The Growth of American Cultural Nationalism

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Transcript The Growth of American Cultural Nationalism

The indications of American cultural nationalism that were
beginning to emerge during the first two decades of the 19th
The Growth of
American Cultural
Nationalism From
Mike Plymell
Eli Humphrey
Main Idea
The rise of American cultural nationalism
between 1800 and 1820 was indicated
by accelerated westward expansion,
the growth of domestic manufacturing,
and a developing sense of national
Westward expansion added to the already growing
nationalist culture by increasing American pride in its own
ability to conquer new lands. Two main events precipitated
this pride for expansion:
Lewis and Clark Expedition
The Louisiana Purchase
Lewis and Clark Expedition
An expedition from 1804-1806 of Meriwether Lewis and
William Clark, sent by Thomas Jefferson to hike all the
way to the coast, and thereby extend American
dominance of the fur trade.
 1804-1806, TJ sent them to extend fur trade
 8000 miles covered, Sacajawea = Native Am. guide
 Influenced nationalism by finding out just how big
America really was, and showing how well America
could dominate foreign lands, expanding influence
across the continent
Louisiana Purchase
The purchase of a large area of land known as
“Louisiana” to the West of the states by America from
France. They got the land for a bargain, then only 3
cents per acre, which is equal to about 42 cents per
acre today.
This influenced American nationalism by doubling the
size of the nation and receiving land from a strong
European power, which reflected the power and
influence of America itself. This also meant that nearly
400,000 settlers were now classified as living in
America instead of unsettled Native American lands.
The growth of American nationalism was also fueled by an
increase in manufacturing at home instead of importing
European goods. Since the Daughters of Liberty from the
Revolution, domestic manufacturing had grown in America,
but was still not a huge industry like that of Britain and other
European nations. Several things led to the increased
domestic manufacturing:
 the birth of factories modeled off of European textile factories
 Embargo Act on all American exports
 Non-Intercourse Act to damage GB’s and France’s economy (and in
turn to promote America’s)
 the implementation of new inventions only a few years old (e.g.
steam engines, interchangeable gun parts, cotton gin)
The early 1800s yielded the beginning of American
Industry. Factories became engrossed in American
manufacture after the supposed first one in 1790 built
by Samuel Slater: a cotton-spinning mill run by water,
based off of textile factories in England. By 1800,
factories were a major part of American production of
Embargo Act
 1807
 Set embargo on all
American exports so no
countries at all could
receive American
 Done to decrease
European interference
with American shipping
and reduce sailor
 1809
 Lifted embargo from all
countries except GB
and France to damage
their economies (and
therefore promote
America’s economy)
 Both of these Acts
increased nationalism
by promoting the
independent power of
the U.S. and its ability to
stand up for itself in
New Invention Implementations
 Cotton Gin- Invented by Eli Whitney in 1792, this invention
was just beginning to take off in the early 1800s, primarily
in the Southern slave trade, using slaves to harvest the
cotton, which could then be stuffed into the cotton gin,
where the seeds were mechanically extracted.
 Steam Engine Locomotive- In 1804, the first steampowered locomotive was invented and became very
common over the next few decades.
 These added to American nationalism as they were
examples of American ingenuity and showed clearly the
progress America was making as an influential nation in
the world.
Many areas of development led to an increasing idea
of national identity; a distinctly American way and
culture, finally separating from that of Britain and other
areas of Europe.
“American” authors
Monroe’s presidency
“American” Authors
 Many authors became known in the early 1800’s as
distinctly “American”: Nathaniel Hawthorne (BOO
NOW for the Scarlet Letter), Herman Melville (Moby
Dick), Walt Whitman, Ralph Waldo Emerson, and
Henry David Thoreau (all 3 were transcendentalists),
among others.
 This increased American nationalism as
the idea of being distinctly American
began to grow and increase pride in
this new identity.
Monroe Presidency
During his presidency (1817-1825), James Monroe grew to
represent an idea of American national unity. He
temporarily gave the country a break from partisan politics
(the division of parties rather than individual viewpoints) by
solving (for a while) the slavery debate with the Missouri
Compromise and tried to solve arguments with Europe with
the Monroe Doctrine.
 Missouri Compromise: drew an East-West line across the
middle of the U.S.: anywhere North of the line did not
permit slavery, and anywhere South of the line slavery
was allowed.
 Monroe Doctrine: This was a doctrine issued by Monroe
that stated if the Europeans didn’t interfere with the
Western Hemisphere, Americans wouldn't interfere with
foreign affairs. This was largely ignored as no European
powers were trying to establish colonies in the Americas
at the time.
American nationalism increased during 1800
and 1820 due mainly to pride in westward
expansion, domestic manufacturing, and
national identity. Overall, these areas were
influential in creating a distinctly American
culture and developing the nation as a