of president; Samuel Huntington, who has the distinction of being the president when the Articles of Confederation were finally ratified;
Then Samuel Johnston, refused the office of the president when elected;
Presidents Under the Articles of Confederation
The first president of the United States under the Articles of Confederation was Thomas McKean, who ultimately resigned after the British surrender at Yorktown. McKean is notable as being the first president elected after the ratification of the Articles of Confederation, but is generally not considered the first president due to failing to serve a full year term as specified under the Articles of Confederation. (McKean only served for three months.)
A few weeks after his resignation, in November of 1781, Congress met as specified in the Articles of Confederation (“the first Monday in November”), with John Hanson from Jesuit Maryland [congress being influenced by Maryland’s gift of the White house and District of Columbia to the new nation] being elected president. His term began in 1781 and ended in 1782.
Elias Boudinot of New Jersey became the second president, serving from 1782 until 1783. Boudinot presided when the Treaty of Paris was signed in Paris on September 3, 1783 officially ending the war and recognizing the United States as an independent country and no longer a part of the British Empire.
Thomas Mifflin [Pennsylvania] became the president for the term of 1783 until 1784. He oversaw the ratification of the Treaty of Paris during his presidency.
Richard Henry Lee of Virginia, ancestor of Robert E Lee served as the country’s fourth president from 1784 until 1785. He was a vocal opponent of the now current U.S. Constitution out of the fear that it would create a centralized government too similar to the government that the colonies lived under as British citizens. He also hesitated because the document lacked a Bill of Rights, though many of his later suggestions were incorporated into the United States Bill of Rights. Later his descendant Robert E Lee was to lead the Confederate army in a battle for States Rights.
John Hancock, held the position of the president from 1785 to 1786. Nathaniel Gorham, also from Massachusetts, served as the president under the Articles of Confederation from 1786 until 1787.
The seventh president of the United States from Ohio was Arthur St. Clair. He held the position between 1787 and 1788.
Cyrus Griffin of Virginia became the eighth and final president of the United States under the Articles of Confederation. See also.
The Present Constitution
The present Constitution originally provided for a federal president who was limited in power by the need to have his laws approved by a House of Representatives of the citizens, and by a senate representing the state governments.
The civil war was fought over the rights of the individual sovereign states as opposed to the authority of the federal president,when the states chose to exercise their sovereignty be seceding from the federal union. After the federal government put down the secession movement the rights of states was removed in a constitutional change which established the election of senators are representatives of the people as opposed to being the appointed representatives of the sovereign states.
The Louisiana Purchase
The prospect of renewed warfare with the United Kingdom, prompted Napoleon to sell Louisiana to the United States in 1803, to prevent Louisiana from falling into British hands and to fund his military.
The War of 1812
It is commonly mistaught that the War of 1812 was fought over British impression of American sailors, but such impression had ended a year before.
The Louisiana Purchase fueled a thirst for expansion and the war of 1812 was actually an attempt at expansion by seizing Canada from the British during the Napoleonic period in Europe.
The American invaders were defeated by the Canadians and on August 24, 1814, British troops marched into Washington and set fire to the U.S. Capitol, the President’s Mansion, and other local landmarks. Later the Americans repelled the British at the Battle of New Orleans in 1815. This war was largely a stalemate which resulted in the present separate nations of the United States and Canada.
The Mexican–American War was fought from 1846 to 1848.
In 1821 when Mexico gained independence from Spain, a total of about 3500 non natives lived in the whole of Tejas, concentrated mostly in San Antonio and La Bahia. The settler population was overwhelmingly outnumbered by indigenous people in the province. To increase these numbers, Mexico enacted the General Colonization Law in 1824, which enabled all heads of household, regardless of race, religion or immigrant status, to acquire land in Mexico.
Encouraged by the offer of free land, large numbers of Americans began to migrate to Texas.
These Americans tended to stick together and form their own self governing enclaves, generally looking down on the Mexican population and openly defying Mexican law.
Mexico officials became concerned about attitudes among the Anglo-Americans in Tejas, for instance their insistence on bringing slaves into the territory. Mexico had freed their slaves and this general rejection of the law and contempt for Mexicans caused the Mexican legislature to pass the Law of April 6, 1830 that prohibited further immigration by U.S. citizens.
The government established several new presidios in the region to monitor immigration and customs practices. Angry colonists held a convention in 1832 to demand that U.S. citizens be allowed to immigrate to Tejas. At a convention the following year, colonists proposed that Texas become a separate Mexican state. Although Mexico implemented several measures to appease the colonists, the Anglo-Texan colonists openly revolted. Texas history.
The first violent incident occurred on June 26, 1832, at the Battle of Velasco. On March 2, 1836, Texians declared their independence from Mexico. The Texas Revolution ended on April 21, 1836, when Santa Anna was taken prisoner by Texians following the Battle of San Jacinto. Although Texas declared its independence as the Republic of Texas, Mexico refused to recognize it.
