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In the 19th century, the expansionism majorly of America was focused on the acquisition of neighboring regions. The aime was to improve the national security by adding valuable resources, such as land and waterways to American territories. The ascension of Zachary Taylor to the presidency in 1848 spelled the end of the American-Mexican war. Between 1849 and 1850, Britain and the United States signed The Clayton-Bulwer Treaty that gave the access of the future canals across Central America to all the nations. The period between 1849 and 1914 saw admission of a number of states to the United States; for instance Wisconsin (1848), California (1851), Minnesota (1858), Oregon (1855), Kansas (1861), West Virginia (1863), Nevada (1865), Nebraska (1865), Colorado (1877), Wyoming (1891), and, finally, Oklahoma in 1908. In 1854, Commodore Perry signed a commercial treaty with Japan. In 1867, America purchased Alaska from Russia, which was followed by signing the Treaty of Washington amid the United States and the Great Britain in 1971. This treaty resolved various disputes that had existed between the two countries.
Between the Mexican-American War and World War 1, the United States was involved in a number of military expeditions, such as the Chilean and Venezuelan Crises of 1891 and 1895 respectively. The Spanish-American-Cuban War of 1898 and the Philippine War of 1899 – 1902 contemplated how America had overpowered and captured new colonies, such as Guam and Pueto Rico. During this time, Cuba also became an American protectorate administered through the United States military governors. Military involvement duplicated the cultural as well as economic and strategic influence of the United States in the region. The United States protected Panamanian upheaval against Colombia under the leadership of the President Theodore Roosevelt using its naval ships. Consequently, between 1904 and 1914, the Panama Canal was constructed as this region was vital to the national security of the United States.
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After the end of the American Civil War, the majority of Southern states passed anti-African American legislations called Jim Crow Laws. The laws created by specific states and municipalities, discriminated African-Americans from attendance at the public facilities, such as schools, cinemas, restaurants, and theaters. Moreover, blacks and whites were neither allowed to use the same means of public transport, nor intermarry each other. During this period, blacks were no longer slaves, though, they were denied many basic civil and voting rights.
The Federal Government attempted to pursue a soft peace during the process of reconstruction. It allowed soldiers to go back to their homes after the affirmation of loyalty despite their affiliation during the Civil War. In spite of the efforts of the Federal Government, Southern states instituted the legal systems that condemned blacks to servitude. They introduced the Black Codes in 1865 that sought to limit the freedom of free slaves, maintain a constant supply of cheap labor, and to retain the dominance of the white in the region. However, this ended in 1866 - 1867 with the beginning of the Radical Republican Reconstruction, the passage of civil rights legislation, and Fourteenth Amendment. The Fourteenth Amendment has several clauses, which promotes justice for everyone; for instance, the Citizenship Clause, the Due Process Clause, and the Equal Protection Clause. The latter forms the basis for the 1954’s Supreme Court decision to eradicate racial-based discrimination in the American education. In response, the white Southerners formed the Ku-Klux Klan, a secret paramilitary group, which terrorized blacks through beating, lynching, and burning of homes. In 1896, in the “Plessy vs. Fergusson” decision, the Supreme Court constitutionally upheld the laws that allowed racial segregation in public amenities. This decision was founded under the principle of ‘separate but equal’. The system was largely confined but not limited to eleven states in the South as there were segregated schools in some parts of Kansas.
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