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American History

Explore the development of the United States with this collection of articles about American history. Topics in this section include the American Revolution, the gold rush and the expansion of the West.

Topics to Explore

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Steam Versus Diesel

The steam versus diesel debate was one that lasted for 20 heated years as technology advanced. The debate centered on the concept of tradition versus technology. Learn more about the steam versus diesel debate.

The Chicago Railroad Fair

The Chicago railroad fair celebrated the centennial of railroading's arrival in Chicago. The fair was a testimony to the place railroads held in the American lifestyle. Learn more about the Chicago railroad fair of 1934.

Experimental Trains

Experimental trains were tested and were quickly dropped due to their size and unreliability. The cramped accommodations contributed to the relatively low impact these trains made when they were introduced. Learn more about some of the experimental trains.

Railroad Super-engines

Railroad super-engines were produced in the mid-1990s with the same size but more power than standard locomotives. They were produced by General Motors and General Electric, the two largest engine manufacturers. Learn about railroad super-engines.

Railroad Technology

Railroad technology has greatly changed the way in which railroads conduct business. Computers have automated much of what used to be done by the work of several people. Learn about some of the developments in railroad technology.

Railroad Test

When you hop on a train, you assume that the wrecks and accidents of the old railroads are a thing of the past. How do engineers determine if a railroad is safe?

The Union Pacific Railroad

The Union Pacific railroad almost joined with the Southern Pacific lines in 1909. Unfortunately, the man behind this deal never saw his dream realized. Learn about the Union Pacific railroad in this section.

Railroads During the Depression

The economy had crashed. The nation was still recovering from World War I, and World War II was on the way. How did the railroad industry manage to make it through the Great Depression?

Railroads During World War II

The railroad industry struggled through the Great Depression only to be taken over during World War II. Learn why, despite the government restrictions on their technology and use, railroads reached top form during World War II.

Post-war Railroads

Post-war railroads chronicles the height of American railroad transportation. Railroads at this time featured lavish passenger cars that offered passengers unparalleled levels of comfort and style. Learn about railroads and post-war railroads.

The Reagan Administration

On the day Ronald Reagan was inaugurated as President, January 20, 1981. the Iranian government released the American hostages, the culmination of months of negotiations.

Treaty of Washington

Washington, Treaty of, an agreement between the United States and Great Britain in 1871 that led to the settlement of various disputes between the two nations.

Wells, Fargo & Company

Wells, Fargo & Company, in United States history, an express company that was active in the development of the Far West.

Whiskey Ring

Whiskey Ring, in United States history, a group of officials and distillers who defrauded the national government of liquor taxes.

Star Route Frauds

Star Route Frauds, scandals in the U.S. Post Office Department in the 1880's. Certain department officials, mail contractors, and a former United States senator defrauded the government of about four million dollars in the granting of contracts for the transportation of mail over the so-called star routes.

Lydia Kamekeha Liliuokalani

Liliuokalani, Lydia Kamekeha (1838 - 1917), the last queen of the Hawaiian Islands.

Black Power Movement

Black Power Movement, in United States history, an effort among black Americans to gain control of the institutions that affect their daily lives by acquiring independent economic, social, and political power.

Counterculture

Counterculture , a set of behaviors and beliefs that are radically different from those of mainstream society.

Cuban Missile Crisis

Cuban Missile Crisis , a confrontation between the United States and the Soviet Union, October 22 - 28, 1962, that threatened to precipitate nuclear war.

Iran Hostage Crisis

Iranian Hostage Crisis, a diplomatic conflict caused by the holding in captivity of United States embassy personnel by Iranian militants from November 4, 1979, to January 20, 1981.

SALT

SALT, in international diplomacy, the common name for negotiations and treaties between the United States and the Soviet Union intended to limit strategic nuclear weapon strength of each nation.

War Powers Act

War Powers Act, the common name for the War Powers Resolution, which was passed by Congress in 1973 as a check on the President's war powers.

Kennedy-Johnson Era

The Presidential election of 1960 was held in an atmosphere of strained international relations and increasing racial tension in the United States.

The Nixon-Ford Years

President Nixon began his term of office in 1969 with a pledge to seek peace abroad and tranquility at home.

The George H.W. Bush Administration

The nation's economy continued to grow in 1989, although at a slightly slower rate than in the preceding five years.

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