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Westward Expansion (1807-1912)


Western Economy: Boom and Panic

Summary Western Economy: Boom and Panic

The Panic of 1819 had a profound effect on the American psyche. Many grew distrustful of banks, and especially the Bank of the United States, which mtook the blame for beginning the economic collapse. Also, the Panic accentuated the vulnerability of American agriculture and factories to foreign competition, leading to calls for protective economic policies. Though the Republicans in power generally objected to high import duties, higher tariffs were passed in 1824 and 1828. Additionally, falling crop prices highlighted farmers' dependence on cash crops and unstable agricultural markets. This provoked a search for more efficient methods of transportation to reach distant markets. If the cost of transportation could be cut, farmers could keep a larger portion of the value of their crops as profit, easing the effects of variations in the markets.

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