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America Transformed Timelines and Democracy Growth

1787-1816 – Federalist Party was founded by Alexander Hamilton. Had a strong federal government and thrived in business and trade.

1788 – Constitution ratified advocating for a stronger central government though the amendment had received strong opposition by anti-federalism.

1789 – Start of French revolution that did away with royal or monarchial rule

1791 – Establishment of a national bank that would stabilize the country through financial management.

1793 – Democratic and Republican societies emerge. They were supporting French revolution. The party was formed by Thomas Jefferson and James Madison.

1800-1840 – transport revolution

1803 – United state begins expansion, first buying French territories.

1804-1824 – Democratic-Republican Party ruled

1824 – Democratic-Republican Party split into different factions one of them being the current democratic party.

1825-1860 – National Republican and Whig parties had a strong government that practiced the ideals of federal government. The party broke up due to issues of slavery.

1828- Today – party was established by Andrew Jackson. The party had strong inclinations towards states’ rights and restricted government. Today it is the oldest political party.

1854- Today – Republican Party come into existence due to antislavery. The party prompted a civil war in1862.The party advocated for a stronger government with low taxes, strong military for states’ security and a more restricted government.

1868 – Populism and progressivism. Women were allowed to vote.

1870 – Marked the extensive start of industrialization.

Democracy can be said to be diverse or can be divided into many types. Political democracy advocated for equal participation in political issues. It was enhanced by the political parties. Development of two political parties and an increase in presidential powers enabled the political and social democracy to grow and prevail. Social democracy was enhanced through establishment of equal status between all races of people and abolishment of slavery. Enactment of laws that safeguarded the rights of majority and allowing women to vote, were clear indications of social democracy. Economic democracy was achieved through establishment of banks, denial of monopolies, business protection through incorporations and assigning power to the federal government to oversee the interstate business. Development of transport facilities enhanced economic democracy by allowing free movement of goods and people (Ostrogorski and Lipset 1982).

Agriculture was one of the sectors affected by growth of democracy. Increasingly available farming land countered the availability of plenty of labor and low farming wages. Farmers adopted European models of fertilization, animal breeding and crop rotation. Initially most farmers did not have the capital to apply the modern techniques. Most farmers knew less of modern methods of farming but, simply used the shift method. Technological innovations and methods aided farming through ease of land plowing of the prairies. Agricultural growth was due to rich agricultural soils and application of European farming technologies. Access to southern markets by western farmers was enhanced through improvement of transportation thereby increasing demand. The emergence of industries made people migrate to urban areas leading to increased demand for foodstuff and fruits in the cities. Britain also suffered low supply of agricultural labor because most of its population was shifting to working in the upcoming industries. Availability of local and international markets for agricultural products and goods greatly contributed to economic development and growth. The south mainly produced cotton and with the invention of sewing machines the demand for cotton also increased, making the south specialize in cotton production. Availability of slaves in most southern farms made it easy for the cotton farmers to produce more cotton (Headlee, 1991).

Industrialization begun in the early 19th century but, took on a slow pace until the end of civil war. After civil war, it took an upward trend with machines replacing human labor. Industrialization eased business by cheap production of superior goods. It was the major cause for the development of cities where people resided as they were employed in the industries. Industrialization contributed to economic growth through an increase in number of goods produced and being a source of employment (Headlee, 1991).

A state that practices capitalism is said to have been practicing democracy. Capitalism is the economic and social setup of a country where, capital as a factor of production is in the hands of the private sector. Capitalism leads to free trade through the forces of demand and supply. Capitalism emerged with the industrial revolution after the collaboration of bankers, traders and industrialists in the establishment of advocating for individual economic ventures. The central government was instrumental in regulating free trade by abolishing unethical practices such as slavery. Capitalism in the past has shown that it spurs economic growth by increasing the Gross Domestic Product. Capitalism has also enabled free movement of goods and services, thereby enhancing improvement of living standards. Capitalism has also enabled capacity utilization through realization of potential.

The growth of democracy contributed to market revolution. Formation of democratic government provided a good playing field for business since the internal conflicts were minimal. Democracy advocated for capitalism and free markets, this was a big step towards market revolution.

America’s expansionism can be traced to the beginning of the 19th century. There was a common belief that United States wanted to expand in the whole of North America, a phenomenon named manifest destiny. Expansionism was credited to expansion of the borders and maintaining the country’s integrity. United States being a world superpower enabled it to have the capability to take any land it desired to be in its territory. Expansionism did not go on smoothly as it was faced with threats of war and sources of conflicts. Reasons behind expansionism were that United States was making other nations economically stable and was helping them to enjoy the protection from its massive military capability (Stuart, 1988). Expansionism shaped new foreign relations by the formation of new threats that did not exist before and the emergence of new conflicts. Renewed hatred rose in those countries that lost their territories to the United States like Mexico. United States would have placed itself in a better position in international relations because it was able to protect itself from pirates’ attacks from Tripoli. It was able to prevent European influence in the western world.

The growth of democracy contributed little towards expansionism. Though expansionism was supposed to spur economic growth it brought about the exhaustion of good lands and panic in 1837. On the other hand, it brought regions with natural resources to the country thus increasing its wealth (Ostrogorski and Lipset 1982).

Reference list

Headlee S.E. (1991). The political economy of the family farm: the agrarian roots of American capitalism. Santa Barbara: Greenwood Publishing Group.

Ostrogorski, M. & Lipset, S. M. (1982). Democracy and the Organization of Political Parties: The United States. Piscataway: Transaction Publishers.

Stuart R.C. (1988) United States expansionism and British North America, 1775-1871. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press.


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