Saturday, March 7, 2009

The Panic of 1819 (2)

Many immigrants from Europe which included German craftsmen and artisans would choose to leave their country on a temporary nature seeking better economic opportunities elsewhere before returning home. However, those that ventured to America prospered economically, thriving in the relatively free American atmosphere of economic experimentation and competitive spirit. They would remain in their adopted country. The Europeans settled in areas where farm land was reasonably priced. The majority of the German craftsmen and artisans settled in the states of Ohio, New Jersey and Pennsylvania as well as the cities of Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, Indianapolis, Louisville, Chicago, New York, Philadelphia and Baltimore.

Germans became high profile businessmen and shopkeepers specializing in fields such as distillers, bakers, butchers, breweries, cabinet makers, blacksmiths, shoemakers, typesetters and printers. The women would dedicate themselves to domestic services.

By the late 1810s Cincinnati had breweries that turned 50,000 bushels of barley into beer in 1815. Added to their productions were lumber, glass, iron casting and cloth in growing quantities. Ohio had by the late 1810s 28 banks which included two branches of the national bank of the United States. Manufacturers, lawyers and wealthy merchants dominated high society and politics. (2)

About thirty thousand multi-ethnic immigrants from Europe entered the United States in 1818 alone. The cheap lands in the Ohio territory attracted large numbers of immigrants. There were also large flour mills that supplied the European market.

Public land sales continued to be controlled by the Federal land offices established throughout the Northwest. After the war of 1812, the "greatest westward migration in the history of the young nation " took place. Approximately 42,000 people are believed to have immigrated to Indiana in 1815 alone, and from 1810 to 1820, Indiana's population more than quintupled from 24,520 inhabitants to 147,178. (3)

The population explosion in the Northwest Territory was sufficient to allow the creation of five new states including Indiana. By 1819 twenty two states had entered the Union which were the following: Alabama (1819), Connecticut (1788), Delaware (1787), Georgia (1788), Illinois (1818), Indiana (1816), Kentucky (1792), Louisiana (1812), Maryland (1788), Massachusetts (1788), Mississippi (1817), New Hampshire (1788), New Jersey (1787), New York (1788), North Carolina (1789), Ohio (1803), Pennsylvania (1787), Rhode Island (1790), South Carolina (1788), Tennessee (1796), Vermont (1791), and Virginia (1788).

To be continued: The Panic of 1819 (3)


2. Cayton, Andrew R. L.; Ohio, the History of a People; Columbus: Ohio State University Press, 2002.

3. Lincoln Boyhood: Settlement and Immigration.

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