The period between 1789 and 1840 is considered one of the most important as far as the history of the United States is concerned. This period starts with the election of George Washington as president and ends with the presidential election of 1840. It is important to note that the election of George Washington as the first president of the United States came with concerted efforts to enhance the financial structure of the nation. The period I discuss in this text, that is, from 1789 to 1840 is variously referred to as the westward expansion period. Whilst taking into consideration this period, I look at the developments well as evolution of the American nation from three fronts, that is, popular culture, economic orientation and development as well as social structure. I also include an explanation of the significance of a number of issues as far as understanding the westward expansion period is concerned.
On election as the first president of the nation in 1979, George Washington established a fully functional cabinet government form with a number of departments including war, treasury as well as the department of state. In the same year president Washington was elected, an act (the judiciary act of 1789) was passed and it recognized the Supreme Court alongside the whole judiciary (federal). Issues that were seen as highly contentious informed the 1790s. To begin with, there was the tussle between Thomas Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton. Jefferson came from the Republican Party while Hamilton was from the Federalist Party. The main issues of contention here included the stiff opposition Jeffersonians had on federal taxes, the navy as well as the new national bank as Hamilton and Washington were trying to develop a national government that was strong and had a broad financial base. The era of Jeffersonian democracy was opened in 1800 after Jefferson’s victory and with this came diminished fortunes of upper-crust federalists. In 1803, an expansive fertile land was opened up courtesy of the Louisiana Purchase. This opening up was largely beneficial especially to yeomen farmers whose concerns were close to Jefferson’s heart.
In 1812, America fought Britain in a war that was largely seen as a way of enhancing the honor of America as a nation. British invasions were largely repulsed with the superior leadership of generals like Winfield Scott, Harrison William as well as Jackson Andrew. The British invasion repulsion was effective in breaking up the links between the British and the Indians that had largely occupied Old Northwest settlements. It was however not until the 1830s that the Southeastern Tribes were deported forcibly by the federal government to the Western reservations.
Later on, almost all white men were entitled to vote and this was largely informed by the spread of democracy. This enabled the Jacksonian’s democracy to extensively gain control of politics at the time of the second party system. In the 1830s, the Jacksonians were largely successful in frustrating the efforts of the Whigs by shutting down the national bank. The Whigs were pushing for the society’s modernization by use of internal improvements that were federally funded as well as tariffs. It is important to note herein that the Whigs were mainly projecting the interests of professionals and wealthy merchant financiers. The Jacksonians were interested in ‘manifested destiny’ expansion; that is, moving into new lands which would prove largely beneficial to not only planters but farmers as well.
All the while, there was sustained modernization which was in one way or the other informed by the southern cotton crops that were very profitable as well as a rapidly developing infrastructure and industrialization mainly in the Northeast. It is important to note that during the westward expansion period, the Americans tore away from European models and came up with their very own culture mainly as far as higher education and literature was concerned. It is also in this period that the country experienced enhanced revivals with the establishment of a number of denominations including the Baptists and Methodists which went well with the raising church membership numbers.The 1840s were informed by raising immigrant numbers who were mostly from Europe. Most of these immigrants decided to settle in cities which at the time were beginning to rise as units of influence as far as society and economy was concerned.
When it comes to the economic history of the America nation, the effect of the 1787 U.S. constitution adoption cannot be overstated as far as the unification of the nation is concerned and the enhancement of commerce and common market which lacked taxes or internal tariffs on commerce (interstate). As the first secretary of the treasury, Alexander Hamilton took views that were taken to be very broad and this lead to enhanced debate touching on the extent of federal powers. To his credit, Alexander Hamilton was wildly successful in offering for sale to the wealthy new securities that were informed by the combination of state debts with the national debt (old). To fund the debt, Hamilton used imported commodities tariffs and taxes on whisky which came to be regarded as controversial. As far as he was concerned, the United States was better off using banking, manufacturing as well as shipping (diversified) to pursue economic growth. He was able to establish the first bank of the United States through a congressional authority he sought and consequently achieved. This was in the year 1791.
