Significance of the Early Republic
In the decades immediately following the revolution, there existed an unprecedented, rapid alteration of society in which the United States became the most egalitarian, individualistic, and profitable civilization in the history of western civilization. The significance of this time period, extending from 1780 through the 1820’s, cannot be undermined and is made especially conspicuous through the modern day work of the renowned American historian Gordon S. Wood. Through thorough observations presented in his historical novel, “Empire of Liberty”, Wood recognizes a wide variety of changes to all aspects of life in the Early Republic of America. Such extraordinary and historically significant modifications developed in areas such as economics and politics, education and artistry, and social character contributed to the immense change of an emerging and prosperous nation during the Early Republic.
Both economics and politics experienced radical changes during the Early Republic period in America. Remarkably subtle but undoubtedly significant was the development of a recognizable middle class during the Early Republic. This revolution can be attributed to what Wood refers to as a “consumer revolution of immense importance” and through the pervasive spread of commerce. A newfound appreciation for domestically internal trade and the recognition of the significance of this internal trade increased prosperity and gave more people enthusiasm for business. The quantity of those involved in buying and selling increased exponentially and in response, the development of modern day concepts such as businessmen and entrepreneurs arose. This coupled with greater internal trade and the encouragement for state legislatures to involve paper money in the expanding economy, resulted in an aspired consumer revolution that deteriorated distinguishes between the aristocracy and the ordinary people, which thus established a recognizable...