US History 1800-1860: Culture, Values, and Industry











Culture, Values, Industry & other things

  • Population doubled every 20 years – (‘til 1850 population increased twice as fast as any other nation)
  • Immigrants from Ireland & Germany (1830’s & 40’s)
  • 1808 law that made import of slaves illegal, though some were smuggled
  • Most of the increase in population due to simple procreation
  • 1800 – 1849: average of 5 children per woman
  • Median age in 1820 was 17 (today it is 33)
  • Thus the move West to find prosperity
  • Daniel Webster, advocate for education, develops American Dictionary & American Spelling Book
  • Massachusetts stated teachers should teach: piety, justice, a sacred regard for truth, love of country, chastity, moderation, and temperance
  • Virtues were important to promote: sacrificing individual needs for the good of the community, self-reliance, industry, frugality, & harmony
  • 1790: began to see value in educating women, since they had a powerful influence on young men (boys) – women should have virtues: honesty, self-restraint, & discipline


Interchangeable parts:

Eli Whitney, agreed to make 10,000 guns in 1796 – products were made one at a time, if parts were made exactly alike then… Took 10 years, not all the parts were exactly alike, but the idea caught

Cotton Gin – separates seeds from raw cotton, 1 worker could clean 1000 lb. Per day Effects: profit from cotton increased greatly, southern plantations moved exclusively to cotton production, need for new land and more slaves (doubled number of slaves between 1790 – 1820 to 1.5 million)

1807: steam engine (steamboats) to ship products around the world Canals (Erie Canal opened in 1825 – 365 miles of created waterways to connect Hudson River with Lake Erie) – increased settlement of Great Lakes area)

Roads: Cumberland Road; Federally financed; from Cumberland, Maryland to Columbus, Ohio (1811 –1833) known as US 40 today – most companies built roads, then charged a fee (Turnpikes)

Railroads (1828): adapted steam engine to build a steam locomotive, by 1840 3300 miles of track (B & O first railroad)


Mobile society: people could move to begin a new, find success (this is a new concept in society) Moving caused people to live among strangers, lonely, some believe this led to drunkenness & suicide, – learn new skills Defending one’s Honor: places in society were unclear, people questioned each other’s position Men often responded with violence when their honor was threatened Duels, once for the European upper-classes, now were in favor in all classes in the USA

Marriage: women were afforded few decisions: one was marriage Women turned to books for advice, Charlotte Temple is one such book that moralizes appearances do not provide clues to character Courtships became important & long – to get to know the man Getting married was still a matter of survival

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