The Nation Takes Shape
by Marcus Cunliffe
published by the University of Chicago Press
Ms. C. Love
February 12, 1998
The period of time from 1789 to 1839 was an age of growth for the United States of America; the United States grew bigger and better in general, it expanded into the West, and its commerce and industry also grew substantially. This is in part because of the great political leaders such as George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and Andrew Jackson, but also in part of growing national pride and the yearning to become a successful nation.
America grew larger and improved greatly in the first half century of its life. The territory of the United States tripled ...view middle of the document...
The Louisiana Purchase doubled the United States in size, however, and people soon started to expand into the empty space. At first, the thirteen original states argued over land boundaries from the colonial times. Eventually, they all ceded the controversial land to the United States government. The American government soon issued the Northwest Ordinance to deal with the land in the northwest. The ordinance divided up the territory into townships of thirty-six square mile sections. Each square mile would be sold at about $640. The ordinance also set the requirements the territory had to meet to be given a non-voting representative in Congress and to be eligible for statehood. The Northwest Ordinance also outlawed slavery in the Northwest Territory. There were other residents of this territory, however. Many Native Americans were pushed out after Mad Anthony Wayne defeated them at Fallen Timbers. Also, Jay's Treaty prevented the British from intervening in the Northwest Territory any longer. This eradication of non-Americans left room for many more people to move west and gave them a more secure feeling of safety. There were quite a few more reasons that people wanted to move out west. One of the reasons was because of the lack of farming land in the east. In the Northeast the soil was too rocky and poor to be able to sustain profitable farms. In the middle states, the soil was being eroded away; the tobacco plantations were ruining the soil in the South. Another reason was because the ideal of Manifest Destiny, the belief that the United States should reach from coast to coast, was becoming more popular. For these reasons and more, the population in the West grew rapidly, and the empty territories quickly became states.
Another area in which America grew considerably was in commerce and industry. Before the Revolution, the colonies and Britain had established a relationship in which the colonies would...