chapter  4
17 Pages

Economic Growth 1790-1861

If the number of people increased, so too did the size of the United States. Through purchase, war, and the peaceful settlement of boundary disputes, the nation's landed area more than tripled, rising in square miles from 864,746 to 2,969,640 between 1790 and

1860. In consequence, a population 'pressure' of 4.5 persons per square mile in 1790 had risen to only 10.6 per square mile by 1860. The 'pressure' was greatest in urban areas, and Table V shows the growth in the number of cities of various sizes, while Table VI displays the total population in urban and rural territory by size of place. Both rural settlement and urbanization became to an increasing extent Western phenomena, especially following the War of 1812, when great numbers of people pressed into the area beyond the Appalachians. In 1790 the population center of the United States was located twenty-three miles east of Baltimore, Maryland, but by 1860 it had moved to a point twenty miles south-east of Chillicothe, Ohio. By 1859 all the area east of the Mississippi River had been carved into states, while west of the river Louisiana, Missouri, Arkansas, Iowa, Minnesota, Texas, California, and Oregon had also achieved statehood. While each of the nation's three main regions increased in population, Table VII shows that both the South and North-east gathered declining portions of the total every decade after 1810. That of the West uninterruptedly advanced.