The date July 4, 1776 was the most important national holiday throughout America as it was the day of the declaration of the American independence. But the realization of this independence came only after the nation has won the war of independence in 1783. Prior to the declaration of independence however, early American settlers had already established economic activities affecting the nation. The turbulent atmosphere during the war of independence up to the civil war brought economic insecurities to the American Public.
Thus, after the war of 1812, William Anthony Lovett, Alfred E. Eckes, and Richard L. Brinkman (1999) stated that the American Congress “responded to the public desire for economic security and industry request for protection” (p. 60). Congress enacted substantially higher duties on imports which became a nationalistic trade policy associated with House Speaker Henry Clay that became known as the American System.
The American economy embarked on protectionism policy that brought tremendous economic progress to the American nation, as Lovett, Eckes, and Brinkman pointed out, “The most rapid growth occurred during periods of high protectionism, not free trade” (p. 60). The significance that westward expansion had on the U. S. economic growth The Westward expansion was one of the indicators of the tremendous economic growth of the nation. The significance of West ward expansion according to Jeffrey Glanz was that “for many years, the westward expansion meant an increased opportunity and prosperity for many” (p.
38). The west characterized by a vast area of wilderness, the bulwark of the American Indians and has been regarded as the American frontier but following the westward expansion during the second half of the nineteenth century, unprecedented growth and expansion cause the disappearance of the frontier paving the way for the emergence of a new nation (Glanz, p. 38). Glanz stated, “This phase of American development was characterized by an unquestioning faith and confidence in the continued maturation of a country and an optimistic and spirited individualism that would pave the way for the future” (p.
38). The impact immigration had on America’s demographic, economic, and political climate during the mid 19th century. One of the significant impacts of migration had on America’s demographic, economic and political climate during the mid 19th century was the expansion of the population which had greatly helped them during the period of industrialization. Peter N. Stearns and William Leonard Langer pointed out that the U. S. population increased from 3. 9 million in 1790 to 9.
6 million in 1820, with the Irish Immigrants topping the list of immigrants followed closely by immigrants from Germany, Canada and Britain. These immigrants forms the labor work force employed in the factory systems which were prevalent and were in dire shortage of workers during the period of industrialization. The impact of migration had on the political climate of the United States during this period paved the way for the emergence of the modern participants to politics in which state legislatures revoked property and taxpaying qualifications. Kenneth J.
Winkle points out that by 1860 “most states embraced the principle of universal white manhood suffrage” (p. 4). How each region of the U. S. developed different economic and social systems during this time? The difficulty of finding appropriate sources has compelled this researcher to categorize the US regions in to Southern and North American regions. The development of each of the US regions of economic and social system during the mid 19th century depended in their regional environments. The Southern Regions embarked on plantation economy which utilized slaves on doing the job.
The social system was governed by the aristocracy and was discriminating against colored people but proclaim equality of all whites. The regions in North America (consists of two vast regions) on the other hand developed a national economy through the dual process of industrialization and commercialization. According to Carl F. Goodman, the social and economic system of North America during the mid 19th century, “was based on small farers owning their own lands and small businesses making their own way in society” (p. 181).
How these differences led to sectionalism The regional differences led to sectionalism in the sense that sectionalism “looks at regional diversity in terms of problematic relation to national unity” (Rob, K. 2000). Citing the statement of Max Learner, Rob Kroes (2000) differentiated section from region as follows, “The section may be the region in its political aspect, but it has divisive overtones while the region has cohesive ones” (p. 31). In this context, regional differences led to sectionalism in view of the divisive elements provided by these differences.
Sectionalism then promotes disintegration and disunion “in terms of its problematic relation to national unity” (p. 31). The effect on domestic and foreign policy during this time Sectionalism has been viewed to have always been important forces in American politics, “acting on the actions of federal government including its foreign policy” (Stephens, E. 2006, p. 56). Elizabeth Stephens noted that culture plays very significant part in US foreign policy. During the mid 19th century however, the domestic and foreign policy focused on commercialization rather than territorial expansion.
The regional differences created by economic and political instability has affected the domestic policy in terms of the government’s treatment on the Chinese laborers during this period, in view of the legislation enacted to ban Chinese labor, in 1894. However, the government’s foreign policy was unaffected as economic expansion proceeded virtually unnoticed.
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