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American Society and Culture in the 19th Century

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University of Toronto St. George
Dr.Liamvan Beek

HIS271Y American Society and Culture in the Early 19 Century November 3 rd 2010 Recap Nullification and Missouri Compromise illuminate the sectional divides in American society Figuring out whether US was going to be based on slave vs. wage labour Idea that the US cant be both, incompatible Second Party system: Van Buren believed it would help soften the sectionalism in society As Americans became more politically active, an urgency emerged to define America How would you characterize American nationalism in the early 19 century? th What was the legacy of the Era of Good feelings:? What role did sectionalism play in the major political debates of the early 19 th century? One of the central currents was a greater attempt on the part of Americans in determining who they were and what they wanted to become. Three events that help shape the assumptions about the United States: 1. Massive growth in this period. Population, technology, communications networks 2. Birth of industrialization and urbanization 3. Religious and reform movements. Growth: Population, Technology, Communication The population of this time was skyrocketing 1790: 4 million, 1840: 17 million Rise in birth rate and decline in death rate Massive influx of immigrants in the 1840s and 50s This first wave of immigration was predominately Irish and German www.notesolution.comHIS271Y American Society and Culture in the Early 19 Century November 3 rd 2010 These influxes helped reshape the demographic look of the US, many settled in the port cities that they arrived in This explosion in population was facilitated by the growth of the market economy The market economy was made possible by a number of developments, particularly transportation Without transportation networks, shipping things throughout the US was extremely expensive If they wanted to reap the rewards of the market economy, they needed to develop transportation Steamboat Revolutionized water transport Could carry both passengers and cargo Not only made river transportation faster, it made it possible for individuals to sail against the current Quicker and easier to cross the Great Lakes The Erie Canal System Construction began in 1813 365 miles long Connected the Hudson River to the Great Lakes Significant in terms of shipping Financed primarily in the state Important consequences in New York Saw the growth of towns along the canals Movement of agriculture towards the Northwest along the canal Turnpikes Introduced between 1800-30
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