SDSU American History The Erie Canal Discussion


1. What exactly was the Erie Canal? When was it built, by Whom, and Why?
2. How did the Erie Canal advance economic prosperity in America? Who opposed the Canal and why?

3. Why was it called America’s first superhighway? When was the Canal closed and why?

Other details of the requirements are uploaded, and links to documentary:

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Expansion, Industrialization, & Democracy ~ The North
Review: Aspirations of Expansion, 1783- 1835
a) Northwest Territory
b) Native American Treaties
c) Louisiana Purchase
d) War 1812 ~ & Tecumseh’s War
e) Monroe Doctrine
f) Transportation Revolution
Industrial Revolution
a) Origins
b) Transportation
c) Agriculture
d) Free labor ~ Capitalism
e) Cities and Industries
Revivals and Reforms
a) 2nd Great Awakening
b) Social Reforms
c) Moral Reforms
d) Medical Reforms
e) Educational Reforms
1784 – *The Western Territories. Thomas Jefferson headed a committee that proposed a plan for
dividing the western territories, providing a temporary government for the West, and devising a method for
new western states to enter the Union on an equal basis with the original states. The plan was adopted,
but not put into effect.
*Congress Creates a Board of Finance. When Robert Morris resigned as superintendent of finance,
he was replaced by a Board of Finance consisting of three commissioners.
*New York the Temporary Capital. Congress decided to make New York City the temporary capital of
the United States, until the location of a permanent federal city was decided upon.
1785 – *Congress Lacks Power over Commerce. When American commissioners attempted to make
trade arrangements with Britain, the British Ambassador refused, because any state could decline to
abide by Congress’s trade regulations. The inability of Congress to regulate commerce on a national scale
led to the formation of a committee dedicated to appealing to the states for a new Constitutional
Convention. Continental Congress convenes in New York City.
1786 – * Shay’s Rebellion in Springfield, Mass. Armed insurrection by farmers in against the state
government. Debt-ridden farmers, struck by the economic depression that followed the American
Revolution, petitioned the state senate to issue paper money and to halt foreclosure of mortgages on their
property and their own imprisonment for debt as a result of high land taxes. The rebellion influenced
Massachusetts’s ratification of the U.S. Constitution.
1787 – *Constitutional convention opens at Philadelphia, George Washington presiding. Congress
establishes Northwest Territory (excludes slavery). In September, U.S. constitution adopted by
Philadelphia convention and sent to states for ratification. “Federalist Papers” published, calls for
ratification of Constitution.
1788 – * US Constitution is ratified and becomes basis for government of United States of America
Incorporating the Western Territories
Under the Treaty of Paris (1783) ending the Revolutionary War,
Britain gave to the United States a large tract of land west of the
Appalachian mountains, doubling the size of the new nation.
Congressional debates about the division and government
of the new territories resulted in precedents which were
followed throughout the settlement of the west.
Congress Discusses Slavery in the Western Territories
In 1783, Congress formed a committee to “prepare a plan for
the temporary government of the western territory.“ Thomas
Jefferson, chairman of the committee, delivered a report
in March 1784 proposing the division of the land into ten territories, and their eventual admission to the Union as equal
with the original thirteen states. Jefferson also proposed the prohibition of slavery in the new states. Congress
rejected Jefferson’s ban on slavery, but in 1785 Rufus King attempted to restore it. Congress, again, rejected the
proposal. Slavery was officially barred from the new western states in 1787. Congressman David Howell of Rhode
Island complained that America’s new western territories were “the most complicated and embarrassing Subject
before Congress since peace has taken place.” Deliberation over what to do with the territory continued for several
years, but on May 18, 1785, a proposal was presented for the orderly settlement of the western public lands.
Congress adopted the final version of the Land Ordinance of 1785 on May 20.
Congress Determines How New States Can Enter the Union
In 1787, Congress was approached by agents of the Ohio Company, a group of New England Revolutionary War
veterans seeking to purchase vast tracts of western land. The prospect of earning real revenue for the western territories
inspired Congress to resolve the long debate over the west; the Northwest Ordinance, passed on July 13, 1787,
provided for a government in the western territories, created a procedure for the formation of states, established
a formal method for the new states to enter the union as equals, guaranteed the inhabitants civil and religious
liberties, and prohibited slavery. The president of Congress, Arthur St. Clair, was named first governor of the territory.
(Library of Congress)
Land Ordinance of 1785
The Land Ordinance of 1785 set forth how the government of the United States would measure, divide and
distribute the land it had acquired from Great Britain north and west of the Ohio River at the end of the
American Revolution. Native American tribes did not agree with the claim that the land belonged to the
United States. Numerous states also claimed the land. These states, when they were still colonies of
Britain, had received permission from the king to control all land between their colonies on the East Coast
and the Pacific Ocean. The Confederation Congress hoped to sell the land in the Ohio Country to raise
funds. The Confederation Congress immediately began to negotiate with the Native Americans and the
states, so that the federal government could claim sole ownership of the land.
As the states and Native Americans relinquished lands, government surveyors were to divide the territory
into individual townships. Each township was to be square and the completed square would include a total
of thirty-six square miles of territory. The township would then be divided into one-square mile sections, with
each section being 640 acres. Each section received its own number. Section 16 was set aside for a public
school. The federal government reserved 4 sections to provide veterans of the American Revolution with
land bounties for their service during the war. The government would sell the remaining sections at public
auction. The minimum bid was 640 dollars per section or one dollar for each acre of land in each section.
The government had now opened up parts of the Ohio Country for settlement, but the Confederation
Congress continued to face many of the same difficulties that existed prior to the Ordinance of 1784 and the
Land Ordinance of 1785. Squatters continued to move into the Ohio Country and many of the Native
Americans refused to leave.
The important result of the “Land Ordinance of 1785” was that; It helped promote education in newly
acquired territory. The Congress of the United States adopted the Land Ordinance on May 20, 1785 when
the government did not have the power to raise revenue by direct taxation of the citizens of the country.
Northwest Territory & Indian Wars
When the U.S. won the Revolution, it acquired the Northwest Territory by the Treaty of Paris in 1783. It
contained six future states: Ohio (1803), Indiana (1816), Illinois (1818), Michigan (1837),
Wisconsin (1848) and Minnesota (1858).
