Hist 110 American Civilization I Instructor: Dr. Donald R. Shaffer Upper Iowa University
Lecture 10 American Commerce in the Early Republic Capitalism advanced in the Early Republic with republican ideology which was friendly to commerce, banks, and manufacturing Both Federalists and Republicans believed in capitalism and commerce The only major difference was the Republican’s emphasis on agriculture and concern about government promotion of economic privilege Yet both parties encouraged commerce through the promotion of transportation and commerce more generally and thought such intervention proper Panic of 1819 Caused by collapse of agricultural prices after the end of the Napoleonic Wars Demonstrated how enmeshed merchants, farmer, artisans, and others had become in the capitalist system and market Samuel Slater’s textile mill in Pawtucket, Rhode Island First textile mill in the U.S.
Lecture 10 The Rise of Democracy Americans in the Early Republic enjoyed unprecedented social and political equality—if they were white and male This equality was denied to women and African Americans Increasingly Americans rejected social hierarchy, but accepted social divisions that reflected personal achievements The attitude proved curious to Europeans where social advancement from humble origins often was seen as unnatural This proved a threat to Americans from wealthy and long established families Manifestations Increasingly state legislatures instituted white male suffrage cutting the tie between suffrage and property ownership Only 3 states had universal white male suffrage in 1800; 10 by 1830; all but two by 1860 Women briefly had suffrage in New Jersey in the early 1800s until the state legislature cut a loophole that had allowed it Torchlight parade With the rise of democracy politics had to have mass appeal
Lecture 10 Developing Republican Marriage Just as hierarchy came under attack in the Early Republic so did patriarchy Part of this trend was simply due to the weakening hold of parents over children due to growing land scarcity Rise of Companionate Marriage Under the influence of early 19 th -century European romanticism, feelings became more important in the discernment of truth than the rationality of the Enlightenment Increasingly, young people followed their hearts in deciding who to marry rather than the rational arrangements of their parents The role of parents shifted from dictators to protector trying to save their children from the consequences of their actions, although with love based marriages parents and the government were increasingly inclined not to intervene Divorce did become a bit easier, but was still difficult in a society and marriages that remained dominated by men
Fall in birthrates In 1750, the average women had 7 or 8 children, by 1810 it was down to 6 The decline was the result of changing preferences of both men and women, and use of birth control Fewer children meant that parents could devote more resources to each child There was also a change in the view of women, with the new belief that women were morally superior to men This made women ideal for the role of inculcating virtue in the next generation, preparing them for their role of citizens of the republic—which scholars today call Republican motherhood Education of women Preparing women for their role as Republican mothers encouraged institutional female education and the formation of young women’s academies Lecture 10 Republican Motherhood
Lecture 10 Education in the Early Republic As indicated before, republican values gave greater weight to the individual and tended to be against privilege Which helps explain why state legislatures required parents to divide their estates among their children While state constitutions encouraged support for education legislatures did little to implement that philosophy Outside of New England, there was little government support for education until the 1820s Only about 25 percent of boys and 10 percent of girls had any formal education, and only about 1 percent attended college Starting in the 1820s, a new generation of reformers, mostly merchants and manufacturers, began to push for government support of education outside of New England to prepare children for republican citizenship A “dame school” – an informal school inside a private home taught by women – where the education of many Americans began and often ended in the Early Republic
The American Revolution produced a wave of emancipation Slaves used the disrupted conditions of the war to flee their owners, probably about 30,000 in all After the war, some states, like Virginia, made it easier to free slaves probably resulting in about 10,000 manumissions spurred on by Enlightenment philosophy, religious convictions (for Quakers), and low tobacco prices The Revolution also resulted in the gradual end of slavery in the North, although slaves could be found there in the tens of thousands for decades In the Lower South, planters firmly rejected any manumission of slaves and the Upper South joined them in the 1790s backing away from manumission The white South increasingly embraced a rsepublicanism that excluded blacks Lecture 10 Slavery in the Early Republic George Washington famously freed his slaves in his will, giving them freedom when his wife died
Lecture 10 Growing Sectional Divisions The North and the South grew apart in the decades following the American Revolution, largely due to slavery Even white Southerners acknowledged that slavery seemed to encourage ignorance and poverty even among the white population Planters refused to invest in public education, which meant that about 1/3 of the white population in the South could not read or write (as opposed to the North where literacy was near universal) While a few Southerners dabbled in the idea of emancipation early in the 19 th century, the increasing profitability of slave-based plantation agriculture eventually silenced such sentiments While legal American participation in the Atlantic slave trade ended in 1808, the cotton boom in the Lower South made slaves more profitable and led planters to recommit themselves to the institution which made them rich The invention of the cotton gin led to an explosion in cotton cultivation and the revitalization of slavery in the American South
Lecture 10 The Crisis Over Missouri The growing differences between North and South over slavery first came to the surface in Missouri’s bid for statehood Congressman James Tallmadge of New York proposed an amendment that statehood for Missouri would only be accepted if the state banned new slaves and enacted gradual emancipation for slaves already there White Southerners passionately opposed the amendment, increasingly taking the position that slavery was not a necessary evil, but a positive good Solid southern opposition led to a political compromise engineered by Henry Clay Maine admitted with Missouri to keep balance between the number of free and slave states (key in the U.S. Senate) Slavery banned in future states in the Louisiana Purchase above 36 o 30’
Lecture 10 Religious Change in the Early Republic The American Revolution broke the bonds between church and state, as legislatures disestablished denominations who had previously enjoyed privileged legal status In places like Pennsylvania where there had been no established church before the Revolution this process was not necessary The process took a long time in New England where the Congregational Church was not disestablished completely until the 1830s The disestablishment of denominations following the Revolution did not result in the separation of church and state Most people continued to see a positive connection between religious belief and republican citizenship Church property usually remained exempt from taxation Some states even prohibited non- believers in Protestant Christianity from serving in political office Read Jefferson’s tombstone What is relevant here to this slide?
Lecture 10 The Second Great Awakening A new wave of religious revivals began in the United States in the early years of the 19 th century This new revival was a boon to the Baptists and Methodists, both denominations whose operations were compatible with the egalitarian and democratic ideology of the American Revolution Camp Meetings The revival was spread in large part through camp meetings These were large gatherings of people for several days of continuous religious activity, which focused on getting people to have a conversion experience Not all the momentum of the revival came from camp meetings Methodists also increased their numbers through the work of itinerant preachers, the so-called “circuit riders” People overcome by the Holy Spirit during a sermon at a camp meeting Such emotionalism was quite common at these gatherings
Lecture 10 Impact of the Second Great Awakening While Baptists and Methodists prospered from the revival, other denominations, especially those practicing Calvinism did not Predestination not compatible with the optimistic spirit of Americans after the Revolution, who believed that people were capable of change The revival’s impact was blunted by its accommodation with powerful social and political forces For example, in the South the revival went from challenging the socio- economic hierarchy of the region to increasingly justifying it Other groups in society also tended to adapt the message of revival to their own needs, including disempowered groups such as African Americans and women who managed to use it in ways that empowered them, although not enough to seriously threaten the established order While men tended to lead the revival, women were the majority Of the converts. What is the historical significance of that fact?
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