Section A, Essay 2
Although a majority of historians believe that the 1850’s were the key decade in making Americans believe that war was possible, there were many events that occurred during the pre-1800 history of America that led to the Civil War. While the Civil War was the first conflict that the United States of America suffered as a nation, the history that predated this event was rooted in hostility; the colonial, Revolutionary, and post-Revolutionary eras of our past were not without dissidence.
The American Revolutionary War was a major turning point in American history. While the battle itself was not without struggle, it taught us that if we ban together and persevere, we can attain things that would seem otherwise unachievable. For example, the colonial revolutionaries had the odds pitted against them; our militia fought against trained armies using less advanced weaponry. Despite our seemingly desperate situation, we won the war.
The Civil War arose from the same discontent that the Revolutionary War did. The North and South failed to agree on many political ideologies, including slavery. Even though it appeared that the North would have very little chance in allowing slaves to become free men, Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863. While the South did not agree to release their slaves upon this principle, the perseverance of both the Union’s army and average civilians contributed to the eventual abolishment of slavery in 1865 under the 13th amendment of the constitution.
After the Revolutionary War, American citizens felt an air of success regarding their ability to fight for what they believe in. During the post-Revolutionary period, there was a need for the United States of America to settle its political independence. This period brought about a rise in political conflict between the Republicans and the Federalists. This political dissidence led to hostility during this period.
When Thomas Jefferson became president, he initiated a quarter century of Republican rule. The Federalists were displeased with this, and political tension became heightened. The same tensions that existed between these two groups during the post-Revolutionary period were mirrored just before the Civil War between the North and the South.
Political tension had been building in the United States between different political parties since the Revolutionary War. The two party system that developed in our country as a result of this has remained the main source of tension and hostility in the country throughout the years leading to the Civil War. Just before the Civil War started, these tensions were at their height and led the North and South to believe that the only way to fix these differences would be to go to war.
Once citizens of the United States learned that they didn’t have to settle for laws and rules they considered to be unjust as a result of the Revolutionary War, this feeling was projected into the way we make decisions as a people even today. Just as we were fed up with British rule and tariffs during the colonial period, we were unwilling to allow slavery to continue during the Civil War era. We as Americans now know that we are able to handle difficult situations like these and that an illusion of futility won’t stop us from trying. The political dissidence we experienced during the post-Revolutionary period heightened these feelings.
Section B, Essay 4
The growth of a market economy significantly altered the Northern states in the first half of the nineteenth century. This was a mainly positive change for the inhabitants of these states even though there were some disadvantages. Industrialization, immigration, transportation, and capitalism drastically altered the way the spread of ideas and the quality of life in the country.
The industrial revolution in the Northern part of the Unites States brought about many changes that made basic day to day activities simpler. Overall, we made a lot of progress in terms of technological achievements. Textiles, steam power, and iron making were among the major skills we acquired during this time period; use of these skills allowed us to develop many individual products that helped improve quality of life for many people.
One invention that helped the textile industry was the cotton gin, which assisted farmers in seeding their cotton; as a result they were able to gain a greater profit more quickly. This also led to cheaper cotton prices for the general public; however, the new technology did reduce the need for farming jobs. Another invention that helped this industry was called the spinning jenny; this was a multi-spool spinning frame that reduced the amount of work that was needed to make yarn. At first, a single worker was able to make 8 spools of yarn at once; as this technology improved this number increased to 120.
One of the major factors that altered the culture of the Northern states during this time period was the development of new modes of transportation. The steamboat and railroad enabled goods, people, and ideas to be exchanged over a broader geographical region. In addition to the shipment of goods, this encouraged new groups of people to immigrate to the United States. With the introduction of these new cultural values, the innovations produced during this period grew substantially.
The growth of the market economy signaled a shift from people primarily living in the countryside to cities. Cities were the centers of all this innovation and provided jobs for the most people. While this ultimately led to more productivity, there were several disadvantages of living in cities during this time period; many cities did not have proper sanitation, which caused masses of people to become sick. In addition, the industry produced air pollution. Despite this, the growth of the market economy ultimately had a positive effect on Northerners because it made their lives easier and laid the baseline that America needed to become the world power that it is today.
One of the most unfortunate negative outcomes of the industrial revolution was a direct result of increased waste production and a large amount of people living in cities. Denser populations were more susceptible to becoming sick under these conditions; therefore, the spread of disease was extremely detrimental for this population. During this time period, no one knew that sanitary procedures were necessary in order to foster human health; while proper sanitation processes did develop once doctors and scientists made this connection, many lives were lost beforehand as a consequence.
The second most unfortunate negative outcomes of the industrial revolution resulted from the changing need for workers. New technology made it easier to perform certain jobs and lessened the need for human operation. Therefore, businesses were able to profit because they needed to pay less people. In addition, they paid each individual less money for the work done because job requirements shifted from skilled labor to unskilled labor; operation of these new devices were much easier than starting a project from scratch.