Education in North America

North America

By the release of England, nearly three million white residents lived in the United States. By 1880, the population had risen to over 50 million. The conquest and cultivation of the North American continent was made at the expense of the Native American population, which was reduced from just over 1 million in 1800 to about 340,000 in 1870. The US annexation of Texas (in 1845) and California (in 1850) from Mexico are highlights in this expansion. In 1867, the United States purchased Alaska from Russia. In 1898, the superpower annexed Hawaii, and the same year the United States went to war with Spain, taking control of Cuba, Puerto Rico and the Philippines. In this long period, US foreign policy can hardly be distinguished from domestic policy. See a full list of North American countries from Countryaah.

The origins of the United States gave the country’s foreign policy a number of elements of moralism and a strongly idealistic rhetoric. As the United States evolved into an industrial superpower with overseas interests, foreign policy faced a double face: an anticolonial tradition aimed specifically at the old European colonial powers, and a neo-colonial orientation based partly on economic superiority and partly on more classic military methods. such as conquest and annexation.

US foreign policy has contained two contradictory trends: Isolationism – an urge to let the old colonial powers fix their own problems – and globalism – the willingness and ability to engage in the most diverse problems across the globe. Since World War II, US foreign policy has emerged from its globalist side because the United States has assumed the role of “world police officer”.

In the hundred years that went from Waterloo (1814) to Sarajevo (1914), the United States was allowed to be at peace for external interference, thanks to the fact that the country was surrounded by two world gardens and weak neighbors and that the balance of power in Europe became maintained by the British Navy. During this period, despite slavery and civil war, the United States became a haven for European oppression and power politics. That freedom became an important part of North American self-perception. But at the same time, North Americans were blind to the balance of power in Europe and deaf to the strategic argument that US security was at risk if a single power dominated the European mainland.

The United States first joined World War I after German submarines in 1917 began to lower neutral North American ships. When the terms of peace were dictated in Versailles, neither France nor the United States paid special attention to the European balance of power. Instead, the Treaty of Peace aimed to punish Germany as the culprit of the war. US President Wilson hoped that the League of Nations would preserve peace, but the organization was of little importance to US foreign policy because the Senate voted against joining the United States itself. This is perhaps the best example of how the conflicting tendencies between isolation and globalism have manifested themselves in a conflict between an outgoing president and an inward Congress.

Also in the context of World War II, the isolationist forces in the United States were very strong. Although extensive British-North American cooperation existed – even before the United States officially entered the war – it was only after the Japanese surprise attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941 that President Roosevelt became able to win a declaration of war.

Both during and after World War II, the idealistic rhetoric of US politics conflicted with the real-world politicians in London and Moscow: with Churchill as the one who would create spheres of influence in Europe, and Stalin demanding the right to build a zone of buffer states to protect a new invasion from the west.

The idealism of the United States was expressed in the UN and especially in the UN’s special organizations for various forms of peaceful cooperation. The realities of power politics soon became evident in block politics and in the armor. The division of Europe was already a fact when Britain in 1947 made it clear that the country no longer had the power to give Greece and Turkey any security guarantee. The United States then had to take over the defense of the eastern Mediterranean. In a short time, US foreign policy doctrine was changed – with a strong emphasis on anti-communism and geopolitics (see Truman Doctrine). In the European Assistance Program (Marshall Plan) – presented shortly after the Truman Doctrine – both the idealistic and the power-political side of US foreign policy were clearly present. During the period 1945-50, Western Europe and then Japan were at the center of US foreign policy interest. Mao’s victory in China (1949) and the Korean War (1950-53) turned his attention to Asia. In particular, it was the Republican Party that advocated for a more active policy in Asia. Under President Eisenhower, there was more balance between Asian and European engagement. Later, Africa also came under the spotlight for the foreign policy of the superpower.


Popular Music in North America

Since the late 19th century, the use of new mass media for music, such as gramophone, radio, audio, television and video, has been crucial to the development of American music. In association with demographic changes, which have led to recurring encounters between different music traditions, media expansion has played an important role in the emergence and spread of all the music forms mentioned below. The media industry sought early to target the marketing of various forms of music to distinct and well-defined audience groups, but nevertheless, constant cross-fertilization between these forms of music has taken place. Along with economic factors, this continuous music stylistic development is likely to provide an important explanation for the gradually increasing global dominance of American popular music during the 20th century.

Large-scale mass production and mass distribution of music began in the last decades of the 19th century, when the term Tin Pan Alley (after the area in New York where several major music publishing houses were located) was established as a collective name for the American popular music industry. In the first half of the 20th century, composers such as Irving Berlin, Jerome Kern, George Gershwin, Cole Porter and Richard Rodgers worked in this industry, writing melodies for release through disc publishing, film and the emerging American musical theater form musical (see musical).