The Shawnee, Wyandotte, Miami and others had fought white settlers throughout colonial times and
during the Revolution. They had agreed to treaties after the Revolution that left them with only
their hunting grounds north of the Ohio River. Pressure for settlement continued; settlers
began pushing into the Northwest Territory as early as 1782. The Indians raided the frontier
settlements in retaliation. Settlers demanded the government intervene.
A commission was appointed in 1783 to negotiate with the Indian nations to acquire their land
in the territory. Treaties with individual tribes were partially successful. Where they were not,
troops were sent to take the land by force.
The treaties and battles that defined the Indian Wars of 1784 to 1795 are:

October 1784 – Treaty of Fort Stanwix (did not include Iroquois)
January 1785 – Treaty of Fort McIntosh (Wyandotte, Delaware, Chippewa, Ottowa)
January 1786 – Treaty of Fort Finney (Shawnee–Wabash did not attend)
1789 – Treaty of Fort Harmar (Six Nations)
1789 – Treaty of Fort Harmar (Wyandotte, Delaware, Chippewa, Ottowa)
November 1790 – Little Turtle defeats Gen. Harmar
November 1791 – Little Turtle defeats Gen. St. Clair
August 1794 – Gen. Wayne defeats Little Turtle at Fallen Timbers
August 1795 – Greenville Treaty with Delaware, Wyandotte, Shawnee, Miami, Ottowa, Chippewa, Pottawatomie
and independent tribes.
When the new United States was still weak, Indian nations were strong and represented a significant threat
to the infant republic. Washington knew that expansion and security of the nation had to be on Indian
land, by war or diplomacy or both. Washington set the United States on a path of westward expansion
that transformed tribal homelands into American territories and then into states. His dealings with Native
Americans in securing the nation’s future growth is considered as another measure of his Washington’s
greatness, which came at a cost to Native Americans.
Washington’s primary Indian policy goal was to acquire Indian lands, in which he succeeded. His
second goal was to establish just policies for dealings with Indian peoples, in which he was not as
successful as in the first. Washington believed the most honorable and least expensive way to get Indian
land was to purchase it in treaties. Washington hoped this would allow the United States to expand with
minimal bloodshed and at the same time treat Indian peoples with justice. But when Indians refused to
sell, Washington waged war against them to acquire the land. Yet Washington envisioned a place for
Indian people in American society. He offered them the chance to remake themselves as Americans by
extending them the benefits of American civilization—agriculture (to be practiced by Indian men, not, as had
been the case for centuries, by Indian women), education, and Christianity.
Later, when Andrew Jackson led in removing eastern Indian peoples into lands west of the Mississippi, the
Cherokee chief John Ross remembered with reverence the first president who had dealt justly with Indians.
Ross even named his son George Washington. Washington aspired to a national Indian policy that
would reconcile taking Native land with respecting Native rights, but he was not opposed to
employing violence to attain his own and his nation’s ends. We need to acknowledge this as we try to
understand the first president and the nation he helped to build.
(Adapted from Colin Calloway, August 2, 2018, “George Washington’s Tortuous Relationship With Native
Americans” )
At the end of the Seven Years’ War, France
ceded to Spain territory west of the Mississippi
River, with the port of New Orleans near its
mouth. Shortly after Jefferson became president,
Napoleon forced a weak Spanish government to
cede the great tract called Louisiana back to
France. Napoleon’s plans for a huge colonial
empire just west of the United States threatened
the trading rights and the safety of all American
interior settlements. Jefferson asserted that if
France took possession of Louisiana, “from that
moment we must marry ourselves to the British
fleet and nation.”
Napoleon, knowing that another war with Great Britain was impending, resolved to fill his treasury and
put Louisiana beyond the reach of the British by selling it to the United States. This put Jefferson in a
constitutional quandary: the Constitution gave no office the power to purchase territory. At first Jefferson
wanted to amend the Constitution, but his advisers told him that delay might lead Napoleon to change his
mind — and that the power to purchase territory was inherent in the power to make treaties. Jefferson
relented, saying that “the good sense of our country will correct the evil of loose construction when it
shall produce ill effects.”
For $15 million, the United States obtained the “Louisiana Purchase” in 1803. It contained more than
2,600,000 square kilometers as well as the port of New Orleans. The nation had gained a sweep of rich
plains, mountains, forests and river systems that within 80 years would become the nation’s heartland -and one of the world’s great granaries.
Thomas Jefferson
From the moment that Jefferson was inaugurated, he began what he
described as the Revolution of 1800. This was his attempt to repeal
major actions that he felt the Federalists had taken to needlessly
strengthen the hand of the Federal government. This included
allowing the Alien and Sedition Act to lapse and the repeal of the
federal whiskey tax. For all Jefferson’s changes, his Presidency was
more one of stability than of change.
Jefferson was a leading advocate of strict interpretation of the
Constitution. Despite this fact, he took two major actions in his first
term that, under a strict interpretation of the Constitution, he lacked
the power to do. The first was to send forces against the Barbary
Pirates. His orders to the force commander instructed him to take
military action to end forced payment of ransom. The policy was
successful, but Jefferson did not consult Congress before instructing
this use of force.
Second, in secret negotiations, Jefferson agreed to purchase the Louisiana Territory from France.
This purchase, for $15 million, doubled the size of the United States. There was, however, no provision in
the constitution that provided for the purchase of land.
During his second term, Jefferson insisted on maintaining American neutrality in the expanding European
War. He felt compelled to pass an extremely unpopular embargo act banning all trade with the
European belligerents. The high point of this second term was the return of Lewis and Clark from the
American West. Their visit was the first organized exploration of much of what was to become part of the
United States.
Lewis and Clark’s Journey
President Thomas Jefferson commissioned Meriwether Lewis to head an expedition to explore the
newly bought Louisiana Territory in order to further trade. Lewis chose William Clark as the coleader of the expedition. Lewis was 28 years old and Clark was 32. Jefferson also wanted
information on the plant and animal life of the American West. Lewis and Clark’s expedition was
the first official expedition across the continent to the Pacific Ocean.
European exploration of the Pacific Northwest led to multiple overlapping territorial claims by Spain, Russia,
France, Britain, and last but not least, the new American republic. English Army Major Robert Rogers first
wrote the term “Ouragon” in an unsuccessful 1765 petition to explore the American West. American Captain
Jonathan Carver used “Oregon” to refer to the fabled “River of the West” in his 1778 book, Travels Through
the Interior Parts of North America. In 1803, Thomas Jefferson referred to “Oregon” in his instructions to
Meriwether Lewis for the Lewis and Clark expedition.
