The Development Of The United States In

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The Development Of The United States In The Period 1700-1800 Essay, Research Paper Colonial North American in the first half of the eighteenth century was a thriving and changing set of regional socities that had developed from turbulent seventeenth century beginnings. The colonies along the Atlantic seaboard were affected similarly by population growth and economic development. The exercise of political power of elected legislative assemblies and local bodies produced seasoned leaders. All regions experienced a religious awakening that was itself connected to secular changes. The tensions in late colonial society with the unfair acts and laws set by England eventually led to the war for American independance, the American Revolution. The American Revolution dominated the

lives of all who lived through it, families were disrupted, communities were destoyed, diseases were spread and the economy was in shambles. Liberty came at a high cost. Once independence was won, it had to be preserved. With the ratification of the new Constitution, the revoluntionary era came to an end. (Nash 102, 182, 222) By 1750 the eastern edge of North America had swelled to over one million.While North America was expanding through natural increase, the population also received waves of new immigrants. The eighteenth-century newcomers came from Ireland, Germany, Switzerland and Africa, most were indentured servants and slaves.(Nash 102) The traffic in servants became a regular part of the commerce linking Europe and America. Shipowners made their profits fetching sugar,

furs, fish, tobacco, rice and forest products eastward. (Nash 103) The American colonists still occupied only a narrow strip of coastal plain in eastern North America by the mid-eighteenth century. Only a tiny fraction of 1.2 million settlers and slaves lived father than 100 miles from the shores of the Atlantic. (Nash 106) Between them and the Pacific Ocean lay rich soils in the river valleys of the Ohio and Missippi and beyond that a vast domain that they had not imagines. In the beginning of the 1750’s, westward moving colonists in pursuit of more land would encounter four other groups already established to their west: the populous Native American tribes and smaller groups of French Americans, Spanish Americans, and African Americans. Changes occuring among these groups

would affect settlers breaching the Appalachian barrier and in the third quarter of the eighteenth century would reach eastward to the origianl British settlements. (Nash 107) Only about 5 percent of the eighteenth century colonists lived in towns as large as 2,500 and none of the commercial centers boasted a population greater than 16,000 in 1750 or 30,000 in 1775. The urban societies were at the leading edge of social change. Alterations associated with the advent of modern life occured first in the seaport towns and moved outward to the villages, farms, and plantations of the hinterland. The cities were the centers of intellectual life and the conduits through which European ideas flowed into the colonies. (Nash 121) Population growth, economic development and a series of wars

the punctuated the period from 1690 to 1765 altered the urban social structure. Stately townhouses rose as a testimony to the fortunes acquired in trade, shipbuilding, war contracting and urban land development. Alongside urban wealth grew urban poverty. After 1720, poverty marred the lives of many more city dwellers. Many were war widows with many children and no means of support. Others were migrants seeking opportunities in the city. Some were recent immigrants who found fewer chances for employment than earlier. Boston was hit especially hard, it’s economy stagnated in the 1740’s and the taxpayers strained under the burden of paying for heavy war expenditures. (Nash 123) Many of the social, economic and political changes occuring in the eighteenth-century colonies