A Nation Is Born Essay

868 words - 3 pages

A Nation is Born

At the beginning of the 19th century, the United States was looking for it's own identity now that they had their own nation. People started to move westward causing the removal of Indians from their native lands (A People's History, Howard Zinn, Chapter 7 and Coster, Kevin, Producer and Host, 500 Nations video), women began to get more educated and acquiring more rights (Luna, Enrique, class notes 4-29-03), an infrastructure in the United States was created (Luna, Enrique, class notes 4-10-03), and also, a market economy was created (Luna, Enrique, class notes 4-29-03). These issues had quite the range of social impacts on different groups of people that were living in the United States.
Land ownership has always been a fundamental value in United States culture (Luna, Enrique, class notes 4-4-03). During the beginning of the 19th century, people began to move west to try and start small scale farms in new regions. At this time, the North focused on trade and large scale manufactured goods, which include furniture, clothing, and textiles. At the same time, the South was still much of a society based on plantations of tobacco, rice, and indigo. This gave small farmers only one choice; to move westward.
People started a new industry in this process called land speculation. Land speculation was a very profitable business. These speculators wanted Indian lands because they were the cheapest. They would buy so-called futures of this land and then send settlers into these lands armed to take them over. This process created a lot of hostility between the whites and the Indians.
The answer to this problem for Americans was to just remove Indians from there land. In 1820, there were 120,00 Indians living east of the Mississippi. By 1844, there were fewer than 30,000 Indians living in this territory (A People's History, Howard Zinn, Chapter 7). Because of the Louisiana Purchase, Americans wanted to keep pushing Indians into Indian Territory, which now is considered Oklahoma.
At this same time the country was transforming to a new much more industrialized society that was based on cash more than social status (Luna, Enrique, class notes 4-29-03). Unfortunately, this new market economy was extremely unstable. For every boom in the economy, there was a pretty much equal bust in the economy. During boom cycles, there aren't enough workers, so employers would either have to raise wages or import workers from other places such as Ireland,...

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