Spain had sent the first European expedition to the Pacific Northwest in 1774 and in 1775 Spain formally
claimed the region. During the American Revolution (1775 to 1783) Spain took the side of the American
colonies against England. After the revolution was won, the Americans inherited Spanish claims to the
Britain claimed sovereignty from the 1791-1795 expeditions of Captain George Vancouver and by agents of
the Hudson’s Bay Company. But American claims came from the trading voyages of Captain Robert Gray to
the Pacific Northwest Coast between 1790 and 1793,followed by the 1804-1806 Lewis and Clark expedition
and the establishment of Fort Astoria in 1811.
When the War of 1812 ended with the Treaty of Ghent on December 24, 1812, Britain and the US agreed
to joint occupation of the Oregon Territory formalized in the Treaty of Joint Occupation of Oregon, signed
on October 20, 1818 and renewed in 1827. As Americans streamed into the Oregon Country, Great Britain’s
influence began to wane. Some extremists chanted “54-40 or Fight,” demanding that US Territory extend
north of the 54th parallel. Despite this pressure, in the Oregon Treaty of June 15, 1846, the United States
agreed to the 49th parallel, which established national boundaries “westward of the Rocky Mountains.”
In 1853, Washington Territory split off from Oregon. Oregon and Washington were admitted to the union
and became states in 1859 and 1889 respectively.
James Madison 1809-1817
4TH President James Madison ~
• The British impressments of American seamen and
the seizure of cargoes impelled Madison to give in
to the pressure.
• June 1, 1812, asked Congress to declare war,
• US not prepared to fight; severely trounced.
• The British entered Washington and set fire to
the White House and the Capitol.
• Gen. Andrew Jackson’s triumph at New Orleans,
• An upsurge of nationalism resulted.
• The New England Federalists opposed the war-and even talked secession = Federalism
disappeared as a national party.
• Retired to Montpelier, Virginia, Madison spoke out
against the disruptive states’ rights influences =
threatened to shatter the Federal Union.
• In a note opened after his death in 1836, he stated,
“The advice nearest to my heart and deepest in
my convictions is that the Union of the States be
cherished and perpetuated.”
As slavery was
expanding and
becoming even
more entrenched
into the life-style
and culture of the
South, so too Free
Labor and
Capitalism were
growing in the
North with the
onset of the
Nationalism, Industrialization, Internal Improvements, Western Expansion, and the decline of the
Federalist Party all resulted from the War of 1812. Growth, expansion and social change
rapidly followed the end of the War of 1812. The defeat of a confederation of Pro-British
Indian Tribes led by Tecumseh and his brother in the Trans-Appalachian West in 1813 now made
these lands open for settlement. Many an enterprising American pushed westward. In the new
western states, there was a greater level of equality among the masses than in the former
English colonies. Land was readily available. Frontier life required hard work. There was
little tolerance for aristocrats afraid to get their hands dirty.
Effects of the War of 1812
1) Increased American patriotism.
2) Weakened Native Americans resistance.
3) U.S. manufacturing grew.
4) U.S. proved that it could defend itself against the mightiest military power of the era.
5) New National Hero created in Andrew Jackson
6) Americans began to believe that the young nation would survive and prosper.
7) United States “is” and no longer “we”
8) Westward Expansion across the continent
The War of 1812 significantly increased our national pride and laid the foundation for the
concept of Manifest Destiny. The War produced a new level of patriotism in Americans, who once
again stood up to British and defeated them. This changed the way Americans thought about our
military and our nation.
The second significant effect was the boost in American manufacturing. American manufacturing
benefitted in the post-war era because of a lack of goods caused by the interruption in trade. After
the war, production of goods exploded. Soon, American dependence on imports dropped slightly as
Americans became more self-sufficient and the powers of Europe began to depend on
American goods.
John L O’Sullivan, newspaper editor in 1845, used and popularized the phrase: Manifest Destiny = an
expression of the legacy of the unique mission of Americans, but also a belief in America as the vessel of
the progress of civilization.
“Away, away with all these cobweb tissues of rights of discovery, exploration, settlement, contiguity….Our
claim is by the right of our manifest destiny to overspread and to possess the whole of the continent which
Providence has given us for the development of the great experiment of liberty and federative self
government entrusted to us. It is a right such as of the tree to space of air and earth suitable for the full
expansion of its principle and growth….It is in our future more than our past, or in the past history of
Spanish exploration or French colonial rights, that our True Title is to be found. Oregon can never be to
England anything but a mere hunting ground for furs and peltries…In our hands it must fast fill in with a
population destined to establish a noble young empire…”
James Monroe 1817-1825
5th President James Monroe ~
• Anti-Federalists from Virginia
• advocate of Jeffersonian policies,
• elected United States Senator.
• As Minister to France in 1794-1796, = sympathies for
the French cause;
• helped negotiate the Louisiana Purchase.
• Monroe proclaimed the fundamental policy that
bears his name, Monroe Doctrine =
• threat that the monarchies in Europe might try
to aid Spain in winning back her former
• WARNED = Europe to leave Latin Amer. alone AND
Russia must not encroach on the S. Pacific coast.
• “the American continents . . . are henceforth not to
be considered as subjects for future colonization
by any European Power.”

John Quincy Adams 1825-1829 •

First President son of a President,
paralleled the career & temperament & viewpoints of his
illustrious father, John Adams,
Under President Monroe, Adams was one of America’s
great Secretaries of State
Arranged with England joint occupation of the Oregon
Obtained Florida from Spain
Formulated the Monroe Doctrine.
Only One Party, Republican = sectionalism arises with own
candidates for Pres.
Adams, the candidate of the North, fell behind Andrew
Jackson in popular & electoral votes, more than William
H. Crawford & Henry Clay, but no one had the required
decided by House of Reps. Clay threw his support in the
House to Adams.