The establishment of radio stations (from 1920) and audio films (1927) led to continued strong expansion in the music industry. The new media enabled vocal soloists such as Bing Crosby, Billie Holiday and Frank Sinatra to achieve great success as record and radio artists. An important musical stylistic mainstream in this development was the jazz (see jazz), which with roots in the dance and marching music, ragtime and blues of the wind ensembles developed during the first years of the 20th century and reached great spread in the years after the First World War. At the same time, the blues also emerged as an independent genre in various forms, mainly aimed at a black audience: the so-called city ​​blues, with singers like Ma Rainey and Bessie Smith, as well as country blues with artists like Blind Lemon Jefferson, Charley Patton and Robert Johnson.

The jazz tradition was continued in the following decades in styles such as swing, bebop, cool jazz, free jazz and fusion of musicians such as Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Charlie Parker, Miles Davis and John Coltrane. Hillbilly – or country music (compare country), with roots in Euro-American folk traditions and artists such as Jimmie Rodgers, Carter Family and Hank Williams, is spread among the white rural population of the southern states. The genre folk song, partly based on traditional material, was cultivated by politically engaged whistleblowers such as Joe Hill, Woody Guthrie and Pete Seeger.

The breakthrough of the audio film involved the development of a film musical practice based mainly on late romantic European orchestral tradition. In the years following the Second World War, however, contemporary popular music styles came into increased use in film music, partly as part of the strategy to meet the competition from the new medium of TV (compare film music). The war also brought about the acceleration of demographic changes, which promoted the emergence of new forms of music, such as urban blues, jump blues and other forms of rhythm & blues. During the 1950’s, rock ‘n’ roll, a genre with roots in rhythm & blues, developed gospeland country and western, which meant that music styles with a previously more limited audience were spread to new audience groups by both white artists such as Bill Haley and Elvis Presley and black artists like Chuck Berry and Little Richard. Rockʹnʹroll music also gained international prominence in the rest of the Western world (compare rock).

During the 1960’s, soul music (see soul), with ideological links to the black population’s civil rights movement and artists such as James Brown, Aretha Franklin and Otis Redding, evolved from strongly gospel-influenced variants of rhythm & blues. Specifically American rock styles within the increasingly international rock music at this time were made up of, among other things. surf music (The Beach Boys), folk rock (Bob Dylan, The Byrds) and later in the decade the west coast based psychedelic rock (The Doors, Jefferson Airplane) and various “roots” forms (The Band, Creedence Clearwater Revival).

During the 1970’s, styles such as funk (George Clinton, Graham Central Station) and disco (The Bee Gees, Donna Summer) developed from soul music. The specific American connection between rock culture and avant-garde artistic environment (in New York) was expressed in both the American punk (New York Dolls, Television) and minimalist “art rock” (Talking Heads, Laurie Anderson).

The establishment of the music channel MTV in 1981 meant a breakthrough for the music video as a distribution and launch form for popular music and favored artists with strong visually emphasized image concepts (Madonna, Michael Jackson). Various forms of heavy metal dominated quantitatively from the second half of the 1980’s, with groups such as Metallica and Megadeth, and among newer American rock styles was labeled the “indie rock” represented by groups such as REM and grunge (originating in Seattle: Nirvana, Pearl Jam), which broke through in the 1990’s. During the 1980’s, African-American music forms such as rap (Grandmaster Flash, Public Enemy), house and techno were also specifically developed.

Other musicians of central importance to the development of rock music since the 1960’s are Jimi Hendrix, Bruce Springsteen and Prince. During the 1980’s, African-American music forms such as rap (Grandmaster Flash, Public Enemy), house and techno were also specifically developed. Alongside these styles, successful careers began in the 1990’s and 2000’s with pop artists such as Mariah Carey and Britney Spears and rock artists such as Sheryl Crow. The modern rhythm & blues genre is represented by artists such as Beyoncé and Mary J. Blige and the boy band phenomenon by groups such as the Backstreet Boys and N’Sync, from which singer Justin Timberlake later performed as a solo artist. Country music has been further developed by artists such as Lyle Lovett and the Dixie Chicks group.

In addition to the above-mentioned genres, the highly heterogeneous American popular music culture also contains a number of other, more or less ethnically specific music traditions, e.g. cajun (among people of partially French origin in the state of Louisiana), salsa (among immigrant groups from Spanish-speaking parts of the Caribbean and other Latin America), polka (among population groups of Central European origin) and tejano (among the Mexican immigrant population in the southwestern United States).