Declaration of Independence in the year 1776, yet its territory was occupied first by the Native Americans since prehistoric times and then also by European colonists mostly following the voyages of Christopher Columbus starting in 1492. The Thirteen Colonies declared independence from the British Empire during the American Revolution and as states ratified the Articles of Confederation. In 1789 the Constitution became the basis for the United States federal government. The young nation continued to struggle with the scope of central government and with European influence, creating the first political parties in the 1790s, and fighting a second war for independence in 1812.
U.S. territory expanded westward across the continent, brushing aside Native Americans and Mexico, and overcoming modernizers who wanted to deepen the economy rather than expand the geography. Slavery of Africans was abolished in the North, but heavy world demand for cotton let it flourish in the Southern states. The 1860 election of Abraham Lincoln calling for no more expansion of slavery triggered a crisis as eleven slave states seceded to found the Confederate States of America in 1861. The bloody American Civil War (1861–65) redefined the nation and remains the central iconic event. The South was defeated and, in the Reconstruction era, the U.S. ended slavery, extended rights to African Americans, and readmitted secessionist states with loyal governments. The present 48 contiguous states were admitted by early 1912.
The U.S. rose as an industrialized power by the early 20th century. Lifestyle changes led to the Progressive movement, which pushed for reform in industry and politics and is associated with women's suffrage and Prohibition of alcohol (the latter failed by 1933). Initially neutral in World War I, the U.S. eventually declared war on Germany in 1917, yet popular support for non-interventionism derailed post-war attempts to foster international cooperation. The Wall Street Crash of 1929 punctuated the onset of the Great Depression, to which the federal government responded with New Deal recovery programs. After the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in December 1941, the U.S. entered World War II alongside the Allies and helped defeat Nazi Germany in Europe and, with the detonation of newly-invented atomic bombs, Japan in Asia and the Pacific.
The Soviet Union and the U.S. emerged as opposing superpowers after the war and began the Cold War confronting indirectly in an arms race, the Space Race, and intervention in Europe and eastern Asia.
Liberalism reflected in the civil rights movement and opposition to war in Vietnam peaked in the 1960s–70s before giving way to conservatism in the early 1980s. The Cold War ended when the Soviet Union dissolved in 1991, leaving the U.S. to prosper in the booming Information Age economy that was boosted, at least in part, by information technology. International conflict and economic uncertainty heightened by 2001 with the September 11 attacks and subsequent War on Terror and the late-2000s recession.
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Rhythm and blues, often abbreviated to R&B, is a genre of popular African American music that originated in the 1940s. The term was originally used by record companies to describe recordings marketed predominantly to urban African Americans, at a time when "urbane, rocking, jazz based music with a heavy, insistent beat" was becoming more popular.
The term has subsequently had a number of shifts in meaning. In the early 1950s and beyond, the term rhythm and blues was frequently applied to blues records. Starting in the 1950s, after this style of music contributed to the development of rock and roll, the term "R&B" became used to refer to music styles that developed from and incorporated electric blues, as well as gospel and soul music. By the 1970s, rhythm and blues was used as a blanket term for soul and funk. In the 1980s, a newer style of R&B developed, becoming known as contemporary R&B.
HistoryThe migration of African Americans to the urban industrial centers of Chicago, Detroit, New York, Los Angeles and elsewhere in the 1930s created a new market for jazz, blues, and related genres of music, often performed by full-time musicians, either working alone or in small groups. The precursors of rhythm and blues came from jazz and blues, which overlapped in the 1930s through the work of musicians such as The Harlem Hamfats, with their 1936 hit "Oh Red", as well as Leroy Carr, Cab Calloway, Count Basie, and T-Bone Walker. There was also increasing emphasis on the electric guitar as a lead instrument, as well as the piano and saxophone
In 1948, RCA Victor was marketing black music under the name "Blues and Rhythm"
Written and Posted by Steven Mruma at Friday, March 04, 2011