The beginning of the nineteenth Century was mostly rural: indeed the Americans living in the countryside were five times in number than those living in cities. Moreover the nation grew considerably in 1790; there were four million American and seventy years later, there are thirty-nine million. That rapid rise, especially due to immigration, was followed by technological changes which modified the economy of the new nation. Nevertheless, those changes were not equal in the whole country: a gap in each matter was widening between the North and the South. To what extend can we say that the economic opposition between those two parts finally leads to modernity in the whole United States? To understand it, we will first study the two different economies, on the basis of the divide. However, we will see that there was a communication between the two worlds. Finally we will analyze the social changes which resulted from that situation.
[...] Thanks to the fact that the attention was focussed on that culture, cotton plantations spread inland and the values of lands increased. Cotton was thus cultivated in Alabama, Mississippi, Texas and Arkansas. Another kind of economy was developed in the South: the slave economy. Indeed there was an important demand for black slaves because promises f quick profits were made thanks to the abundance of cotton and of uncultivated lands. The fact to own slaves thus became a factor of wealth: the more a planter had slaves, the more he had social and political influence. [...]
[...] Thanks to that, space can be crossed more rapidly, which helped the North in its industrial expansion. Indeed there were fewer distances between the producers and the consumers which were crucial especially for perishable goods. Other modes of transports were still used to traverse the continent: river and canal transports were still important as the steamboats which were used on the Mississippi and its tributaries. In the land the great Erie Canal was necessary to join the interior to the East. [...]
[...] The fact that a lot of children were deprived of education was due to the fact that parents needed their children to work with them on factories or on farms. There was also a religious reason because Roman Catholic immigrants considered that school indoctrinated children with Protestant values. Special education was given to handicapped children: for instance, in 1816, Thomas G. Gallaudet built in Hartford, Connecticut the first school for pupils with hearing impairments. And in 1829, the Perkins Institute for the Education of the blind was created in Boston. [...]
[...] Thanks to their struggle, laws changed and women had control of their properties after marriage. In 1848, the Women's Rights Convention in Seneca Falls, New York debated for vote of women, for equal opportunity for education and employment, and for the end to the legal discrimination. In the “domestic sphere”, women were helped by servants; so that, they could read, have an education and participate to activities. Thanks to their new roles in the family, they had authority over it. [...]
[...] In the mid-1840's, high seas with the sleek and swift clipper ships were employed for the international commerce but that mode was quickly given up with the railroad constructed to cross Panama and with the competition of the British ships. New media In 1837, Samuel F.B. Morse invented the telegraph which allowed communication between distant industries. In 1843 the first line was constructed and to 1860, a lot of lines were created from the East of the Rocky Mountains and in San Francisco. [...]
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