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Development of Americas Economy

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Ashlyn Steele


October 20, 2017

Kathryn Sweet

Up and Growing

        The early history of the United States saw many changes. The country sought after greatness and perfection starting with Henry Clay’s America System, to The Populist Party Platform of 1892, and the west ward expansion after the civil war. The economy saw many changes as it transitioned from a Regional to National economy.

        Henry Clay's American System significantly changed the American Economy. These changes included tariffs to protect and promote Americas industry and economy, a national bank to assist commerce, and subsidies for internal improvements on things such as roads and canals. The tariffs were very important because they were the first taxes to the government which helped to improve America. With higher tariffs, the expanding industries were protected and had huge effects on the economy. The National Bank was helpful as the government and the people had somewhere to turn to for financial assistance. The national bank was also very important to help manage the economy. The federal subsidies were also important and useful because they specifically helped the agricultural economy by receiving money to improve roads to make it easier to buy and sell agricultural products. All three of these advancements from Henry Clay helped develop America’s economy to help make the country financially stable so it can be built on to become bigger and better.

The Populist Party wrote the “Populist Party Platform of 1892” in attempt to fix the issues they saw in the United States. These issues included transportation, monopolies, the circulation of money, and land ownership. The Populist wanted the government to manage and own the railroad to prevent people monopolizing and gaining too much power from the railroad and transportation industry. The populists also wanted the amount of money in circulation to be increased to help support the growing businesses and industries. The populists wanted to keep land ownership managed by the government like the railroad to also keep it from being monopolized or owned by the wrong people. The populists demanded a bigger income tax, demanded that money in circulation should be mainly in the hands of the people instead of the government, and that banks should be established by the government to avoid the citizens from being unfairly treated by the banks. With money now becoming primarily in the hands of the people, the citizens helped to advance the economy as they felt it was their economy to improve.

        Americans continued moving west due to the price of land and numerous job opportunities. After the civil war, people began referring to the United States as one. Rather than saying “The United States are..” they now said “The United States is..” showing a more collaborative and united nation. The expansion in the west increased as railroads started to expand across the growing nation. The railroads began to grow in 1830 and expanded to 31,000 miles by 1860. The passenger transportation line was completed in 1869. The railroad improved transportation of people as well as goods and products. The railroad has continued to improve all around the country into today as more tracks and lines are being built and still transport goods and people.



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