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Nation Building and Nationalism 1815-1825

Expanison and Migration

Peace with Great Britain made Americans move focus onto the Atlantic. Trans-Appalachian West was only sparsely settled by whites, most were Indians. If the Continent wanted to yield up its wealth it needed Diplomacy, military action, and westward movement of of vast number of settlers.

Extending the Boundries

First priority was to obtain Florida from Spain. East Florida was prime object for James Monroe and John Q. Adams, Secretary of State, waited for the right time for his grand design on continental Expansion. Andrew Jackson gave him this moment when he crossed into East Florida and opened attack on the Seminole Indians. Adams told Spanish that Jackson was using self-defense and brought up the Adams-Onis treaty which gave florida to US and US gained $5 million on financial claims. Fur-Trading alos brought the West closer to the East. Military expeditions also brought documented information about the West

Settlement to the Mississippi

White Americans thought they had to displace the Indians still living in that territory. When British left, they mad Indians almost defensless. Last Native stand was made by Sac and Fox Indians led by Black Hawk. Federal troops pushed Indians back to the River in which they were almost exterminated. Many people thought Natives were savages and could not be turned into civilized people. 1815-1830, treaties were negotiated about tribal holdings and eventual removal of Indians. Land was then opened up for farmers. Cash crops became more common.

The People and Culture of the Frontier

Most settlers who populated West were farmers from seaboard states. New Englanders brought institutions with them while South brought their defense of personal family honor and independence. Adjustments were necessary and may settlers came in groups of 3 or more families tha would share the work and gain own money when it was their time to work.

Transportation and Market Economy

Political leaders realized the importance of linking these distant citizens with the rest of the nation through a viable transportation network.

Roads and Steamboats: A Revolution in Transportation

The National (or Cumberland) Road was the first of the overland toll roads. Chartered by the states, these "turnpikes" failed, for the most part, to meet the need for cheap transportation over great distances. America's river network proved to be more efficient, and the Ohio-Mississippi system beckoned first the flatboat trade and, after Robert Fulton's invention in 1807, the steamboat. But these ways still did not provide a way to ship western farm produce to eastern ports.

The Canal Boom

In addition to rivers and roads, a system of canals was needed to link the Great Lakes, the Ohio, and the Mississippi with the coastal states. In 1825, the Erie Canal was finished, signaling the birth of the "canal boom," which lasted until the late 1830s.

Emergence of a Market Economy

Steamboats reduced shipping cost and farmers recieved more for their crops and paid less for the goods they needed to import. Agriculture became grown for slae rather than consumption. Availability of good land and the revolution in marketing were most important spurs to profitable commercial farming.

Main Crops grown

Wheat was main cash crop in North
Tobacco was a major crop in Upper South. However, the "King" crop in lower South was Cotton.

Factors making Deep South World's Greatest Producer of Cotton

1. Great demand for textile manufactoring
2. Effect of the Cotton Gin
3. Availability of good land in Southwest
4. Slavery
5. The Great Transportation System on Rivers.

Commerce and Banking

The extension of credit by local merchants and manufacturers was crucial--it insured profits, the expansion of capital, and the need for banking. This demand for money after the War of 1812 created state and private banks exponentially, but they were often poorly regulated.

2nd Bank of the US

Congress established this in 1816 and it was supposed to serve as a check on state banks by forcing them to resume specie payments. But it did not perform its task.

Early Industrialism

The surge of a market economy encouraged new industrial development. The nation's first factory system emerged in New England's textile industry in Boston by Lowell. Francis Lowell memorized how a power loom was constructed. The U.S.'s infant industries before the 1840s, however, developed less dramatically than in European regions; as late as 1840, only 8.8 percent of the nation's population labored in factories.

Politics of Nation Building After the War of 1812

A cohesive nationalist sentiment united the U.S. following the War of 1812. This spirit quelled the combatant political rhetoric that dominated the nation's early political discussions, provoking many to proclaim the period an "era of good feelings."

Republicans in Power

Federalist were no longer capable of winning a national election. Republicans had to leave some of its past philosophies and brought Federalist rivals programs. Henry Clay took action to promote economic developement. His "American System" was a high protective tariff to stimulate industrial growth and provide a home market for farmers of the west. A second Bank of the United States was chartered in 1816 to promote the nation's financial stability.

Monroe as Presidents

James Monroe projected the image of a high-principled, disinterested statesman. Congress responded weakly to the economic crisis that began in 1819, and Monroe had no program of his own. He insisted that he was not responsible for the drastic economic downturn. He prized national harmony over economic prosperity.

The Missouri Compromise

Congress narrowly averted a national calamity with the Missouri Compromise in 1820, which settled the most serious sectional issue yet to challenge the federal government. Made line at latitude 36 30 made states prohibit slavery in rest of Louisian Purchase North of line and allowed it south of the line. Although Jefferson called the decision "a fire bell in the night," it seemed that for the moment, nationalism triumphed.

Postwar Nationalism and the Supreme Court

With strong national leadership by Federalist John Marshall, the Supreme Court made great contributions to nationalism and the expansive powers of the federal government. In such decisions as McCulloch v. Maryland and Gibbons v. Ogden, the Supreme Court supported economic nationalism at the expense of certain state powers. Under Marshall, the Court played a powerful role in supporting the growth of a prosperous nationwide, capitalist economy.

Nationalism in Foregin Policy: The Monroe Doctrine

Recognizing the threat of a European Grand Alliance, and concerned with the collapsing Spanish empire in Latin America, and with the possibility of European re-colonization in the Western Hemisphere, President Monroe and Secretary of State John Quincy Adams issued the Monroe Doctrine, which was delivered as a warning to European powers that the United States opposed further colonization and political interference in the Americas.

Adams and the End of the Era of Good Feeling

John Quincy Adams was the supreme spokesman for nonpartisan and scientific achievement, but his leadership could not survive the growing sectional and economic divisions in the nation.
A nation founded and weaned on political debate could not sustain an "era of good feeling" for too long. John Quincy Adams's presidency witnessed the end of calmer political discussion. Nonetheless, the nation maintained its devotion to national greatness and economic development.

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