America's Critical Period

The term Critical Period, coined by John Fiske (philosopher) in 1888 with his book 'The Critical Period of American History', refers to the 1780s, a time right after the American Revolution where the future of the newly formed nation was in the balance. More specifically, the "Critical Period" refers to the period of time following the end of the American Revolutionary War in 1783 to the inauguration of George Washington as President in 1789. During this time, the newly independent former colonies were beset with a wide array of foreign and domestic problems. Some historians believe it was a bleak, terrible time for Americans, while others believe the term “Critical Period” is exaggerated, and that, while the 1780s were a time of dispute and change, they were also a time of economic growth and political maturation.

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American History

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