During the Washington administration, Hamilton was largely influential both at the economic and political front and he almost always had his way as far as economic policies were concerned despite the stiff opposition he often faced from James Madison as well as Thomas Jefferson. One such fierce opposition to Hamilton’s economic decisions was when they fiercely opposed a central bank that was strong. It is however important to note that when Jefferson eventually became president in 1801, he did not scrap off the basic policies that were put I place by Hamilton. However, he went ahead to enhance what has popularly become to be regarded as the Jeffersonian democracy. The basis of his idea was towards a more enhanced decentralization and he believed in the protection of the common man against adverse effects brought about by economic as well as political tyranny. To him, farmers were highly priced of all the citizenry of America. Though most of Hamilton’s policies remained in place for quite a long period of time, it was Madison who oversaw the expiry of the ban charter. However, The need for a national bank were realized in the 1812 war and in 1816 the second bank of the united states was formed and it had in place a charted of 20 years.
In 1973, Eli Whitney invented the cotton gin which lead to the boom of cotton which was widely considered in the South to be a small scale crop. Whitney’s invention was able to conduct a separation of other cotton waste from cotton seeds and raw cotton. On this invention, slaves were sourced to work on large cotton plantations and on harvesting; the raw cotton was mainly sold to mills in England as well as France and Britain which dealt with textile. The westward expansion period also saw the movement of millions of people to farmlands which were considered to be very fertile mostly in the Midwest. Further, it was also during this period that waterways as well as roads were being built by states and this went a long way to open up the markets for free trade. Some of the most notable infrastructural development of his time included the 1825 Erie Canal and the 1818 Cumberland pike. It is important to note that the Whig party came along as the most dedicated backer of Clay’s American system. This system (American system) informed a number of improvements which were internally based including the development of harbors, canals, as well as roads. Other proposals of the American system included the establishment to a national bank that was strong as well as the protection of the industry. However, at the national level democrats shot down the legislation program advanced by the Whigs. a number of modernization programs that were inspired by the Whig program were however accepted on a bipartisan foundation in a good number of states.
The second bank of the United States was however largely opposed by President Andrew Jackson who served between the periods 1829 and 1837. To him, the second bank of the United States was there as a tool to advance the various interests of the wealthy. It is this preposition that informed his blocking of the bank’s charter renewal while he was serving in his second term as president. He was also skeptical of paper money and instead preferred that gold and silver coins be used to make all payments to the government. Last but least, it is important to note that three years preceding 1840, business growth came to a halt as a result of a confusion that was dubbed the 1837 panic. This was basically a financial crisis that was largely infirmed by speculation. The economy was slowed by the high unemployment levels as well as banks failure during the entire period informing of the panic.
When it comes to the development of the social stricture of the American nation, President Andrew Jackson who served as president between 1829 and 1837 is believed to have overseen vast adjustments not only in the American economic as well as political landscapes but also the social landscape as well. The 1790-1840 second great awakening period was informed by the entry of the Americans into an enhanced experimentation and social change period. During this period, we not only had had new social movements coming up but also a unique shift from traditional religious thoughts to new alternatives. This was also the period that informed the collapse of some societal traditional roles and the adoption of what was considered by then to be modern social standards. This period was also informed by the widespread growth of a number of denominations including the Baptist and the Methodist. The Calvinist faith’s Calvinist faith was also largely challenged during the second great awakening period. This informed the tendency of other groups to question their societal and religious inclinations.
Many reform movements also sprouted up during the second awakening period. Ideally, these social movements were tailored find lasting solutions to societal evil way before Christ made his comeback. As stated earlier, a number of denominations also sprouted up during the second awakening period. Some of the denominations that can race their establishment to the great awakening period include but are not limited to the seventh day Adventist church, the Mormons, the disciples of Christ church as well as the churches of Christ. During this period, the churches which were most notable in preaching to slaves and their owners as well as were the Methodist as well as the Baptist church. As opposed to late 17s, slaves were allowed to become Methodist as well as Baptist preachers. This informed the formation of slave congregations most notably in Virginia and South Carolina.
In conclusion, is however important to note that after the 1831 Nat Turner revolution, there were several; attempts by whites to gain influence amongst the mainly black slave congregations but a good number of these denominations put p a good fight to maintain their independence as well as separation. This was even after several laws were put in place requiring black congregations to always worship with the presence of a white man.