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Forging the National Economy, 1790-1860 PowerPoint Presentation
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  1. Forging the National Economy, 1790-1860 Chapter 14

  2. Manifest Destiny • God given mission to spread civilization by conquest to the entire western hemisphere • no matter who it harmed • Technological innovations • Democracy must continue to grow in order to survive • Desire to expand benefits of American civilization • Southerners were anxious to acquire new lands • Why? • Pacific ports • Texas and Great Britain?

  3. Agricultural Boom • Post war of 1812 farm prices high • Move west for better farm land • Demand in Europe for corn and wheat • Urbanization builds dependence on commercial farms • Mississippi River natural highway from midwest to Gulf • Cotton Gin • 1793, Eli Whitney from 1 slave cleaning 1 pound per day to 50 pounds per hour • Large demand in Europe for cotton cloth • 1815 - MS and AL half nation’s cotton production • By 1836 cotton 2/3 of all US exports • “King Cotton”

  4. Land Policy • Early preference for orderly settlement of Public Domain • Ordinance of 1785 - orderly procedures for survey and sales • Federalists wanted to slow westward movement (eroded their northeastern powerbase) • Federalists encouraged sales to speculators • Republicans (Jefferson) reduced minimum purchase amount from 640 acres (a section) which most farmers couldn’t afford to 320 in 1800, @ $2/acre • 160 acres in 1804 @ $1.64/acre • 80 acres in 1820, 40 acres in 1832 @ $1.25/acre

  5. Land Boom (cont.) • Speculators • bought sections, subdivided as small as 40 acres • could clear only 10 to 12 acres annually anyway • US Bank recharter spurred bank note production • Plethora of speculation 1815-1819 • 1819 Panic crashed the economy • Squatters • settled on unimproved land regardless of ownership • generally gained right of “preemption” (allowed to purchase and register land at minimum $ that they had settled and improved) • Had to forgo subsistence crops to pay off debts • forced to produce cash crops to make money, exhausted land, moved on

  6. Panic of 1819 • Land boom collapsed • State banks poor management caused much of it • Proliferation of bank notes, farmers borrowed heavily to buy more land • US Bank insisted on specie instead of paper to repay loans to state banks • Land prices from $69/acre to $2/acre • Farm market prices bottomed • Farmers couldn’t repay loans, went bust • Horribly bad press for BUS, (Jackson lost money in the crash too)

  7. Why was it difficult for the Industrial Revolution to come to America? • people wanted to be farmers, plenty of land • had raw materials but not machines • a lot of people had technological ingenuity, but very little specialized knowledge • most people didn't have money or leisure to worry about luxuries • England wanted to prevent industrialization in America • negative attitude about impact of factories on society • people invested their money in trade

  8. Jefferson didn’t think factories were a good idea, though he liked gadgets • The new nation was to be a republic, which required a balance of power, liberty, and virtue • Who makes a good voter? a farmer--independent, self-respecting • “ You can't have republic without a virtuous citizenry.” -Jefferson • The workers in British factory cities were clearly degraded • The trade embargo by the British in 1807 that led eventually to the war of 1812 convinced Jefferson to change his mind • The new nation couldn't afford to be dependent on England for imported goods

  9. Equality and Inequality • Widening rich-poor gap in early 1800s • Small % control majority of wealth • Rich • Exhibit conspicuous consumption, flaunt wealth • Live among peers, isolated from poverty • Many Attempt to look ordinary in public, keep appearances of equality • paying minimal wages • inadequate for male workers to provide sufficiently from factory work for family • Poor • Close to poverty • More affected by panics - laid off, wages reduced • Paupers (aged, sick) considered the “deserving” poor • Drunks, loafers considered the “undeserving” poor

  10. Immigrants • Numerous, increasing in number as century progressed • Irish poorest, evicted by English landlords, many came to US • most canal diggers on Erie were Irish • Five Points district in NYC horrible slum, predominately Irish (“Gangs of New York”) • Catholic as well as poor, double whammy for the Irish • Widely discriminated against (“dogs and Irish keep off the grass”, “Help wanted Irish need not apply”)

  11. Free Blacks in the North • Bottom of non slave social scale • Many discriminative laws in North • Most lost vote between 1800-1850, or had restrictions which didn’t apply to whites • Segregation widely practiced in schools, hospitals, etc • Barred from many municipal facilities open to whites • Forced into lowest paying jobs • Paid less than whites for same work in most cases • Churches • Blacks form own churches • African Methodist Episcopal (A.M.E.) Founded 1816, in Philadelphia by Richard Allen (first A.M.E. bishop)

  12. Changing Social Relationships • Principal motives • questioning authority • more than any other world culture • Notion of women’s “separate sphere” in the home • no social rights to speak of outside home • more authority inside home, family circle • Attacking the professions • decrease in respect for educated professionals among middle, lower classes • value of training, degrees minimized by many • Value of the “self made” man emphasized • Made ministers more transient, subject to dismissal by congregations • Frontier respected authority little, titles assumed by anyone who cared to, “judge”, “colonel”, “squire”

  13. Family Authority Questioned • More choice of spouses by women • Working outside home by choice • Longer engagements • Women remained single rather than forfeit independence • Wives and husbands • Separate spheres • mothers expected to be the experts in child rearing • father provider role unchanged, mother role increased in scope • Idealized home, provider father, expert child rearing mother in a safe haven away from trials and evils • Women’s issues • birthrate gradually decrease - farming becomes less prevalent in northeast • Various forms of pregnancy prevention, including unnamed abortions in many cases • Separate spheres seen by many (mostly men) as an alternate to real equality of rights