From the ratification of the Constitution (1780s) to the Civil War (1860s), the United States developed in the following ways:
• Enduring political traditions began.
• Industry and technology grew.
• The U.S. expanded its territory.
• Women and blacks fought for rights.
• Judicial review, created in the case of Marbury v. Madison, gives the Supreme Court the ability to declare laws unconstitutional.
• As the first president, George Washington made decisions that created many of the traditional roles of the president.
• As the seventh president, Andrew Jackson created the spoils system, in which he gave government jobs to his friends. He defended it by saying it gave common, regular people a chance to work in government.
Industry and Technology
• In the 1790s, Eli Whitney invented the cotton gin. It provided a faster method of separating seeds from cotton fiber, so cotton could be produced more rapidly.
• The Erie Canal was built in the early 1800s. It stretched across upstate New York from the Great Lakes to the Hudson River, allowing ships to go from the Great Lakes in the West to New York City. It was a major development in transportation.
• Americans came to believe in “manifest destiny.” Manifest destiny was the idea that it was God’s will for the United States to expand westward to the Pacific Ocean.
• In 1803, the Louisiana Purchase was America’s first major expansion:
o Thomas Jefferson bought the land, now the Midwestern U.S., from France in 1803.
o It doubled the size of the United States, adding more land than any other expansion.
o It gave the U.S. full access to the Mississippi River and the port of New Orleans.
o The territory was explored by explorers Lewis and Clark.
• The United States also expanded after the Mexican War. The war began after the U.S. annexed Texas. The U.S. annexed California, Arizona and New Mexico after the war.
• After the Mexican War, gold was discovered in California. Thousands of people went west, hoping to get rich in the Gold Rush.
• President James Monroe, in the 1820s, created the Monroe Doctrine, stating that European countries should stop colonizing Latin America.
Rights for Minorities
• Women demanded rights, including suffrage (the right to vote) at the Seneca Falls Convention in 1848.
• Native Americans were oppressed during the early 1800s. During the Trail of Tears, President Andrew Jackson ordered Native Americans to leave Florida and the Southeastern U.S. and move to Oklahoma.
• African-Americans were slaves in the early 1800s. People like Frederick Douglass and Harriet Beecher Stowe were abolitionists who fought to end slavery. Harriet Tubman led slaves to freedom on the Underground Railroad.