The Nation Takes Shape Essay Research Paper — страница 2

  • Просмотров 183
  • Скачиваний 5
  • Размер файла 16

against Britain. Congress voted yes to the war. Afterwards, it was named the War of 1812. After two years of fighting, General Andrew Jackson came out victorious. A treaty was signed in Belgium, and the growing nation finally earned a little respect. After the war America suspected British and Russian plans to take the Oregon area; from this suspicion a new policy was adopted. In 1923, The Monroe Doctrine was drafted. It stated that America would no longer be open to colonization, and would henceforth adopt a policy of isolationism from European affairs. This was the basis for foreign policy for many years to come (Until World War I). With this new policy, America had no external enemy to fear-nothing but oceans and Mountains to the east and west, nothing but peaceable Canada to

the north and the rearranged fragments of the Spanish Empire to the southwest and the south. America was now ready and able to start expanding form a small annoyance to a large world power. The next topic that Cunliffe focuses on is the expansion of the west. Although the first thirteen colonies were once thought to be large enough for the Americans to comfortably live, America had become interested in expansion into the west. Before America could hope to expand onto the frontier there were some problems that needed to be overcome. The first major problem was that of ownership of the western land. Not only did the individual states hold claims to the land, but also some of that land was promised to soldiers who fought in the Revolutionary War. Gradually the states gave back their

land to the Government. The Ordinance of 1785, which sold lots in 640 acres for one dollar per acre, set the wheels of westward expansion in motion. The first people to arrive in the west were the pioneer farmers who cleared the land and cultivated it. These people however were poor, so the needed a cheaper way to buy land. In 1800 this problem was settled and a new plan was made where in people could buy 320 acres at two dollars per acre but could be paid off over four years. In 1804 this was cut once more, now people could buy 160 acres of land for two dollars an acre that could be paid off over four years also. Similar changes led to the one in 1840, which sold 40-acre lots for one dollar and twenty-five cents an acre. Now the land was cheap and reasonable and a perfect place

for new immigrants to establish themselves. This established the west as an integral part in American affairs. The next topic Cunliff talks about is the expanding American economy. He says that between the dated of 1789-1837, the American economy showed an impressive trend from vulnerability and uncertainty to strength and confidence. Immediately after their independence, America had a poor export market. However due to the wars in Europe in the late 1700 and early 1800 s against Napoleon, most of Europe turned to America to import goods from. This was around the time of the industrial revolution, when farms and plantations were able to increase efficiency of their trade. Although by 1837 America had not yet felt the full effects of industrialization its economy was being

expanded in many new industries. The steel, coal and iron industries were established while the cotton industry was expanded. While this economy did have its weak points, it was still new and had accomplished much in its short time. By 1837 Americas industry was established and ready to grow. The immerging nationalism, in conflict with sectional rifts in America is the next topic that Cunliffe writes on. After the signing of the constitution, Americans started building national pride. Popular Symbols were adopted by Americans, and became an important piece of American life. As America started gaining world power, the momentum of these symbols started to increase. But while people were proud to be Americans, inside the country, sectional rifts were growing. These sectional rifts

were the ones that led to the Civil War. Differences between northerners and southerners stemmed from the geography of their respective states. In the south, cotton was the most important crop, and slaves were used to harvest it; while in the north it was more industrialized and slavery was not permitted. Thus the slavery question was added to the already growing sectional conflict. Another factor was the uneven distribution of wealth and national power. The north seemed to control most of this while the south was neglected. These rising controversies were the beginning of a split in the Union. The final topic in Cunliffe s book is the growth of a more equally balanced country. He shows the change made in America in Jackson s time. Andrew Jackson was a man of the people, and he