US In 19th Century Essay

The Nineteenth Century American was very different than the Twentieth Century
American. They had different technology, food, laws, dress, customs, view of art
and beauty, and family structure. They lived a lot differently than we do and
they acted differently, also. They liked different things, and had different
customs, also. They spoke English, but used different words and words had
different meanings. The Nineteenth Century American ate many different things,
but most of theme were simple. During the Nineteenth Century, the potato chip
was invented. American Indian George Crum invented them in 1853. He was a chef
at a fancy restaurant in Saratoga Springs, New York. Crum made French fries that
were too thin to grab with a fork, to make a customer mad. They ate many things
but mostly simple things. The enjoyed eating the hamburger, but they ate it on a
plate, and not on a bun. Also Dr. Pepper was invented in the Nineteenth Century.

A man named Charles Alderton in Waco, Texas invented it in 1885. He was a
pharmacist, and he was experimenting with different flavors in soda. Also
Nineteenth Century Americans ate oysters, oyster stew, New England clam chowder,
many kinds of fruit pies, and seafood. Coffee was served with all meals.

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Breakfast was served around seven, dinner (now called lunch) at noon (except on
Sunday where it was served around two), and supper at six. Nineteenth Century
Americans wore completely different clothes than the Twentieth Century
Americans. Many young boys and men would wear suits, even as play clothes. Many
were dark blue, with or black. There were many ruffles and cuffs. Many men and
boys would wear tan colored shoes. Most women wore long hooping skirts, also
with many cuffs and ruffles. For work, many men wore blue jeans, after Levi
Straus invented them. In the early Nineteenth Century, most people were of the
Protestant religion. There were a few Catholics and a few Jews, also. Starting
around 1820, many Roman Catholics and German Lutherans immigrated to the United
States from Ireland and Germany, respectively. During the Nineteenth Century,
many new religious groups were formed. Some examples are the Mormons (The Church
of Latter Day Saints), Church of Christ, Christian Scientist, Seventh Day
Adventist, the Shakers, and the Jehovah Witness. Many issues, such as slavery
and marriage, caused denominations to branch apart. There have been many law
changes in the United States since the Nineteenth Century, including many major
ones, including slavery. In 1854, Massachusetts, Oregon, Minnesota, Iowa,
Illinois, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York and Vermont all had prohibition laws that
lasted until the beginning of the Civil War. From when the colonies became a
country until the early Nineteenth Century, slavery was very wide spread,
especially in the South. Many farmers and Plantation owners in the south had
hundred or even thousands of slaves. Around 1860, there were as many as four
million slaves, making up at east one-third of the population. During the early
Nineteenth Century, many Northerners fought for abolition, while many
Southerners fought for pro slavery. Some Southerners went as far as to say
slavery was in the Bible, or that it helped the African-Americans, because they
would have had a far worse life in Africa. The Compromise of 1850 was a series
of laws passed in 1850, by the United States Congress hoped to regain peace and
end the fighting between the North and South. These laws helped delay civil war
for about 10 years. However, from 1861 until 1865 the Civil War was fought to
keep the Southern states from leaving the Union over slavery. The Union won on
April 9, 1865, when General Lee Surrenders to General Grant at Appomatox. On
January 31, 1865, the Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution was proposed and
on December 6, 1865 it was ratified. It outlawed slavery in all parts of The
United States. Proposed on June 13, 1866, and ratified on July 9, 1868, the
Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution stated that all people born in the
United States should have equal rights. However, even after the Civil War, most
African Americans were still not treated equally. In Mississippi, for example,
all African Americans had to have proof of employment, or go to jail. In South
Carolina, in order to work in a job that wasn’t on a farm, they needed to pay
a heavy bond. The case of Plessy v. Ferguson challenged the Jim Crow laws of the
South to the Fourteenth Amendment, but lost. The Technology of the Nineteenth
Century was primitive compared to today’s standards, but was far more advanced
compared to the technology of many countries at that time. During the Nineteenth
Century many things were invented, changed, or thought of in America. In the
early Nineteenth Century, many settlers began moving west of the Ohio River, and
wanted their territory to grow rapidly. They demanded an easier way to move from
East to West. So, in 1811, work began on a road that led from Cumberland,
Maryland to Vandalia, Illinois. In 1840, farmer Cyrus Hall McCormick made a very
wide known reaper. Art and music were very different in the Nineteenth Century.

Music was greatly influenced from Overseas. Many Minstrel Shows, parody skits
where artists would wear black makeup to impersonate African Americans. The
skits had songs, skits, dances, and comedy routines that showed how the
performer felt about African Americans. The music didn’t portray African
American music, but had some elements such as the instruments. Some songs
protested slavery or the end to the use alcohol. During the Civil War, many
songs were Dixie-Style songs, especially in the South. After the Civil War, many
African Americans began singing. By the end of the Century, the most popular
kind of music was the kind played in Tin Pan Alley. Musical Comedy Skits were
preformed on pianos the artists called tin pans. Also, Ragtime was also invented
in the Nineteenth Century. Most families in the Nineteenth Century were made of
a husband and a wife, and their children. Until the Civil War, most homes in the
Southern States had slaves, also. Most children moved out after school, however
a few stayed at home. The divorce rate in the Nineteenth Century was very low,
approximately two to three percent. This was because most religions did not
permit divorce, and most men wouldn’t leave a woman and her children alone.

Many young girls married in the South at ages as low as thirteen. This was not
uncommon, and there were many women who were grandmothers before the age of 30.

Most houses, except for ones of more affluent people, had little or no
furniture, and only two or three rooms. As you can see, the Nineteenth Century
American was very different from you and I.


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