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Ch 1: Life in 19th Century America

About This Chapter

Watch online history video lessons and learn about 19th century demographic changes, the South's economy, the North's commercial revolution and more. These easy-to-follow lessons are just a portion of our online study guide and video collection.

Life in 19th Century America - Chapter Summary and Learning Objectives

Instructors teaching this chapter's video lessons can walk you through 19th century developments that saw the acquisition of new territories and the early stages of the Industrial Revolution. They can also help you examine the growing rift between an industrialized North and a South increasingly dependent on slavery for its economic well-being. After completing this chapter, you should be able to do the following:

  • Describe factors shaping American identity
  • Identify causes of territorial and economic growth
  • Compare and contrast economies of the North and South
  • Discuss characteristics of slavery in the early 19th century

Video Objective
American Political, Religious & Personal Identity in the Early 19th Century Illustrates how Americans viewed themselves and their governments in the early 1800s.
Slavery in Early America Describes the characteristics of slavery and its opposition until the 1830s.
America's Demographic Changes in the Early 1800s Profiles America's shifting demographics in the early 19th century due to population and territorial growth.
Economic Developments in the North: A Commercial Revolution Highlights some of the inventions and developments that spurred a commercial revolution.
Life in the South: Ordered Society and Economy of the Southern States Depicts the ordered society, economy and lifestyle of the Southern states.

11 Lessons in Chapter 1: Life in 19th Century America
American Political, Religious & Personal Identity in the Early 19th Century

1. American Political, Religious & Personal Identity in the Early 19th Century

American political and religious identity in the early 19th century was influenced by the region where they lived, the dominant political parties of the day, and events such as the Second Great Awakening. Learn about early 19th century American regional, political, and religious identity in this video lesson.

America's Demographic Changes in the Early 1800s

2. America's Demographic Changes in the Early 1800s

The early 1800s saw the United States quickly grow in size. New immigrants and new land meant a bigger and stronger country. It also meant displacing thousands of Native Americans and the continued spread of slavery.

Secession of the Southern States: Causes & Timeline

3. Secession of the Southern States: Causes & Timeline

In this lesson, we will explore the secession of the 11 states that made up the Confederate States of America. We will discover their reasons for leaving the Union and take a look at the motives of the slave states that chose not to join the Confederacy.

The Creation of the Confederacy: Leadership & Goals

4. The Creation of the Confederacy: Leadership & Goals

In this lesson, we will take a look at the 1861 creation of the Confederate States of America. We will examine the new country's government, meet its leaders, and learn about its goals.

The Battle of Fort Sumter & the Start of the Civil War

5. The Battle of Fort Sumter & the Start of the Civil War

South Carolina's attack on a U.S. military outpost triggered the American Civil War. Learn more about the Battle of Fort Sumter and the consequences of the fort's surrender to the Confederacy.

Civil War Begins: Northern and Southern Advantages Compared

6. Civil War Begins: Northern and Southern Advantages Compared

At the outbreak of the American Civil War, both the North and South believed the conflict would be over quickly. But advantages for both the Confederacy and the Union meant a prolonged war between the states. In this lesson, discover some of the advantages that the North and South had.

The First Battle of Bull Run: Civil War Blood is Shed

7. The First Battle of Bull Run: Civil War Blood is Shed

Three months after the bombardment of Fort Sumter, Northern troops attacked Southern forces near the Confederate capital of Richmond, Virginia. The first Battle of Bull Run (or Manassas) was the first major engagement of the Civil War and a terrifying defeat for the Union spectators who came to watch.

The Battle of Ball's Bluff: Summary & Political Ramifications

8. The Battle of Ball's Bluff: Summary & Political Ramifications

In this lesson, we will study the Battle of Ball's Bluff, which took place on October 21, 1861. We will examine the actions leading up to the battle, the battle itself, and the political ramifications that occurred as a result of the battle.

Slavery in Early America: Characteristics & Opposition

9. Slavery in Early America: Characteristics & Opposition

The institution of slavery in early America was a source of both economic profits and divisive tensions. It began as a peculiar institution of colonial society and blossomed into a sectional issue that threatened to destroy the young United States.

Economic Developments in the North: A Commercial Revolution

10. Economic Developments in the North: A Commercial Revolution

In the Antebellum Era, the Northern part of the United States was revolutionized by a series of innovations, triggering a shift from an agricultural to a commercial economy. These economic changes sharpened the differences between North and South.

Life in the South: Ordered Society and Economy of the Southern States

11. Life in the South: Ordered Society and Economy of the Southern States

While the North was urbanizing and industrializing, the South became more committed to its rural, leisurely lifestyle and its agricultural economy built on slave labor. Limited industry did exist, but cotton was king!

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