In what ways was the United States expanding in the 19th century?

Expert Answers
mkoren eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The United States was expanding in several ways in the 1800s. One way the United States expanded was by gaining control of more land. In 1803, the United States made the Louisiana Purchase with France. This doubled the size of our country. In the 1840s, the United States annexed Texas and obtained sole control over the Pacific Northwest. We also added the lands in the southwest part of our country including California, Nevada, and New Mexico as a result of winning the Mexican-American War in 1848.

The United States was also growing economically. As new inventions were developed, our businesses were able to produce more products. The steam engine allowed factories to be located anywhere, and it helped transport products quicker. As more people came to our country, our businesses produced more products to meet the growing demand. The building of the transcontinental railroad also helped the country’s economy grow.

The number of immigrants coming to the United States increased during the 1800s. There were two waves of immigration from Europe. From 1820-1860, many immigrants came from North and West Europe. From 1880-1920, many immigrants came from South and East Europe. There was also increased immigration from Asia during most of the 1800s.

Slavery grew during part of the 1800s. With the invention of the cotton gin, the need for slaves increased. As more cotton was being produced, slavery expanded throughout much of the South. The expansion of slavery was a key factor leading to the start of the Civil War.

The United States grew in many ways in the 1800s.