Adams appointed Clay as Secretary of State
Jackson charged “corrupt bargain”
immediately campaigned against him and won in next
The Monroe Doctrine was a proclamation in 1823 by President
James Monroe. Basically, it warned European nations not to
get involved in political matters in Central and South
America. The Doctrine was intended to show that the United
States was the only country that could influence such political
matters. Further, several countries in South American had
recently undergone revolutions against their European colonial
owners and ended up with republican governments. The United
States agreed with their political philosophy and did not want to
see those newly free nations become European colonies
again. Although little noted by the Great Powers of Europe, it
eventually became a longstanding tenet of U.S. foreign policy.
The doctrine was issued after renewed interest
in the Americas by European powers, especially
Britain and Russia, following the SpanishAmerican revolutions for independence. It
announced (1) the existence of a separate political
system in the Western hemisphere, (2) US hostility
to further European colonization or attempts to
extend European influence, and (3) noninterference with existing European colonies and
dependencies or in European affairs.
Expansion, Industrialization, & Democracy ~ The North
Review: Aspirations of Expansion, 1783- 1835
a) Northwest Territory
b) Native American Treaties
c) Louisiana Purchase
d) War 1812 ~ & Tecumseh’s War
e) Monroe Doctrine
f) Transportation Revolution
Industrial Revolution
a) Origins
b) Transportation
c) Agriculture
d) Free labor ~ Capitalism
e) Cities and Industries
Revivals and Reforms
a) 2nd Great Awakening
b) Social Reforms
c) Moral Reforms
d) Medical Reforms
e) Educational Reforms
Industrial Revolution (1750-1914) resulting from the mechanization of labor
“Industrialization is, I am afraid, going to be a curse for mankind . . . . Industrialization on a
mass scale will necessarily lead to passive or active exploitation of the villagers . . .”
Mahatma Gandhi
When you combine the outcomes of the Industrialization Revolution that stemmed from the
accomplishments of the Scientific Revolution and legacies of the French Revolution, you get the
transformation of European society that propelled Europe into the position of global dominance,
politically, economically, and culturally for the next century.
What IS the Industrial Revolution?
The essence of it was this:
First, NEED creates incentive;
Incentive then drives competition;
Competition drives innovation; Innovation
drives technological advancement;
Technological advancement drives
production; Production drives wealth:
Wealth drives more competition –
and the cycle continued.
• Elements of the Industrial Revolution
– Machines coordinated to make goods
– Energy from non-animal sources
– Industry grew 4 times faster
– Output increased 50 fold
Pivotal Point in
Changed all aspects of
Most profound effect since
Agricultural Revolution
Government changes:
Political and military
Europe as dominant power
Transformed social
Higher standard of living
for most
Origins –Why Europe & Why England?

Factors in Europe
– Small competitive states
– Monarchs need revenue =
– Alliance with the merchant class
– Gov’ts encourage commerce &
– Rewards for innovations
– Gov’t charters for trading companies
– Founded scientific societies for
– Level of freedom of merchant class
from state control
– Market-based economies
– Global markets = more innovations
hence more competition
– Better nutrition
Factors in England
– No civil strife
– Government favored trade
– Laissez faire
– Large middle class
– Island geography ~ Mobile population
– Everyone lived within 20 miles of
navigable river
– Tradition of integrating science with
– Weak guilds
– Colonial raw materials
– American markets
– Most highly commercialized
agriculturally = freed up a labor force
– Energy resource = coal & iron ore
– Merchant fleet
Why NOT in other parts of Europe?
“In most of Europe, then, craft guilds eventually became responsible
for a level of regulation that stifled competition and innovation.
They did this by laying down meticulous rules about three elements
of production that we might term ‘the three p’s’: prices, procedures,
and participation.”
“The weak position of the guilds in Britain in the eighteenth
century can go some way in explaining the series of technological
successes we usually refer to as the British Industrial Revolution
and why it occurred in Britain rather than on the European
continent, although clearly this was only one of many variables at
– Mokyr, Joel, The Gifts of Athena, Princeton University Press, 2002,
“What were the factors that already marked Britain, rather than any other
European country, as the destined first home of the industrial revolution?
(1) religious freedom which brought in the Huguenots and other refugees with
their numerous arts and encouraged the native Puritan capitalist.
(2) confident attitude natural to an island people that had ceased…to reckon
seriously with the prospect of invasion.
(3) The island possessed a valuable stimulus to trade in its long coastline and
frequent navigable rivers…
(4) Act of Union in 1707 had made Britain into a single economic unit long
before any other area of comparable wealth and resources had ceased to be
divided by numerous customs barriers.
(5) But even with the addition of the Scots, the smallness of the population as
compared with the French gave at the same time an important incentive to the
use of labor-saving devices.
(6) Lastly, there was the plentifulness and accessibility of coal in the island.”
– T.K. Derry and T. I. Williams, A Short History of Technology
Why NOT in other parts of the World?
• Until 1750 Europeans held no technological advantages over China, India, or the
Islamic world.
• In states of technological equilibrium.
• Between 750 and 1100 ce the Islamic world generated major advances in
shipbuilding, the use of tides and falling water to generate power,
papermaking, textile production, chemical technologies, water mills, clocks,
and more.
• India center of cotton textiles production, agricultural innovations and
mathematical inventions.
• China was the world leader of technological innovations between 700 and
1400 ce.
• All Eurasia had slowed down or stagnated by the early modern era AS the pace
of technological change in Europe accelerated.
• China, India, and the Islamic nations were content and comfortable at where
they were and felt no need to advance further.
• Their large empires also lacked the element of competitiveness that arose in the
post-Roman Empire world of Europe and its small states competing for
resources and markets.
England vs. Continental Europe
The expansion of American
commerce internally was
accomplished with the
improvement of roads and
the adoption of turnpikes,
canals, steamboats, and
eventually, railroads. These
collective advances in
technology became known
as the Transportation
Revolution. This increase
in America’s early
industrialization directly
influenced the rapid
settlement of the West.
The economic development and stability of the western states depended on their ability to export farm
products in exchange for imports from the eastern states such as sugar, coffee, and salt. Transportation
was costly and time-consuming, with methods limited to large sailing vessels and treacherous overland
trails. The successive improvements of roads and turnpikes for land travel, and developments of
steamboats, the canal system, and the steam-powered locomotive cut down on costs and travel time,
produced growth in manufacturing, encouraged western settlement, and led to increased foreign trade.
Prior to the 1790s, America’s roads were built, financed and managed mainly by local government.
