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Perla Rivera

Professor Hoskisson
History 1010 Section 35
April 1, 2014

The American spirit to grow and expand into untouched land filled the 19th century. This
economic and territorial expansion brought new definitions of freedom to everyone in the United
States. The new freedoms introduced through expansion benefited some and made others suffer,
but overall the expansion gave many Americans a new sense on how their freedoms were
enlarged but also abridged.
The expansion of the 19th century brought about many new technologies. These new
technologies ranged from roads, to canals, to the new market trade. The film Wake Up America!
discusses the freedoms that roads and canals brought to the people. They provided the freedom
of movement and free trade. Americans were now able to transport a ton for $8.00 compared to
$100 dollars a ton. The new market trade provided a way for mass production with lower costs to
make the products. The book, Give Me Liberty by Eric Foner, also recognizes the benefits that
this new upheaval brought to the economy, it states, These innovations opened new land to
settlement, lowered transportation costs and made it far easier for economic enterprises to sell
their products. The positive effects of the expansion are undeniable but they also had a bitter
hint.
The new market revolution became a very significant part of the economy, but this new
economy had been built on the backs of laborers. The economy had come to rely on the work of
the poor, of those who had no other option but to work in factories. One of the many groups
affected by the factory system were women and children. The film, points out the various unfair

conditions these laborers were being exposed to. Laborers had very risky conditions to work
in. In addition, Working conditions at the mills were very exhausting. Women and children
were forced to work long hours for low wages restricting their freedom to work for who they
liked and to be paid justly for their work. The time of expansion raised the standard of living for
the middle and upper classes, leaving the working class and the poor to submit to the little
freedom they were being offered.
The results of the economic and territorial expansion in the United States, brought about
many changes in American lives during the 19th century. The country became a true success in
establishing a prosperous nation. Although, not everyone obtained a taste of the prosperity, it
opened doors for change. Without the laborers struggles in the Industrialization Era, labor laws
would not have come about. The Industrialization Era has become yet another era in which the
quest for freedom has in the end improved the lives of those who search for it.