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The Nineteenth Century America - Essay Example

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After the war of 1812, which was a military conflict between America and the British Empire, ended America began to expand its territories towards the West. There was an air of imperialism among the young Americans boosted by Marquis de Lafayette when he returned to the United States in the year 1824. …
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The Nineteenth Century America
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Download file to see previous pages In the year 1819 the Transcontinental Treaty proposed by the then American President John Quincy Adams was signed by the United States and Spain. This treaty reinforced the American belief of territorial expansion. The desire to spread towards the west increased when John Jacob Astor expanded his fur trade company to the Pacific Northwest. With trade expansions the legendary “mountain men” became popular as they were financially facilitated by the fur trade companies to move to other countries in search of profit. During the 1830s and 1840s the Americans expanded their territory westward towards the Pacific Ocean. Besides economic there were other reasons like avoiding religious persecution. Their attempt to establish American ideals into areas that fell into the boundaries of Mexico or Great Britain created diplomatic crisis. The phrase Manifest Destiny was coined in 1845. It manifested the American belief that God has given them the right to expand their territories because of their growing population. The largest acquisition took place in 1803 when America acquired Louisiana territory for $15 million. With this America got control over Mississippi River and the size of the nation became double. America was greatly affected by the era of expansion. The territorial expansions resulted in dividing the nation by causing diplomatic crisis, war and internal conflicts. The economic expansion that took place internally increased class differences and America began to be recognised as a “land of opportunity and upward mobility” (Divine et.al, ch.8, 9, 13).
II.Transportation Revolution
During the first half of nineteenth century America experienced a growth in market economy. This was helped by development in the transportation sector which created an economic link between different parts of the nation and strengthened the national economy. It was the era of expansion in America when the nation expanded its territory towards the West. Most of the land in the east of Mississippi river became marketing centers to fulfill the needs of the farmers. There was a growing awareness among the political leaders regarding the need of connecting these distant areas with the rest of the nation through a well developed transport system. The initial focus was on developing the road network by building new highways and improving the older roads. Overland toll roads or turnpikes could not provide cheap transportation to cover long distances during bad weather because of their poor conditions. More economically efficient was the water transport. Many canals were constructed to establish links between the rivers Ohio and Mississippi as canals were cheaper to transport heavy agricultural goods than on poorly maintained roads and highways. The most important canal, the Erie Canal, was constructed in 1825. This canal helped in extending the commercial market to New York and this led to economic development in the region. There were also other improvements made on water transport. Steamboats became popular after they were invented in 1807 by Robert Fulton. (Divine et.al, ch.9) The growth of railroads in the 1840s and the 1850s reduced the importance of canals as primary means of freight transport. The expansion of the railroads helped the iron industry of America. It also facilitated financing of business sectors and paved the way for governments to provide land grants (Divine et.al, ch.13). III. Jackson presidential administrations During the 1820s and 1830s the concept of “self-made man” was celebrated in the political culture. It promoted the idea that leaders of the ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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