Period 4: 1800-1848
**The Age of Jefferson, 1800-1816
**Nationalism and Economic Development, 1816-1848
** Sectionalism, 1820-1860
** The Age of Jackson, 1824-1844
** Society, Culture, and Reform 1820-1860
In 1826, in the midst of the years covered in this period, the young nation celebrated its 50th birthday with great optimism. The founders of the country were passing on and leadership had passed to a new generation.
Overview The new republic worked to define itself during a time of rapid demographic, economic, and territorial growth. It increased suffrage; reformed its schools, prisons, and asylums; and developed its own art, literature, and philosophy. These changes took place as a market economy emerged and people benefited from the addition of fertile land farther west and advances in industry and transportation everywhere. The country focused on expanding its borders and trade while avoiding European entanglements.
Alternate View While this period saw growth, it also had increased conflict with American Indians and its neighbors. Many of the immigrants attracted by new opportunities also found prejudice and discrimination. Rights for the common man excluded American Indians, African Americans, and women. Efforts to improve life succeeded for many but not those enslaved. Landmarks in the institution of slavery came earlier, with the development of the cotton gin in 1793 and the end of the importation of enslaved Africans in 1808. Others came later, such as the Compromise of 1850.
4.1: The United States developed the world’s first mass democracy and celebrated a new national culture, while Americans sought to define the nation’s demographic ideals and to reform its institutions to match them.
4.2: Developments in technology, agriculture, and commerce precipitated profound changes in U.S. settlement patterns, regional identities, gender and family relations, political power, and distribution of commercial goods.
4.3: U.S. interest in increasing foreign trade, expanding its national borders, and isolating itself from European conflicts shaped the nation’s foreign policy and spurred government and private initiatives.
Source: AP United States History Curriculum Framework 2014-2015