Tag Archives: Census Summaries

1830s –Consolidation and Revolt

As slaves revolted in Virginia and American settlers rebelled against Mexico in Texas, the decade saw the further consolidation of settlement. This was especially true in the Midwest, where Michigan became a state and Wisconsin and Iowa were organized as territories, and along the banks of the Mississippi, where Arkansas was admitted to the Union in 1837.  The Census of 1830 was the first to use a uniform printed schedule for counting and tallied 12,858,670 Americans, of whom 2,009,050 were slaves.

Railroads Booming
There was thirty miles of track in the United States in 1830.  Within twenty years there would be 9,000.  Nine railroads were chartered in 1831, sixteen in 1831, and twenty-six in 1832 alone.  No longer dependent on imported British locomotives, rolling stock, and expertise, … Read the rest

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1840s –What Hath God Wrought!

The Mexican-American War was an aggressive and  smashing victory that saw the United States acquire massive new territories in the south-west and along the Pacific coast.  This typified a dynamic decade that saw the admission of four new states, two slave and two free, the rise of women’s rights activity, the intensification of the Underground Railroad, and the discovery of gold in California that touched off an unprecedented and frantic western migration.

“Manifest Destiny”
Democratic writer and columnist John L. O’Sullivan wrote first in the Democratic Review in July 1845 and then in his column in the New York Morning News in December that it was “the right of our manifest destiny to overspread and to possess the whole of the continent which Providence has … Read the rest

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1850s –A House Divided

As the bloodshed in Kansas and during John Brown’s Raid on Harpers Ferry in Virginia set an awful precedent on the road to civil war, the nation grew at a remarkable rate. By the end of the decade there had been a 34% increase in population to more than 31 million, of which almost four million were slaves. Minnesota, California, and Oregon had become states, while Kansas, Nebraska, Utah, and Washington were organized as territories. By 1860, many more Americans were living in cities. In the twenty years since 1840 the number of towns with more than 8000 people had more than tripled, to 141.

Bleeding Kansas
Immigrants from the north-east, the north-west, and the neighboring slave state of Missouri competed with terror and violence to insure that

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