Typically, townships compelled a road labor tax from its citizens to construct them. When a connection
needed to pass through unsettled lands, it was difficult to mobilize the labor needed. The poor state of the
road system was a major problem. In 1790, a viable steamboat had not yet been built, canal construction
was hard to finance and limited in scope, and the first American railroad would not be completed for another
forty years. Better transportation meant better highways. Publicly operated toll roads of the 1780s were
failures, but private toll bridges were very successful. From 1786 to 1798, 59 private toll bridge companies
were chartered in the northeast and inspired development of future turnpike companies. America’s first
private turnpike company was chartered in Pennsylvania (1792) and the road was completed in 1796,
covering 62 miles. The company built tollgates every 7 miles. By 1800, 69 turnpike companies had been
chartered throughout the country. Over the next decade, nearly six times as many turnpikes were
incorporated (398). In the mid-Atlantic and New England states between 1800 and 1830, turnpike
companies accounted for 27 percent of all business incorporations.
Before the Industrial Revolution, transportation relied on animals, such as horses or oxen pulling
wagons, and human efforts in pulling smaller handcarts. Travel was slow and difficult. It could take
months to travel across the eastern United States in the early 1800s. One of the better ways to travel
and ship goods before the Industrial Revolution was via the waterways using barges or boats.
Construction of canals provided convenient ways to ship heavy cargos to markets.
The Erie Canal completed a
transportation water highway from
New Orleans all the way to the
harbors at New York City.
On July 4th, 1817, ground was broken for the Erie Canal at Rome, N.Y. Proposed in 1808 and completed in
1825, the canal links the waters of Lake Erie in the west to the Hudson River in the east. An engineering
marvel when it was built, some called it the Eighth Wonder of the World. The construction of a canal was
proposed as early as 1768. However, it was not until 1808 that NY state legislature funded a survey for a
canal that would connect to Lake Erie. Finally, on July 4, 1817, the construction of the canal began.
The Need for a Great Canal – The Erie Canal

• 1780s, George Washington proposed a canal to provide
reliable transportation into the continent, thereby helping to
unite frontier America with the settled states.
• Washington organized a company that sought to
build a canal following the Potomac River. The canal
was built, yet it was limited in its function and never lived
up to Washington’s dream.

1800s, Citizens of NY pushed to have federal government finance a canal westward from the
Hudson River. Jefferson declined ~ New Yorkers proceed on their own.
Plans delayed by the War of 1812 ~ Construction finally began on July 4, 1817.
DeWitt Clinton, governor of New York = his determination to build the canal was legendary.
The laborers were mostly newly arrived immigrants from Ireland, and most of the work would be
done with picks and shovels. Steam machinery was not yet available
Built in sections, portions opened for traffic before the entire length was declared finished on
October 26, 1825 – cost 7 mil to build. Its tolls paid for it within 10 years.
Changed everything in America – superhighway of its day – made vast amounts of commerce possible.
Before its closure in 1882, it returned over $121 Mil dollars in revenue.
The statistics of the Erie Canal were impressive:
* 363 miles in length, from Albany on the Hudson River to Buffalo on Lake Erie
* 40 feet wide, and four feet deep
* Lake Erie is 571 feet higher than the level of the Hudson River; locks were built to overcome
that difference.
When finally completed on October 26, 1825,
it was the engineering marvel of its day. It was
363 miles long and included 18 aqueducts to
carry the canal over ravines and rivers, and
83 locks, with a rise of 568 feet from the
Hudson River to Lake Erie. The Erie Canal
was 4 feet deep and 40 feet wide, and floated
boats carrying 30 tons of freight. A ten-footwide towpath was built along the bank of the
canal for the horses and/or mules which
pulled the boats and their driver. In order to
keep pace with the growing demands of
traffic, the Erie Canal was enlarged between
1836 and 1862. The “Enlarged Erie Canal”
was 350.5 miles long, 7 feet deep and 70 feet
wide, and could handle boats carrying 240
tons. The number of locks was reduced to 72.
In 1903, the State again decided to enlarge the canal by the construction of what was termed the “Barge
Canal”, consisting of the Erie Canal and the three chief branches of the State system — the Champlain
Canal, the Oswego Canal, and the Cayuga and Seneca Canal. The resulting Erie Barge Canal was
completed in 1918, and is 12 to 14 feet deep, 120 to 200 feet wide, and 338 miles long, from Waterford to
Tonawanda. 36 Locks were built to handle barges carrying up to 3,000 tons of cargo, with lifts of 6 to 40
feet. The Erie Canal of today is utilized more often by recreational boats for tourism than cargo-carrying
By the 1830s the country
had a complete water route
from New York City to New
Orleans. By 1840, over
3,000 miles of canals had
been built. Yet, within 20
years the railroad will make
them unprofitable and
obsolete for travel.
The Industrialization of Steam
Steam Ships
Steam Tractor
Early Locomotive
Steam Engine Invention
Technological Changes and New Forms of
Industrial Organization
• Cotton Industry
– Water frame, Samuel Crompton’s spinning mule 1779
– Edmund Cartwright’s power looms, 1787
– Eli Whitney ~ Cotton Gin 1793
• The Steam engine
– Coal
– James Watt (1736-1819) perfects steam engine
– Robert Fulton ~ Steam ships
• The Iron Industry
– Puddling, using coke to burn away impurities
• A Revolution in Transportation: Railroad
– Richard Trevithick’s locomotive
– George Stephenson’s Rocket
• The Industrial Factory
– Factory laborers
– Time-work discipline
Perhaps no one had as great an impact on the development of the industrial north as Eli
Whitney. Whitney raised eyebrows when he walked into the US Patent office, took apart ten
guns, and reassembled them mixing the parts of each gun. Whitney lived in an age where an
artisan would handcraft each part of every gun. No two products were quite the same.
Whitney’s milling machine allowed workers to cut metal objects in an identical fashion,
making interchangeable parts. It was the start of the concept of mass production. Over the
course of time, the device and Whitney’s techniques were used to make many others
products. Elias Howe used it to make the first workable sewing machine in 1846. Clockmakers
used it to make metal gears. In making the cotton gin, Eli Whitney had played a major part in
expanding slavery. In making the milling machine to produce precision guns and rifles in a
very efficient and effective way, he set the industrial forces of the North in motion.
Expansion of Industrialization in America
• early 1800’s, Eli Whitney patents interchangeable parts in manufacturing.
