2.How America Changed after 1812
TheUnited States has undergone quite a number of experiences and eventsin its history. Of course, it is well acknowledged that differentexperiences have had varying effects on its stature and nature.However, the War of 1812 was, undoubtedly, one of its mostfundamental. The War of 1812 underlined a military conflict that tookalmost two years, pitting the United States and the U.K, Ireland, theNorth American Allies and American Indian allies (Henrettaet al 64). Following the war, the changes that took place sent theUnited States into a turbulent future, with the economic andpolitical changes becoming a stepping stone to its evolvingdemocracy.
Oneof the key changes touched on the technological innovations. It isafter the War of 1812 that the system of interchangeable parts andthe cotton gin were invented, thereby assisting in pushing theindustrial revolution and growing the American economy (Henrettaet al 68). It is noted that the cotton gin enhanced the workers’output tenfold, with the cotton production in the country rising from5 million to 63 million pounds. This made the South a leader incotton production exporting it to new England and Britain.
Inaddition, there was an increased demand for slave labor as a resultof the cotton gin invention. Unfortunately, this resulted in theenslavement of 33% of Southerners (Henrettaet al 78). Indeed, scholars noted that it was at this time that theUnited States had an increase in the number of slaves derived fromother continents such as Asia and particularly Africa.
Onthe same note, there was a significant increase in the influence ofpolitical changes in the society. There were varied issues thatinfluenced the society including Missouri dispute, as well as theTariff of 1816, which resulted in sectionalism that divided thenation. Of particular note is the influence of the issue of slaveryon this sectionalism (Henrettaet al 76). Slavery was legal in Missouri territory under both Spanishand French rule, but the South and North disagreed with regard towhether it should be a slave state. This resulted in a compromisethat revolved around allowing slavery to exist in Missouri, whileMaine was established as a free state and leaving other states asfree states (Henrettaet al 78).
Inconclusion, there were numerous changes that took place in Americaafter the War of 1812. These included the invention of the cottongin, increased slavery especially in the north, and sectionalism thatthreatened to divide the country.
3.Worst and Best Presidents
Inall its history, the United States has had its fair share ofpresidents. It goes without saying that these presidents performed invaried ways on different matters. Nevertheless, their performance mayhave been determined by different circumstances. Between GeorgeWashington and James Buchan, the worst president is James Buchan,while Thomas Jefferson.
Onething that made Thomas Jefferson was his belief that his countrymen’shappiness was best promoted by a policy that involved friendship,peace and commerce with every nation and entangling alliances withnone. Jefferson believed that America had the opportunity to keepaway from unending jealousies, rivalries and conflicts (Henrettaet al 42). It is his belief that peace could be attained withoutgetting into war that kept the United States stable. Further, he iscredited with making the wise decision of accomplishing the Louisianapurchase from France.
Buchanan,on the other hand, became the worst president as a result of hispro-slavery policies. Even prior to becoming president, Buchanansupported several compromises that enabled slavery to spread towestern territories (Henrettaet al 43). In addition, Buchanan was known to have violated theUnited States constitution after he intervened in a court case thatwas aimed at determining whether Dred Scott was a slave.
Oneof his worst failures remains his weak acquiescence prior to thesecessionist tide. He was unwilling to challenge the states that madeknown their intention to secede from the Union following Lincoln’selection. His unwillingness was based on the belief that he had noconstitutional power that allowed him to act against potentialseceders (Henrettaet al 46).
Inconclusion, American president performed differently depending ontheir beliefs and the reigning conditions at their time. Buchanan isseen as the worst president, not only for the period between GeorgeWashington and his presidency, but of all time. While Jefferson hadvaried personal failings, he is seen as one of the best presidentsthat the United States ever had.
Henretta,James A, Rebecca Edwards, and Robert O. Self. America`sHistory.Boston: Bedford/St. Martins, 2011. Print.