Discussion: American History

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Chapter 9

  1. Till the beginning of the 19th century, America utilized the same types of transportation as during the colonial era, which became outdated, expensive and inefficient. That is why there was a pressing need for introduction of new types of transportation. The first half of the 19th century was the beginning of the development of steamboat canals, inland roads (“turnpikes”) and telegraph connection in America. These means helped to improve the American economics and facilitate the transportation within the state. The map shows that such states as Pennsylvania, New York, Massachusetts and Maryland encountered the greater ameliorations in terms of transportation.
  2. The construction of the Erie channel attracted attention of thousands of farmers and manufacturers who migrated from New England. As a result, many new cities appeared around New York. Moreover, the channel increased the investments spent on the development of the surrounding states. Additionally, the channel provided New York with the advantages in trading with the Od Northwest compared to other ports and cities.
  3. The southern states mainly oriented towards planting tobacco, although it exhausted the soils and led to the decline of the agriculture in general. The cotton was not the major crop because its processing demanded plenty of time, efforts and money. The invention of cotton gin revolutionized the agriculture of the whole America and strongly impacted the role of southern states. Firstly, it led to the expansion of southern agriculture and introduction of a cotton industry. Secondly, it resulted in the redistribution of lands, according to which rich farmers gained the most fertile soils and the poor ones had to use the thin soils instead. Thirdly, it led to the expansion of slavery trading since the new industry demanded enormous labor resources.
  4. The invention of cotton gin also impacted the northern states. The matter is that the North was also involved in the slavery trade, meaning that the extension of slavery led to the growth of its profits. Moreover, the North provided the southern states with many goods and items, including cloths, machines, household items and others. The increased demand for all these items resulted in the expansion of industrial activities in the North. Finally, the reduction of price for cotton was also beneficial for the North since it widely used it in its businesses.
  5. Nativism is a movement that appeared among the American citizens who were afraid of the negative consequences of the Irish immigration. The target groups of nativists were Irish people who moved to America with the purpose of finding a good job and better living conditions. The reasons justifying the nativism were the following. The Irish were Catholic, while the majority of Americans confessed Protestantism and treated the Catholic Church unfavorably. Secondly, the increased immigration caused enormous demand for work and, thus, lowered the salaries for the native citizens. Thirdly, the Americans complained of the increased criminality and corruption caused by the new settlers.
  6. S. Morse developed a single-wire telegraph system, which used two types of signals in order to transmit the message from one place to another. His invention strongly facilitated the connection between distant cities and contributed to the development of communication systems.

R. Fulton is known as the inventor of a steamboat. His invention also helped to ease the transportation and connect the removed places. The invention of steamboat strongly reduced the price of transportation and made it affordable for many citizens.

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DeWitt Clinton was an American politician and prominent public figure. He is mainly remembered for taking part in the planning and constructing the Erie Channel.

E. Whitney invented the cotton gin, which caused a real revolution in American agriculture. His invention promoted planting the cotton and facilitated its processing.

The inventions of S. Slater also contributed to the industrial development, especially in the sphere of textile. He developed a range of methods and technologies that facilitated the textile industry.