• could produce standard parts that were required for mass production.
• Industrial production, esp. textiles & light metals increase sharply in 1820’s.
• The greatest increases in manufacturing took place in New England.
• Industrialization benefited from transportation improvements
• Rivers and canals, i.e. Erie Canal reduced the cost of transporting goods to and
from the interior of the country.
• 1830’s, industrialization increased rapidly
• The iron industry in Pennsylvania ~ iron for agricultural tools, railroad track, and a
variety of structural uses. U.S. ironmakers compete with Great Britain’s
ironmakers in the international market.
• During the mid-1800’s, the agricultural, construction, and mining industries expanded
• population spread westward.
• 1840 Manufacturing = less than 1/5 of all U.S. production. By 1860, it was 1/3
• Late 1800s the United States had become the largest and most competitive
industrial nation in the world.
• By 1870, Industry had advanced faster than agriculture. Goods were being made by
power-driven machinery and assembled in factories, where management planned
operations and the workers did little more than tend the machines.
• Living standards of the workers in industrial countries were higher than they had ever been.
Populations grew rapidly, and more people lived in cities than ever before.
The expansion of industry and trade dramatically increased America’s urban population.
In 1820, there were only 58 towns with more than 2500 inhabitants in the United States:
by 1840 there were 126 urban centers, located mostly in the Northeast and Midwest.
During those two decades the total number of city dwellers grew more than fourfold,
from 443,000 to 1,844,000.
Baltimore, the third largest city in the nation in 1827, had not invested in a canal. Yet, Baltimore was 200
miles closer to the frontier than New York and soon recognized that the development of a railway could
make the city more competitive with New York and the Erie Canal in transporting people and goods to the
West. The result was the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, the first railroad chartered in the United States.
There were great parades on the day the construction started. On July 4, 1828, the first spadeful of earth
was turned over by the last surviving signer of the Declaration of Independence, 91-year-old Charles
Carroll. The Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, known as the B&O, was the country’s very first railroad for public
use, being officially incorporated and organized on April 24th, 1827.
Expansion, Industrialization, & Democracy ~ The North
Review: Aspirations of Expansion, 1783- 1835
a) Northwest Territory
b) Native American Treaties
c) Louisiana Purchase
d) War 1812 ~ & Tecumseh’s War
e) Monroe Doctrine
f) Transportation Revolution
Industrial Revolution
a) Origins
b) Transportation
c) Agriculture
d) Free labor ~ Capitalism
e) Cities and Industries
Revivals and Reforms
a) 2nd Great Awakening
b) Social Reforms
c) Moral Reforms
d) Medical Reforms
e) Educational Reforms
The 2nd Great Awakening, 1790 – 1860
• 1790 – Starts in the Appalachian
region of Kentucky.
• The center of it was the camp
meeting — “religious service of
several days’ length, for a group
that was obliged to take shelter
on the spot because of the
distance from home.”
• Gave Pioneers in thinly
populated areas a refuge from
the lonely life on the frontier ~
exhilaration of lively religious
revival with hundreds and even
thousands of
• Cane Ridge, Kentucky, in
August 1801, where between
10,000 and 25,000 people
attended, and Presbyterian,
Baptist and Methodist ministers
participated. It was this event
that stamped the organized
revival as the major mode of
church expansion for
denominations such as the
Methodists and Baptists.
Evangelical Protestantism came to the white South with the 2nd Great Awakening between 1790 and 1840.
Baptist and Methodist preachers converted thousands of white families and hundreds of Black slaves. Until
that time, African-born blacks had maintained the religious practices of the homelands; most were pagan
and some practiced Islam. Zealous white Protestant preachers and planters set out to save the African
American souls for Christ. Other Protestant crusaders were pious black men and women who had
converted in the Chesapeake and were sold to the Deep South. They carried the evangelical message of
communal spirituality with them and adapted Protestant doctrines to black needs. Enslaved Christians
pointed out that masters and slaves were all children of God and should be dealt with according to the
Golden Rule. White ministers then began urging Black Slaves to obey their masters. African Americans
adapted the Old Testament deliverance of the Jews by Jehovah to themselves. Christianity for Black
Slaves became a form of worship that sustained them on their road to future Emancipation.
Second Great
Awakening –
characterized by
camp meetings
and charismatic
preachers gave
birth to ideas of
social activism
that promoted
reforms in
An evangelical enthusiasm in New England following the end of the War of 1812 gave rise
to inter-denominational missionary societies, formed to evangelize the West. Members of
these societies not only acted as apostles for the faith, but as educators, civic leaders and
exponents of Eastern, urban culture. Publication and education societies promoted
Christian education; most notable among them was the American Bible Society, founded in 1816.
Social activism inspired by the revival gave rise to abolition groups and the Society for the
Promotion of Temperance, as well as to efforts to reform prisons and care for the
handicapped and mentally ill.
The revival in western New York was
largely the work of Charles Gradison
Finney, a lawyer from Adams, New York.
The area from Lake Ontario to the
Adirondack Mountains had been the scene
of so many religious revivals in the past
that it was known as the “Burned-Over
District” due to preachers of “hell-fire &
damnation.” In 1821 Finney experienced
something of a religious epiphany and set
out to preach the Gospel in western New
York. His revivals were characterized by
careful planning, showmanship and
advertising. Finney preached in the
Burned-Over District throughout the 1820s
and the early 1830s, before moving to
Ohio in 1835 to take a chair in theology
at Oberlin College. He subsequently
became president of Oberlin.
Charles Gradison Finney
Joseph Smith and 5 others founded the Church of Christ in
April 1830 ~ beginning of the “MORMONS”
• 1,000 members in its first 12 months. Smith and group moved
to Kirtland (near Cleveland OH) in 1831.
• renamed the Church of Latter Day Saints in 1834.
• $$ problems and opposition from anti-Mormons = flee to
Jackson County, MO in 1837,
• Again heavy persecutions – believed it was promoting the
establishment of a religious dictatorship — a theocracy.
• Missouri pushing to become a slave state and Mormons
opposed slavery. Opposed Mormon’s belief in Book of
Mormon as a revealed work of God, with the same status as
the Hebrew Scriptures (Old Testament) and Christian
Scriptures (New Testament). Lives & homes destroyed;

“Mormons” (named by their enemies) given haven in Far West, MO, in Caldwell
In 1838, renamed to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.
