19th Century American History: America's Second War of Independence

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19th Century American History Introduction The United States of 1812 1840 rode a roller coaster of exciting expansion, deep financial crisis and rising nationalism. American pre-war tendency to explore and assume the West was empowered by the war's end, military bounties, improved transportation and the government's sometimes euphemistic descriptions of the West. The excesses of this "Era of Good Feeling," combined with international and national factors, plunged America into the Panic of 1819, our first national depression. The depth and divisiveness of the Panic of 1819 led to the resurgence of nationalism in which the common citizen distrusted the privileged and demanded increased democratization. Examining each of these notable historical moments, we can see elements of the American character that survives to this day. Postwar Expansion Following the War of 1812 Western expansion occurring after the War of 1812 was not a suddenly new idea to Americans. From the beginning of the United States until 1814 when the War of 1812 ended, western expansion occurred sporadically: there was some expansion from 1791 1803, creating the new states of Ohio, Tennessee, Kentucky and Vermont; in addition, the Louisiana Purchase of 1803 doubled the size of the United States west of the Appalachian Mountains; then Lewis and Clark explored the Louisiana Purchase from 1804 1806, in part due to President Jefferson's desires to find a water route to the Pacific Ocean and to compete
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