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Early America

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Early America - Page Text Content

S: BY Reid Larson

BC: By Reid Larson

FC: INSPECT | Westward Expansion

1: Ideas: Thoughts and ideas that influenced the era. National Geography: How people used the land around them. Social: How people interacted with one another. Political: What and how government actions took place. Economy: Structure of finances. Cultural: What the trends were. Technological: New inventions developed.

2: Ideas: -Expansion -Growth -Power

3: The most important goal of this era was to expand westward. From the Louisiana Purchase to Lewis' and Clark's expedition to the Pacific ocean, everything was about expanding. However, the U.S. didn't just expand, they also grew in population and efficiency. The original colonies were growing exponentially in population, which in turn naturally made them become more efficient, organized, and civilized. Because of both expansion and growth, the nation was naturally becoming wealthier and more powerful. I believe this is the key moment in history that made America into the superpower that it is today.

4: National Geography | -Mountains -Great Plains -East Coast

5: The geography of the U.S. greatly effected expansion, lifestyle, and travel. The Appalachian and Rocky Mountains made it difficult for settlers to expand westward and they were not an ideal place to live. Once discovered, the Great Plains became an excellent place to farm and raise livestock. They helped America become more independent and less dependent on other, foreign nations. The fact that most of the American population was on the west coast was a huge advantage. They were able to import and export goods easily without having to travel long distances on land.

6: Social -Indians vs. settlers -Diseases -Occupations

7: One of the most important social behavior of the era was the hostility between many settlers and the Native Americans. Because of the expansion westward and the diplomatic treaties to seize Indian land, there was constant tension and fighting. Such as when settlers trespassed on native land to mine gold. During this time many diseases, such as cholera and yellow fever were being spread due to the Columbian Exchange and unsanitary conditions. The newborn nation was growing rapidly, it already had occupations ranging from a yeoman (a farmer who owned his own land), to a Cohen (a priest), to craftsmen. This wide range of specialties allowed America to produce a wide range of fine products.

8: Political -Presidency -Separation of parties -Development of the West

9: In the election of 1824, because no single candidate held the majority vote, the House of Representatives was to select the president. The election was said to be a "corrupt bargain" because John Adams conspired with Henry Clay (who was also a candidate) to influence the House to vote for Adams. By the time of the election of 1828, the party had divided into two separate parties: the Democrats, and the Republicans. Andrew Jackson and the Republicans won the election against Adams. Jackson went on to start developing communities in the West, which in turn led to the Indian Removal Act and the Trail of Tears.

10: Economy -Growing Nation -Free Enterprise -Capitalism -Textile mills

11: The new nation was expanding at an alarming speed. With the purchase of the Louisiana Territory and the Bill of Rights proclaiming freedom of religion, speech, and many other rights, America was a fast growing nation with populations from all over the world. People desperately wanted to come to the "land of opportunity" to make a living. The fact that the economic system of the U.S. is capitalism, made it so American businesses competed with each other, this way high quality products were made and sold at low prices. Free enterprise also helped because people could buy, sell, or make anything that they wanted to. Mills such as textile mills further increased the speed and efficiency in which products could be made because they operated using water-powered machinery.

12: Cultural -Libraries/ Museums/ Shops -Clothing -Music -Free-time -

13: During this time period, America was starting to settle into their societies and become somewhat comfortable with their government and communities. Buildings such as libraries, museums, and shops were becoming more and more popular throughout the nation. For clothing in women, dresses and gowns that were puffy in the shoulders and tight at the torso were in style. As for men, powdered wigs had gone out of style and they preferred tailcoats, breeches or trousers, and cloaks or over-coats. Music was very religious based. Most songs were hymns, psalms, ballads, or of the opera style. Many patriotic songs appeared, such as "Yankee Doodle," and nursery rhymes became popular among children. In their free-time, women often preferred to sew and have quilting parties, while men liked to play sports. You can see these activities still done today.

14: Technological -Textile Mill/ Factories -Machinery -Steamboat

15: Many new inventions were being presented during this period of time, such as an ax that tripled as a wedge and a sledgehammer. Some of the most impacting inventions of the time were factories, machinery, and steamboats. Factories, most of which were textile mills, could now produce cloth at a speed that made the process of doing things by hand seem agonizingly slow. Perhaps one of the most important pieces of machinery that was invented was the cotton gin, which made picking the seeds out of cotton 50 times faster than by hand! The introduction of interchangeable parts also made machinery cheap to make and fix. The invention of the steamboat made water travel extremely easy and comfortable, either upstream or downstream. This made river travel the ideal way to transport goods and explorers.

16: Thinking Like A Historian A combination of the Louisiana Purchase, the Industrial Revolution, American greed, and Andrew Jackson caused the U.S. to expand and develop further westward. The nation was changing because it was growing, not only in physical size, but also in population and capability. The fact that the nation was expanding and developing further west greatly affected many lives. Settlers were able to buy land and make a living by farming, while the American Indians (especially the Cherokee) were being forced off of their land and homes. People back then viewed their world as a place that was growing and becoming more efficient and modernized. From looking at the past and it's mistakes, we can lean how to make present decisions without making those same mistakes.

17: Works Cited Appleby Joyce, Alan Brinkley, Albert Broussard, James McPherson, Donald Ritchie. The American Republic. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2005. 670. Whitley, Peggy. "American Popular Music Before 1900." Lone Star College. July, 2009. http://kclibrary.lonestar.edu/music-1.html Kashmira, Lad. "Fashion in the 1800's." Buzzle.com. 2010. http://www.buzzle.com/ article/fashion-in-the-1800s.html

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  • By: Reid L.
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  • Title: Early America
  • Westward Expansion
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  • Published: over 9 years ago