1838 17 Mormon settlers murdered in the Massacre at Haun’s Mill. Driven out again and settled a
swampy area of the Mississippi in Illinois that they called Nauvoo,
Quickly expanded to 12,000 by 1844, 2nd only in population in Illinois to Chicago.
Joseph Smith and his brother Hyrum were assassinated by an anti-Mormon mob while imprisoned at
Carthage jail. Shortly after their deaths, the leadership of the Mormon Church went to Brigham Young,
who would eventually lead wagon trains of Mormon settlers out of the United States and into unclaimed
territory in the West.
Revivals changed
the lives of blacks
and women in
profound ways.
Christianity created
new public roles for
women and set in
motion a longlasting movement
for social reform.
Women filled the audiences and formed the majority of those attending. Pious women
aided their ministers by holding prayer meetings and providing material aid to members and
potential converts. By transforming millions of women into devout Christians, the
Awakening provided Protestant Churches with dedicated workers, teachers, and
morality-minded mothers. These women joined movements for temperance, abolition,
women’s rights, and spurred a great wave of social reform
Emma Willard
Religious activism advanced female education. Churches established academies where girls from the
middling classes received intellectual and moral instruction. Emma Willard, the first American advocate of
higher education for women, opened the Middlebury Female Seminary in Vermont in 1814 and founded
girl’s academies in many other places. Beginning in the 1820s, women educated in these seminaries
displaced men as public-school teachers because women accepted lower pay. As schoolteachers, women
now had an acknowledged place in public civic life that had been beyond their reach before.
A social movement that emerged during this period was the opposition to the sale and use of alcohol, or the
temperance movement. It stemmed from a variety of concerns and motives: religious beliefs, the effect of
alcohol on the work force, and the violence and suffering women and children experienced at the hands
of heavy drinkers. In 1826 Boston ministers organized the Society for the Promotion of Temperance. Seven
years later, in Philadelphia, the Society convened a national convention, which formed the American
Temperance Union. The Union called for the renunciation of all alcoholic beverages, and pressed state
legislatures to ban their production and sale. Thirteen states had done so by 1855, although the laws were
subsequently challenged in court. They survived only in northern New England, but between 1830 and 1860
the temperance movement reduced Americans’ per capita consumption of alcohol.
Other reformers addressed the problems of prisons and care for the insane. Efforts were made to turn
prisons, which stressed punishment, into penitentiaries, where the guilty would undergo rehabilitation. In
Massachusetts, Dorothea Dix led a struggle to improve conditions for insane persons, who were kept
confined in wretched almshouses and prisons. After winning improvements in Massachusetts, she took
her campaign to the South, where nine states established hospitals for the insane between 1845 and
Elizabeth Stanton
Lucretia Mott
Susan B. Anthony
By the 1840s a group of American women emerged who would forge the first women’s rights movement. In
1848 Cady Stanton and Lucretia Mott organized a women’s rights convention — the first in the history of the
world — at Seneca Falls, New York. Delegates drew up a declaration demanding equality with men before the
law, the right to vote, and equal opportunities in education and employment.
That same year, Ernestine Rose, a Polish immigrant, was instrumental in getting a law passed in the state of
New York that allowed married women to keep their property in their own name. Among the first laws in
the nation of this kind, the Married Women’s Property Act, encouraged other state legislatures to enact
similar laws.
In 1869 Rose helped Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony, to found the National Woman Suffrage
Association (NWSA), which advocated a constitutional amendment for women’s right to the vote. These two
would become the women’s movement’s most outspoken advocates. Describing their partnership, Cady
Stanton would say, “I forged the thunderbolts and she fired them.”
Evangelical Protestantism came to the white South with the 2nd Great Awakening between 1790 and 1840.
Baptist and Methodist preachers converted thousands of white families and hundreds of Black slaves. Until
that time, African-born blacks had maintained the religious practices of the homelands; most were pagan
and some practiced Islam. Zealous white Protestant preachers and planters set out to save the African
American souls for Christ. Other Protestant crusaders were pious black men and women who had
converted in the Chesapeake and were sold to the Deep South. They carried the evangelical message of
communal spirituality with them and adapted Protestant doctrines to black needs. Enslaved Christians
pointed out that masters and slaves were all children of God and should be dealt with according to the
Golden Rule. White ministers then began urging Black Slaves to obey their masters. African Americans
adapted the Old Testament deliverance of the Jews by Jehovah to themselves. Christianity for Black
Slaves became a form of worship that sustained them on their road to future Emancipation.
Free Blacks and Their Goals
1. Social Uplift: Beginning in 1790, Free Blacks in the North advocated that all free
blacks “elevate” themselves in society through education, temperance, and hard
work. By securing “respectability” blacks could achieve equality with whites. Black
leaders founded an array of churches, schools, and self-help associations. The first
free black newspaper, Freedom’s Journal, was published in 1827.
2. Race Equality: Black quest for respectability elicited a violent response from whites in the North, who
refused to accept Free Blacks as their social equals and often manifested itself in mobs terrorizing black
communities. David Walker, a self-educated free black man from North Carolina, published a stirring
pamphlet in 1829 “An Appeal to the Colored Citizens of the World,” in which he justified open slave
rebellion to win their freedom: “We must and shall be free” and then he told whites “And woe, woe will be
it to you if we have to obtain our freedom by fighting . . . Your destruction is at hand and will be speedily
consummated unless you repent.”
Southern slave masters hated Walker
and put a price on his head. In 1829,
50 unsolicited copies of Walker’s
Appeal were delivered to a black
minister in Savannah, Ga. The
frightened minister, understandably
concerned for his welfare, informed
the police. The police, in turn,
informed the governor of Georgia. As a
result, the state legislature met in
secret session and passed a bill making
the circulation of materials that might
incite slaves to riot a capital offense.
The legislature also offered a reward
for Walker’s capture, $10,000 alive and
$1,000 dead. Other Southern states
took similar measures. Walker died in
Boston on June 28, 1830, under
mysterious circumstances.
3. Rebellion: The success of Nat Turner’s slave revolt lead to fear among slaveholders. Slave codes became
more strict with concerns that other slaves might rebel. Nat Turner frequently was said to have religious
visions, and in 1831 he claimed to have spoken with God and responding to a vision he organized about 70
slaves who went from plantation to plantation and murdered about 75 white men, women and children.
