My Finished Essay
The United States government was heavily involved in the industrialization and expansion taking place during the period between 1790 and 1825. Many leaders of the era, especially Alexander Hamilton, were greatly in favor of expansion. The Supreme Court under Chief Justice John Marshall made many decisions in support of business.
Alexander Hamilton played an important role during this period of growth. In his, Report
on the Public Credit. (A) he established the positive effects of secured public credit. He
felt trade would flourish, agriculture and manufacturing would be promoted, and the
interest on money would flourish, agriculture and manufacturing would be promoted, and the
interest on trade would decrease. Likewise, in his, Report on the Subject of
Manufactures, (B) he was in favor of manufacturing and further development.
Improvements in machinery would decrease in favor of manufacturing and further
development. Improvements in machinery would decrease the task of manual labor.
agriculture would spread and flourish from these improvements. Farmland would be in demand
and put to more beneficial use. Both the government and its citizens would prosper.
Hamilton continued to favor industrialization. In his Act for a National Bank, (D) he
emphasized the positive effects of a bank. He felt the bank would be beneficial to all,
both creditors and debtors. Additional charges would not be placed on a discriminatory
basis. It would be regulated in order to prevent refusal of issuance of money at any time.
Hamilton was not alone. Another political figure, John C. Calhoun, saw the benefits of
free trade. In an 1811 speech, John C. Calhoun in his, Insists on Free Trade, (C) felt it,
"an inherent right, the liberty of carrying our productions to foreign markets."
He felt trade would be beneficial to all of the United States. People of all different
occupations were involved in some part of the Industrial Revolution and he wanted the
government in favor of it.
However there was a debate over the government intervening in the building of infrastructure. During the early 1800's Henry Clay proposed the "American System." He viewed his plan as a way of increasing the economy. This plan included protective tariffs, a National Bank, and internal improvements. He felt the revenue from these tariffs could be used to fund a national transportation system. A National Bank would provide the necessary stable currency and loans. Clay was successful in achieving protective tariffs and the charter of the Second Bank of the United States, but not in his quest for federal involvement in infrastructure. President Monroe was not in favor of Congress funding these internal improvements of roads and canals. He left this up to the state legislatures. In response, Governor Clinton of New York and fellow investors took part in an internal improvement which would play an extremely important role in the Industrial Revolution. In 1825, the building of the Erie Canal (H) was completed. A major question for farmers and manufactures was the transportation of supplies and manufactured goods. With this new increase in production, a quicker and cheaper form of transportation was necessary. The Erie Canal linked the manufacturing capitals in New England with the farms in the Northwest. Supplies and goods could be exchanged through this waterway.
John Marshall was appointed to the Supreme Court in 1800. As Chief Justice, he made many landmark court decisions. Many of these decisions played a role in defining the business climate that developed during the Industrial Revolution and strengthened the central government's control over business. In the Supreme Court Case, McCullough v. Maryland, (F) in 1819, the state of Maryland tried to place a tax on the Bank of the United States. Marshall declared this tax as unconstitutional. A state did not have the right to tax a federal bank. This decision gained more power for the central government and weakened the states influence in business. A tax on a bank would cause a bank's expenses to increase. This could cause interest rates to increase. Debtors would have to make more money to pay back loans. This would cause an increase in prices. In the Supreme Court Case, Dartmouth College v. Woodward, (G) the state wanted to change the college from a private college to a public institution. Marshall declared that under the constitution, the state legislature could not alter the obligation of contracts. This decision stated the power of contracts, especially ones used in business. This protected future corporations from the states. In 1824, the Marshall Court made another decision influencing business. In Supreme Court Case, Gibbons v. Ogden, (E) a New York monopoly was avoided. It was a question of Congress' right to regulate commerce. It found the clause giving Congress the right to regulate commerce to be repugnant. Under the Marshall Court many pro-business decisions were made. Marshall stopped a state from having the power to tax, exemplified the power of contracts, avoided a monopoly, and kept Congress from controlling interstate commerce.
Thus, the government was involved in the early stages of the Industrial Revolution. The government's decisions of this era laid the groundwork for the future U.S. growth of the nation. Without these pro-business decisions, the United States would not have made the change from being agriculturally dependent to the industrialized nation it is today.
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