Mexico refused to acknowledge that its runaway province of Texas had achieved independence and warned that annexation to the United States would mean war. The United States annexed Texas in late 1845, which annexation triggered the Mexican American war gaining the west for the United States.
The Civil War
The British along with the French, impressed by the American showing in the War of 1812 and the rapid expansion of the United States, began to look for a way to curtail the expansion and growing power of the United States. To accomplish their goal they hit on the states rights controversy raging in the United States.
They fanned the flames through the Masonic Lodges during the 1860 presidential campaign. Lincoln won the presidency based on his preference for federal authority over states rights, and several southern states including Virginia and the Lee family chose to exercise their right to secede from the Union and form their own Confederacy.
The Europeans had succeeded in dividing the states, and interestingly every member of the Confederate Cabinet was a member of the Knights of the Golden Circle Lodge, and every member of the Union Cabinet was a Mason except for Seward and Lincoln.
Disputes quickly arose over the status of federally owned land in the seceding states and war broke out.
Far from being a strictly civil war the Confederacy was allied with and supported by Britain and France, while the Union was saved by Russian intervention.
As California was preparing to secede, on September 22, 1862, Lincoln used the Confederate repulse at Antietam to issue a warning that slavery would be abolished in areas still engaged in rebellion against the United States on January 1, 1863.
The Russian Tsar Alexander II had liberated the 23 million serfs of the Russian Empire in 1861, so this underlined the nature of the US-Russian convergence as a force for human freedom. This imminent Emancipation Proclamation by Lincoln was also an important political factor in slowing Anglo-French meddling,
Lincoln then requested urgent Russian assistance or the Union would be defeated and Alexander II responded in the autumn of 1863.
On September 24, the Russian Baltic fleet began to arrive in New York harbor and on October 12, the Russian Far East fleet began to arrive in San Francisco.
Coming on the heels of the bloody Union reverse at Chickamauga, the news of the arriving Russian fleet unleashed an immense wave of euphoria in the North.
The Russians, as Clay reported to Seward and Lincoln, were delighted in turn by the celebration of their fleets, which stayed in American waters for over six months as the Polish revolt was quelled.
The Russian officers were lionized and feted, and had their pictures taken by the famous New York photographer Matthew Brady. When an attack on San Francisco by the Confederate cruiser Shenandoah seemed to be imminent, the Russian admiral there gave orders to his ships to defend the city if necessary. There were no major Union warships on the scene, so Russia was about to fight for the United States. In the event, the Confederate raider did not attack.
Soon after the war, Russia sold Alaska to the United States, in part because they felt that an influx of Americans searching for gold was inevitable, and in part to keep the British from seizing control of this vast indefensible [from Russia] region from bases in Canada.
Lincoln’s Secretary of the Navy Gideon Welles wrote in his diary, “The Russian fleet has come out of the Baltic and is now in New York, or a large number of the vessels have arrived…. In sending them to this country at this time there is something significant.” Welles was fully justified in his famous concluding words, “God bless the Russians!”
Few Americans today realize that the present form of the United States is the result of Russian assistance which saved the union and allowed Lincoln to win the civil war by preventing the succession of California and .forestalling open British and french intervention on the part of the Confederacy.
After the civil war the constitution was amended to destroy any thought of states rights by removing representatives of state government’s from the federal system and giving the senate into the hands of popularly elected senators.
This amendment totally changed the governmental system by removing any state government input at the federal level through appointed representatives of state governors.
Another aspect of the civil war was an attempt to put the federal government into deep debt so that creditors could control the economy. Lincoln circumvented this effort and financed the war by printing greenbacks.
Mexico and the Civil War
France had invaded Mexico in 1861 and installed an Austrian prince Maximilian I of Mexico as its puppet ruler in 1864. Once the Union won the War in spring 1865, the U.S. allowed supporters of Juárez to openly purchase weapons and ammunition and issued strong warnings to Paris.
Washington sent general William Tecumseh Sherman with 50,000 combat veterans to the Mexican border to emphasize that time had run out on the French intervention. Napoleon III had no choice but to withdrew his outnumbered army in disgrace. Emperor Maximilian refused exile and was executed by the Mexican government in 1867.
The Spanish American War
President James Monroe proposed the Monroe Doctrine on December 2, 1823. The Doctrine stated that any further efforts by European countries to colonize land or interfere with states in the Americas would be viewed by the United States of America as acts of aggression requiring US intervention and asserted that the Western Hemisphere was not to be further colonized by European countries.
Over decades, this eventually led to outright American support of Latin American independence movements. The Spanish American War was fought between the United States and Spain in 1898. Spain fearing the loss of Cuba do to American intervention had ordered its officials to do everything to void conflict with the United States.
The United States had sent the warship the Maine to Cuba where the US was more or less openly supporting an insurrection against Spain. Open warfare began began when the USS Maine exploded in Havana Harbor in Cuba, leading to U.S. intervention in the Cuban War of Independence.
These operations acquired the Philippines and various Pacific Islands as possessions for the United States and turned Cuba into a virtual American possession through local proxy governments.