Social,Economic and Political Changes of the United States from 1770s to1860s

UnitedStates has experienced massive changes and revolutions during theperiod of 1770s to 1860s. Much of the transitions over this centuryare principally segmented into social, political and economic. Socialtransformations have affected the culture, tradition, and lifestyleof Americans. Economic transformations have promoted the gradual riseof markets. And political revolutions have influenced the Americanconstitution, led to increased liberty and has strongly affected thedemocracy of the people. The paper undertakes to discuss the majortransformations in the political, economic and social spheres withclose reference to academic sources and scholarly publications.

Themanifest destiny was a popular notion and concept that held thatAmerica would expand exponentially from Coast to Coast. The termoriginated in the early years of 1940s and held that Anglo-SaxonAmericans would stretch their civilization and this revolution wouldcreate opportunities for personal liberty, freedom, and enhance themovement of both people and labor1.This analysis supports the manifest destiny was apolitically-centered framework that sought to improve the governmentsystem of administration, it gained the influence of the Republicansand gradually sought to influence political players to embrace thechanges that the manifest destiny was striving to spread beyond theUnited States. The manifest destiny is gradually becoming a realitydue to globalization that makes it possible for America to expand itsgeographical boundaries and to freely engage in political affairswith the Americas, Europe, Asia, and Africa.

Inthe first century of the United States, the Constitution was made andit strongly recognized the need for the State to establish publicschools2.More clearly, under the Land Ordinance of 1785 and the NorthwestOrdinance of 1787, the nation was given full responsibility ineducating the people of the United States. The State recognized thesignificance of public education in nurturing a citizenry thatrecognized liberty and that which promoted the general welfare ofpeople. The Land Ordinance can therefore be seen as a criticalmilestone in influencing the Federal to take full responsibility inthe provision of schools, learning material, resources, and personnelto educate the nation3.More than 77 million acres of land were granted by the Congress. Thesurplus of federal revenues was given in form of donations andfunding to finance public education4.The two ordinances influenced the budget and the Federal revenuemaking education one of the most funded ventures. The Federalgovernment can therefore be seen as critically instrumental in thedevelopment, maintenance, and operation of the public education.Although the powers and jurisdictions of education and schools wouldlater be delegated to State and local governments, this was animportant revolution in the history of America5.

Themarket revolution is an economic milestone that took place in Americaduring the late years of 1800s and in the early 19thcentury6.This period was characterized by the construction of roads, canalsand infrastructures connecting one destination to move goods andlabor from one point to another. States donated millions after beinginspired by the Erie Canal and investment in transport networkspromoted an economic outburst. Farmers and manufacturers stoppedfarming and for personal consumption and began to target ‘themarket’. The market revolution reduced the powers and the tradingcapacities of small farmers and craftsmen and favored the merchantcapitalists7.The capitalists were the enlightened group of people who understoodto ‘work the market’ by securing start-up capital, arranging fortransport of products/goods, marketing, and advertising. The peoplewho succeeded in the new conditions set by the market revolution wereentrepreneurs, fast thinkers, and experimentalists who tested onecommodity in different markets8.The market revolution is critically underpinning to the economichistory of the United States and marks an important transformation oflabor, markets, and enterprises.


Itis important to note the conventional state of United States wasbuilt by thinkers who saw future opportunities and optimize them9.The fall of eight States from Britain with the need to form a newnation was a bold step that influenced the political state of theUnited States. The creation of roads, canals, highways, and airlinesled to the emergence of a transport network that made it possible toconduct large-scale trade. This marked the market revolution. Theresearch has also examined the roles of the Federal government asoutlined in the 1785 Ordinance and the 1787 revealing theresponsibility of funding schools, building education infrastructuresand investing in learning and teaching facilities. The above analysissurmises the paper adding knowledge and creating insight on thehistoric development of United States from the period of 1770s to1860s.


Blackmar,Elizabeth. 1989. Manhattanfor Rent, 1785–1850.Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press.

Breen,Timothy H. 2004. TheMarketplace of Revolution: How Consumer Politics Shaped AmericanIndependence.Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Butler,Jon. 2000. BecomingAmerica: The Revolution before 1776.Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Calloway,Colin G. 1995. TheAmerican Revolution in Indian Country: Crisis and Diversity in NativeAmerican Communities.Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Cook,Don. 1995. TheLong Fuse: How England Lost the American Colonies, 1760–1785.New York: Atlantic Monthly Press.

Dubois,Laurent. 2004. Avengersof the New World: The Story of the Haitian Revolution.Cambridge, MA: Belknap Press.

Egerton,Douglas R. 2009. Deathor Liberty: African Americans and Revolutionary America.Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Howe,Daniel Walker. 2007. WhatHath God Wrought: The Transformation of America, 1815–1848.New York: Oxford University Press.

Igler,David. 2013. TheGreat Ocean: Pacific Worlds from Captain Cook to the Gold Rush.Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Johnson,Paul E. 1978. AShopkeeper’s Millennium: Society and Revivals in Rochester, NewYork, 1815–1837.

1Blackmar, Elizabeth. 1989. Manhattan for Rent, 1785–1850. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press.

2Breen, Timothy H. 2004. The Marketplace of Revolution: How Consumer Politics Shaped American Independence. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

3Cook, Don. 1995. The Long Fuse: How England Lost the American Colonies, 1760–1785. New York: Atlantic Monthly Press.

4Egerton, Douglas R. 2009. Death or Liberty: African Americans and Revolutionary America. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

5Johnson, Paul E. 1978. A Shopkeeper’s Millennium: Society and Revivals in Rochester, New York, 1815–1837.

6Igler, David. 2013. The Great Ocean: Pacific Worlds from Captain Cook to the Gold Rush. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

7Howe, Daniel Walker. 2007. What Hath God Wrought: The Transformation of America, 1815–1848. New York: Oxford University Press.

8Butler, Jon. 2000. Becoming America: The Revolution before 1776. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press

9Calloway, Colin G. 1995. The American Revolution in Indian Country: Crisis and Diversity in Native American Communities. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.