Between 1820 and 1860, the visual map of the United States was transformed by unprecedented urbanization and rapid territorial expansion. These changes mutually fueled the Second Industrial Revolution which peaked between 1870 and 1914. Between the annexation of Texas (1845), the British retreat from Oregon country, and The Treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo (1848) which cemented Mexican cession of the Southwest to the United States, territorial expansion exponentially rewrote the competing visions that free-soilers, European immigrants, industrial capitalists, and Native Americans held for the future of the American Empire.
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Like the word awesome, the depth and meaning of the word great has lost some of its intensity due to overuse. But in order to begin to understand the Great Depression, its important to first understand why it was considered capital-G “Great” in the first place. It may be useful to consider it in comparison to the… MORE
No historical event, idea or figure is ever safe from constant interpretation and reinterpretation. The presidency of Herbert Hoover is a terrific example of this phenomenon. In his early presidency, he was vilified for exercising too much federal power during a time of isolationism; he was later vilified for doing too little during the Great… MORE
In the mid-nineteenth century, explorers headed out to sea, hoping to claim new islands for the United States. One seemed promising: “These islands are small, high and rocky, barren and uninviting to the last degree, yet out of them has come wealth to stagger the dreams of oriental imagination.” These islands held an extremely valuable… MORE