They were captured and Turner with 18 of his supporters were hanged. Turner had done what others had
not = killing white Southerners. The South responded by tightening repressive slave codes. Slaves ran away
in droves, following the Underground Railroad to freedom in Canada and the Northern states. They fled to
the Indians and joined them in their wars against the white settlers. Some accounts tell of slaves poisoning
their masters and mistresses. Some slaves banded together and stopped working, while others deliberately
slowed down their pace. The history of slave resistance and revolts is the story of the desperate and
William Lloyd Garrison
The most determined abolitionist was William Lloyd Garrison (1805-1879). He was a printer
and publisher in Massachusetts. He started his own weekly newspaper, The Liberator, and
founded the “New England Anti-Slavery Society.” In the very first issue of his anti-slavery
newspaper, the Liberator, William Lloyd Garrison stated, “I do not wish to think, or speak, or
write, with moderation. . . . I am in earnest — I will not equivocate — I will not excuse — I will
not retreat a single inch — AND I WILL BE HEARD.” And Garrison was heard. For more than
three decades, from the first issue of his weekly paper in 1831, until after the end of the Civil
War in 1865 when the last issue was published, Garrison spoke out eloquently and
passionately against slavery and for the rights of America’s black inhabitants.
Evangelical Abolitionism
Concurrently with Walker’s and Turner’s attacks on slavery, a host of northern Evangelical
Christians launched a moral crusade to abolish the institution of slavery immediately. In the
early 1800s reformers had argued that human bondage was contrary to republicanism and
liberty. But by the 1830s, abolitionists had changed the message and condemned slavery as a sin
that was their moral duty to end. Abolitionist leaders developed a 3-pronged plan of attack to
abolish slavery.
1. They began appealing to religious Americans
The Grimke Sisters, daughters of a slave owner in So. Carolinas, fled the South, converted to
Quakerism, and became eye-witness testifiers to the horrible inhumanity of slavery.
2. Their second tactic was to aid Blacks who had fled from slavery
They provided lodging and jobs for escaped slaves in free states and created the
Underground Railroad – a network of hosts aiding in the escapes.
3. They led a political campaign against Washington DC
In 1835. the American Anti-Slavery Society bombarded Congress with petitions demanding
the abolition of slavery in Wash DC, an end to Interstate slave trade, and a ban on admission
of new slave states. By 1838, 500,000 signatures had arrived.
Abolitionists always remained a small minority. Only 10% of Northerners and Midwesterners
supported the movement. Another 20% were sympathetic.
Opponents were always more numerous and for different reasons:
1.Wealthy men feared that the attack on slaves as property might lead to a general assault on all
property rights
2. Conservative clergymen condemned the public roles that abolitionist women assumed
3. Northern merchants and textile manufacturers supported southern planters who supplied
them with cotton
4. Northern wage earners feared that freed blacks would work for lower wages and take their
5. And all whites universally opposed integration and amalgamation, or the mixing of the races
Popular violence in the North, government suppression in the South, and internal schisms
within the movement stunned the abolitionist movement. By melding the energies and ideas of
the Evangelical Christians with the moral reformers, it had raised the issue of anti-slavery to new
heights, only to face widespread backlash as nearly every religious sect and political party sided
with the oppressors.
DeWitt Clinton
Abraham Lincoln
Horace Mann
In 1835, the beginning of labor organizations sought reforms in the work place and succeeded in reducing
the olds “dark-to-dark” workday to a 10-hour day in Philadelphia. New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Ohio
all undertook similar reforms.
With the spread of white male suffrage came a new concept of education, for clear-sighted statesmen
everywhere perceived the threat to universal suffrage from an untutored, illiterate electorate. These men -DeWitt Clinton in New York, Abraham Lincoln in Illinois and Horace Mann in Massachusetts — were now
supported by organized labor, whose leaders demanded free, tax-supported schools open to all children.
Gradually, in one state after another, legislation was enacted to provide for such free instruction. The
public school system became common throughout the northern part of the country. In other parts of the
country, however, the battle for public education continued for years.
Sample Student Primary Post – Response to Prompt Questions in Essay Form
Reconstruction was a 2nd Civil War because people were still in a constant state of fear and
confusion over the status of basic rights. The documentary film “Reconstruction” depicted
how there were many discrepancies over the definitions of citizenship and freedom.
Historian Eric Foner remarks in the film that “there were a lot of people in 1865 who were
trying to tell blacks what freedom is, and tell them what they ought to be doing” (Film:
“Reconstruction” 24:22). Even though the war had ended, which was initially a fight over
slavery, there was still a lot of tension between the North and the South which added to
ambiguities in understanding new laws. Also, the Emancipation Proclamation followed by
the 13th Amendment, which according to our textbook, A People and a Nation by
Kamensky, first freed just the slaves in the Confederacy, “all persons held as slaves in areas
in rebellion” (Kamensky, 392) and then eventually “involuntary servitude everywhere in the
United States” (Kamensky, 414), but not everyone was sure on how to proceed with the
laws regarding freedmen – could state laws supersede federal laws? People were concerned
with the confiscation of their land while some still were eager to regain control over black
labor. All of these factors contributed to the ongoing battle which can be represented as a
2nd Civil War. (222 words)
Radical Republicans, led by Thaddeus Stevens, focused on the rights of African Americans.
Historian David Blight states in the film that “to Thaddeus Stevens, Reconstruction meant
not only safeguarding and preserving the essential results of the Civil War but in his vision, it
meant remaking the South. It meant the increase of democracy in terms of representation. It
meant the spread of the right of suffrage” (Film: “Reconstruction” 26:30). On the other
hand, Johnson’s aim was to unite the white North and the white South without room for the
black community. The film effectively depicted how he thought that African Americans
should accept their inferior position in society and return to their previous work. This
contempt for the freedmen infuriated many people. Johnson wanted little changes to the
Constitution, but the Radical Republicans desired many changes. These differences in
ideology and the proposal of Johnson’s reconstruction plan angered the Radical Republicans.
One specific action that Andrew Johnson did was pardon 15,000 to 20,000 planters.
Johnson did this so the planters could get their land back and kick off whoever had currently
lived on the land. One assistant commissioner of the Freedmen’s Bureau in Georgia was

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economic prosperity in America

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