America’s Economic Growth

Students will respond to 1 of the following questions on which to compose a 3-4-page essay (12-point font, double-spaced). In addition to using websites, you should also use your textbook or other credible academic sources to help you in your research. You must also some of the sources provided below. IMPORTANT: You must cite your sources in the text itself and include a works cited section (preferably using MLA format). The more sources you use (by quoting and analyzing first-hand accounts), the better your essay will likely be.

*Your work must also include the use of at least FOUR primary sources, and a works cited page. You may use some of the sources provided below, but you will also want to use sources you find via internet research, online databases, and libraries. A primary source is a first-hand account of an event. You can more about what these types of sources are by viewing this website:

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  • Also, the links provided below are primary sources which you may find useful. However, you will need to find additional sources on your own.

* IMPORTANT: WIKIPEDIA, SPARK NOTES, CLIFFS NOTES, SHMOOP, ABOUT.COM, AND SIMILAR SITES WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED AS LEGITIMATE SOURCES. A significant amount of points will be deducted for using these non-academic sources. Also, you must cite your sources in the text itself and include a works cited section.*


1) What was the “market revolution?” Describe how the American economy developed roughly between 1815 and 1850. What were the driving factors of this new economy? How did Americans make their living? Which American presidents did the most to move this market economy forward?

2) Describe the process of westward expansion from 1815 to 1850. What effect did it have on American life, in terms of the economy and the Native Americans that settlers encountered upon moving westward. What was manifest destiny realty about, and what forces in American society pursued this idea? How did expansion affect north/south relations?

3) Discuss the causes (economic, social, religious, and other) of sectionalism from 1815 to 1860. Describe the major events of the 1850s that directly led to the Civil War. Could the war have been avoided or was it inevitable result of deep divisions in American society?

4) Write an essay that describes how the Civil War unfolded, including the style of fighting and the major battles. Describe in detail the advantages disadvantages of both the North and the South. Was the war’s outcome inevitable? If not, what could have changed the outcome of the war? How did the war finally come to a resolution, and what were long-term effects of the conflict?