Chapter 10

  1. The inauguration of the American presidents used to be a quiet and minor event, which did not attract the attention of the public. However, the swearing-in of A. Jackson was a public occasion, overcrowded and noisy enough. The matter is that many regarded the inauguration of A. Jackson as the advent of a new democratic era, which would promote fairness and justice. Besides, such a reaction witnessed the increased interest of Americans to their political life.
  2. Andrew Jackson was not an offspring of the influential and rich family. On the contrary, he had to work hard in order to reach any heights. Many American citizens regarded him as a common man, who was well aware of the demands of all classes of society. Despite the lack of influential background, A. Jackson won the elections to the House of Representatives in 1790 and served as a judge. Moreover, he was known for his military campaigns and contributions to the development of Cotton Kingdom. All these features and characteristics made A. Jackson a respectful and trustful man for a post of president.
  3. Alexis de Tocqueville was a French writer who came to America to study prisons. However, he soon realized the necessity to study democracy in terms of American society. Being a representative of aristocrat family, he did not favor democracy, regarding it as a first step toward tyranny and anarchy. However, Alexis de Tocqueville had to admit that Americans viewed democracy as the essential unit of their freedom. Besides, their outlook was based on the idea of individual liberty, supremacy of human rights and social justice.
  4. Commonly, only white men who possessed some property had a right to vote. Women and slaves were not permitted to elect the representatives of government. However, at the beginning of the 19th century, the northern states abolished the prohibition for the black people to vote, but this innovation limited the voting right of white males. Soon after that, the voting right for the black people was abolished again for the sake of protection of rights of the white people.
  5. In the 19th century, the women did not have any rights to perform significant role in the society outside home. White men supposed that women could not represent the government or any other institutions because of their unstable character and passion, which dominated the reason and logics. It was also said that tasks of women and slaves were constantly determined by nature, and they could not be adjusted to the changeable requirements of society. Thus, both slaves and women could not vote or in any way participate in the political life.
  6. The American System presented by J. Madison aimed at the improvement of national economic and social conditions. Thus, it suggested the necessity to create a national bank, impose tariffs on imported goods to protect the national manufacture and provide investments for the construction of canals and roads within the country. All these measures presupposed amelioration of the American welfare and strengthening its positions. Besides, the supporters of American System supposed that it would help to unite the nation and provide it with more possibilities to improve the living conditions.
  7. The controversy over it was concerned with the issue of slavery and the governmental intention to balance the amounts of free and slave states. However, different states possessed various attitudes to this question and did not agree on the abolition of slavery at all. As a result, the government accepted the Missouri compromise. According to it, a part of Louisiana prohibited the slavery. The prohibition did not spread over the boundaries of the suggested state of Missouri. It was said that such a division would be temporary.
  8. Monroe Doctrine presented J. Q. Adams, a secretary of state, is also called an American diplomatic declaration. It defined main tenets of American international policies, which protected the national interests. The Monroe Doctrine claimed that Americans would resist any further attempts of European colonization, refuse taking part in their wars and protect the unity of its states from any invasions and interferences. All of these principles defined America as a powerful force of the Western Hemisphere with its own politics, interests and strategies.
  9. At the elections of 1824, there were four candidates for the presidential post, and none of them gained the majority of votes. The greatest support from the public was given to A. Jackson, although it was not enough to provide him with a victory. After the first round of elections, the House of Representatives gained the responsibility for choosing the winner. Clay, who was also a candidate for the presidential post and gained the least votes, decided to give his votes to A. Jackson. As a result, the latter won, and Clay became a secretary of the state. Thus, many regarded his action as a “corrupt bargain”.
  10. Van Buren supposed parties to be an essential unit of the political life of the state. He argued that they helped to control the work of the government and supreme political power and provide the common citizens with the right to vote for their representatives. Moreover, political parties represented the pluralism of thoughts and interests essential for the normal development of a society. Besides, the existence of parties allowed resisting the influence of sectionalism.
  11. This tariff aimed at the increase of taxes on the imported goods. It was beneficial for the northern and western states, although it considerably harmed the economy of the southern ones. Thus, the southern states lost their profits from selling cotton, sugar and tobacco, the major crops for planting. The accepted Tariff of 1828 limited the economic activities of South Carolina and strongly reduced its earnings.
  12. After the adoption of the Tariff of 1828, South Carolina wanted to get the right to nullification since its economy was strongly damaged and ruined. Many politicians supposed that nullification was illegal and unjustified as it threatened the unity of the entire country. However, J. C. Calhoun did not regard the nullification in negative terms. He said that the right to nullification did not disunite the country, proving the fact that country equally valued interests of all states. Thus, it was a right method to ensure the stability and strength of the diverse American society.
  13. The American government claimed that Indians did not possess their lands, but just temporary occupied them. It also stated that Indians behaved not like farmers, but rather like hunters. Thus, the government accepted the decision about the removal of Indian tribes from the southern parts of the state. Therefore, the Five Civilized Tribes remained on the East of the Mississippi River.
  14. Chief Justice John Marshall suggested a decision in Worcester v. Georgia, in 1832, which showed an alternative view on the issue of Indian tribes. Marshall suggested treating Indians as an individual and independent political and social community with its own identity and mentality. Thus, Marshall supposed that the government should consider their demands more precisely and solve them on the national level. Nevertheless, the decision was nullified by A. Jackson.
  15. A. Jackson together with the majority of citizens did not trust the banks and doubted their usefulness for the society. The president claimed that banks did not really contribute to the economic development, but made money on the labor of others. Besides, the Biddle’s Bank printed too much paper money, which lowered the real incomes of manufacturers and farmers and reduced the indexes of national economy. Judging from these reasons, A. Jackson demanded the abolition of bank systems or the changes in their activities. However, N. Biddle did not want to give up easily. He passed the congress, which allowed his bank controlling and closing the activities of other banks in the state. All these events led to the clash between the president and a bank. In this war, A. Jackson supported the interest of the common citizens.
  16. A. Jackson did not trust the Bank of the United States and decided to redistribute the national funds in the small local banks. Often, he chose those banks that belonged to his relatives or followers. In any case, such an action did not bring any positive results, leading to the decline of national economy. Without funds, Bank of the United States had no power to control the work of state banks and regulate the financial activities. It also issued too much money, which the country could not cover. As a result, the prices significantly rose, while the salaries did not react to their growth appropriately.


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