DBQ Module 4.docx - Evaluate the extent to which...

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Evaluate the extent to which transportation innovation contributed to American national unity in the period from 1800 to 1860. Document 1 Source: Robert Fulton, inventor, to Albert Gallatin, Secretary of the Treasury, letter, 1807. Having . . . considered the advantages which canals will produce in point of wealth to individuals and the nation, I will now consider their importance to the union and their political consequences. . . . Numerous have been the speculations on the duration of our union, and intrigues have been practiced to sever the western from the eastern states. The opinion endeavored to be inculcated, was, that the inhabitants beyond the mountains were cut off from the market of the Atlantic states; that consequently they had a separate interest, and should use their resources to open a communication to a market of their own; that remote from the seat of government they could not enjoy their portion of advantages arising from the union, and that sooner or later they must separate and govern for themselves. . . . What stronger bonds of union can be invented than those which enable each individual to transport the produce of his industry 1,200 miles for 60 cents the hundred weight? Here then is a certain method of securing the union of the states, and of rendering it as lasting as the continent we inhabit. Document 2 Source: President John Quincy Adams, inaugural address, March 1825.

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