Manifest destiny…this not only drove economic expansion but is still a core belief for Americans today, the virtue of the American people and their institutions; the mission to spread these institutions, thereby redeeming and remaking the world in the image of the U.S; the destiny under God to accomplish this work. Expansion westward was led by the American Puritan work ethic which played a huge roll in economic growth.
The Westward Expansion played a significant role in the America history, because it caused the population movement and the productivity of lands, and in terms it caused a massive economical growth in the west during the 19th century. The US economic development in the 19th century was characterized by the westward movement of population and the accumulation of productive lands. After President Thomas Jefferson purchased Louisiana territory, it doubled the size of the United States landmarks. Also it increased the size of America population, where many individuals both internal and external settled in their new land in search of a better opportunity. Therefore, in just a few years there were tremendous shifts in West demographic population. It is recorded that million of Europeans migrated to west. This strong population growth resulted in major production and development of productive lands, which in terms increased the economic growth in the United States. With a great number of migrations, the cost of labor and transportation were significantly low. (Davidson 2002)
The migration population brought with them unique skills that became very useful and profitable for the land owners. Besides new types of technological devices, also they were clearing, breaking, irrigating, draining, and fencing new areas of lands in order to make the lands more productive and lucrative. Another product that increased the profit of the Westward Expansion was the massive amount of cotton that was being produce in the South. South was dominating the cotton market, because they had sufficient slaves to produce more cottons than any other regions. In addition, transportation also made a major impact in the US economy, because ordinary business men were able to transport their goods at the cheap rate and efficient. The presence of steamboats and railroad tracks also revolutionized how the goods were being transported to the internal and to the international market. (Davidson 2002)
While the America economy, demographic, social and political system were changing; the economy and the social system of every region were also taken a different format. Economical growth in the west brought a great deal of wealth to the American economy, but it also transformed the appearance of everyday society as well as the intellectual capabilities of certain individuals. During the developmental era, they were a major gap between rich and poor. Due to these social changes, many individuals who once use to associate with their neighbors begin to distance themselves. For instance, professionals, storekeepers, clerks, office workers, and supervisors begin to only intermingle with individuals’ within their social status.
In addition, the social environment between South and North were also changing. For instance, south was a rural region, where 84 % of labor force were engaged in agriculture, where as in the North, only 40 % of labor force were involved in the agriculture business.
Therefore, southerners were able to produce more nations’ products than the northerners. For this reason that many of the individuals from the south find themselves working in the industrial fields rather than pursuing education. Average southern white children spend only one-fight as much time in school as did their northerners counterparts. When it comes to living arrangements, 1 out 10 southern lived in the cities and town and in north 1 out 3 people lived in the cities and town. Therefore, these phenomena led the regions to have different sectionalism.
Each wave of immigrant sought an area of the US which was most familiar to them. Thus the Scandinavians moved into Minnesota, Wisconsin, the Dakotas and Iowa. The Welsh went to the mountains of Appalachia. The English went into the South and The Germans into Pennsylvania and then down the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers. The French went into Louisiana. This lead to regionalism and variations in the social systems, which to some extent still exist. It can be seen in differential accents, laws, religious traditions etc. (Davidson 2002)
The opening of our shores to every one also made us a dumping ground for those undesirables found in the rest of the world. The programs of Russia, Poland and Eastern Europe, the forced labor of the Chinese and Africans brought a broad view of ourselves as the melting pot of the world and that the rest of the world was xenophobic. It had little impact on domestic policy until the early 20th century when quotas began to be imposed. On the foreign front, we welcomed these people with open arms because of our need for cheap labor. Our foreign policy was to keep the gates open.