Writing a paper about the changes in American society between 1750 to 1830: How I would see it as if I fell asleep in 1750 and woke in 1830. 

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kipling2448 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Falling asleep in the middle of the 18th Century and awakening in 1830 would certainly involve cultural transformations, including in the realm of technology.

The most dramatic transformations one would witness would involve the absence of British troops, as the American Revolution would not yet have occurred.  There would have been no “United States of America,” but rather the 13 British colonies.  The British Crown would still hold sway, and one would identify oneself as British. Awaking eighty years later, the British would be long gone, and British soldiers would be replaced by American law enforcement officers patrolling streets and American soldiers and sailors in uniform. The American Capitol would have been attacked in the War of 1812, and would have been rebuilt, and war damage would still be visible in some areas.  For the most part, however, the United States would have continued to expand and to develop economically and socially.  Very prominent would be the schism between the anti-slavery North and the pro-slavery South, with tensions between the two palpable.

The Industrial Revolution, begun during the 18th Century, would have picked up speed and the emergence of factories equipped with industrial machinery would be prevalent. The Industrial Revolution would have facilitated the development of a vast infrastructure of pipes for water and steam, and steam engines, built courtesy of the newly-established iron industry, would be traversing newly-laid railroad tracks for the purpose of transporting people and goods across vast distances.  The Baltimore and Ohio Railroad would be under construction, as would the Charleston and Savannah.  Clothing and textiles would be more plentiful and better made (usually) by virtue of the development of the textile industry, which would emerge as one of the largest employers along the southern Eastern Seaboard.

In short, falling asleep in 1750 and waking up in 1830 would involve significant changes in scenery and in the way individuals lived.  Any paper hypothesizing such an event has plenty to draw from, as the Industrial Revolution and the American War for Independence fall within this time frame.  The changes, however, would not be uniform across all regions.  Indeed, the growth in scale from the original 13 colonies to a nation now encompassing the territory acquired in the Louisiana Purchase and striving to continue its westward expansion would present significant changes to anyone waking up after an eighty year nap.