List what you consider the most significant factors underlying American economic growth in early 1800's and explain why you think so.

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mkoren eNotes educator| Certified Educator

There were several factors that allowed for the economic growth in the early 1800s in the United States. One factor was that the power of the federal government increased. The Supreme Court case of Gibbons v Ogden stated that the federal government could control interstate trade. This allowed the federal government to set rules regarding interstate trade.

Another factor that helped the economy grow was that there were many improvements in transportation. The National Road was built and expanded. The use of the steam engine made river travel easier. It also helped with the development of the railroads, which made it easier to ship products by land. The Erie Canal was built, which allowed products from areas near the Great Lakes to be shipped by water to the Atlantic Ocean.

The rise of the factory system also helped the economy grow. Manufacturing was done at a central location. The use of machinery helped businesses make more products and helped make them faster. The increase in the production of manufactured products helped the economy grow.

The creation of the National Bank also helped the economy grow. It was easier for business owners to get loans that they could use to expand their businesses. The availability of credit allowed businesses to grow, production to expand, and the economy to develop.

There were several factors that explain the economic growth of the early 1800s in the United States.

pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In my opinion, the major factor (above all others by a long way) is the expansion of the transportation network in the United States.

During the early 1800s, governments in the US started to create a larger transportation infrastructure.  Roads were built and, more importantly, canals were created.  The canals, especially, allowed products to be moved from place to place much more efficiently.  As the price of transport dropped, the size of the American market grew.

The size of markets is very important for economic growth -- this is one reason countries want to make free trade agreements today.  When transportation became available, producers could, for the first time, have access to a market that stretched far beyond their local area.  Producers in the inland US could sell to a much larger market than ever before.

kapokkid eNotes educator| Certified Educator

One of the major factors underlying American economic growth in the early 1800s was the expansion westward, possible thanks to the Louisiana Purchase, which gave American farmers access to vast tracts of arable land and a reliable transportation link to the port of New Orleans in the form of the Mississippi river.  The access to a viable trading port encouraged production and production in vast quantities, the kind that couldn't be used locally but thanks to shipping south and then out of New Orleans, farmers could manage.  So farms grew much larger from the smaller homestead-type farms to the plantations of the south and the larger managed farms of the northern states.