PERIOD 4: 1800–1848 (10%) (from Schulkin)
The new republic struggled to define and extend democratic ideals in the face of rapid economic, territorial, and demographic changes.
Key Concept 4.1: The United States developed the world’s first modern mass democracy and celebrated a new national culture, while Americans sought to define the nation’s democratic ideals and to reform its institutions to match them.
I. The nation’s transformation to a more participatory democracy was accompanied by continued debates over federal power, the relationship between the federal government and the states, the authority of different branches of the federal government, and the rights and responsibilities of individual citizens.
A. As various constituencies and interest groups coalesced and defined their agendas, various political parties, most significantly the Federalists and Democratic-Republicans in the 1790s and theDemocrats and Whigs in the 1830s, were created or transformed to reflect and/or promote those agendas.
B. Supreme Court decisions sought to assert federal power over state laws and the primacy of the judiciary in determining the meaning of the Constitution.
C. With the acceleration of a national and international market economy, Americans debated the scope of government’s role in the economy, while diverging economic systems meant that regionalpolitical and economic loyalties often continued to overshadow national concerns.
D. Many white Americans in the South asserted their regional identity through pride in the institution of slavery, insisting that the federal government should defend that institution.
II. …[L]arger numbers of Americans began struggling with how to match democratic political ideals to political institutions and social realities.
A. The Second Great Awakening, liberal social ideas from abroad, and Romantic beliefs in human perfectibility fostered the rise of voluntary organizations to promote religious and secular reforms, including abolition and women’s rights.
B. Despite the outlawing of the international slave trade, the rise in the number of free African Americans in both the North and the South, and widespread discussion of various emancipation plans, the U.S. and many state governments continued to restrict African Americans’ citizenship possibilities.
III. While Americans celebrated their nation’s progress toward a unified new national culture…, various groups of the nation’s inhabitants developed distinctive cultures of their own.
C. Enslaved and free African Americans, isolated at the bottom of the social hierarchy, created communities and strategies to protect their dignity and their family structures, even as some launchedabolitionist and reform movements aimed at changing their status.
II. Regional economic specialization, especially the demands of cultivating southern cotton, shaped settlement patterns and the national and international economy.
A. Southern cotton furnished the raw material for manufacturing in the Northeast, while the growth in the cotton trade promoted the development of national economic ties and fueled the internal slave trade.
B. Despite some governmental and private efforts to create a unified national economy, most notably the American System, the shift to market production linked the North and the Midwest more closely than either was linked to the South.
III. The economic changes caused by the market revolution had significant effects on migration patterns, gender and family relations, and the distribution of political power.
C. The South remained politically, culturally, and ideologically distinct from the other sections, while continuing to rely on its exports to Europe for economic growth.
D. The market revolution helped to widen a gap between rich and poor… and caused an increasing separation between home and workplace, which led to dramatic transformations in gender and in family roles and expectations.
E. Regional interests continued to trump national concerns as the basis for many political leaders’ positions on economic issues including slavery, the national bank, tariffs, and internal improvements.
I. Struggling to create an independent global presence, U.S. policymakers sought to dominate the North American continent and to promote its foreign trade.
A. Following the Louisiana Purchase, the drive to acquire, survey, and open up new lands and markets led Americans into numerous economic, diplomatic, and military initiatives in the Western Hemisphere and Asia.
B. The U.S. sought dominance over the North American continent through a variety of means, including military actions, judicial decisions, and diplomatic efforts.
III. The American acquisition of lands in the West gave rise to a contest over the extension of slavery into the western territories as well as a series of attempts at national compromise.
A. The 1820 Missouri Compromise created a truce over the issue of slavery that gradually broke down as confrontations over slavery became increasingly bitter.
B. As overcultivation depleted arable land in the Southeast, slaveholders relocated their agricultural enterprises to the new Southwest, increasing sectional tensions over the institution of slavery and sparking a broadscale debate about how to set national goals, priorities, and strategies.