The Age Of Transition Of The United States

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The Age of Transition: From Jefferson to Hamilton Although Thomas Jefferson swept the election of 1800 and witnessed the collapse of the Federalist Party in 1812, it was Alexander Hamilton’s political and economic views which proved predominant in the subsequent 19th century. The expansion of capitalism and industrialization– the development of new railroads, canals, and manufacturing factories in the North– not only contributed to the end of Thomas Jefferson’s Agrarian Yeoman era, but ultimately proved crucial to the Union’s victory during the Civil War. Nevertheless, by no means had Thomas Jefferson’s views vanished from the political landscape of the United States by 1865. The Louisiana Purchase in 1803, Indian Removal Acts in 1830, and Homestead Acts in 1862 were all early examples of Jefferson’s geopolitical vision for territorial expansion. By comparing the advancement of territorial expansion, development of a capitalist economy, and democratization of society and politics, this paper posits that although Thomas Jefferson’s geopolitical views were still present in the political landscape by the late nineteenth century, it was Hamilton’s economic and political views which were prevalent. From the beginning, the two men harbored different visions for the territorial expansion of the United States. Jefferson viewed territorial expansion as a means of providing lands for independent agrarian families, whereas Hamilton sought expansion as an opportunity to bolster the

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