Did American geographical growth help or hinder national unity?
Debates regarding the contribution of America’s geographical growth towards its achievement of national unity have been in existence for years. Several people still believe that America has not yet experienced national unity while others believe that the country is united than ever before. The partial geographical growth among states has led to even more divergent opinions on whether a country is really united or not. According to Basil Hall, one of the greatest British adventurers of the 19th century, there were large tracks of unoccupied land in America in the early 1800s (Hall, 1829). In reality, the American geographical growth has hindered national unity because it has led to large economic inequality among the minority groups and the whites who are often viewed as a more privileged community than others.
It is apparently true that American geographical growth has led to intense class wars in the country. The majority of the minority groups consider themselves less privileged and fault the government for their economic positions in their states. Such wrangles originate from the historical biased distribution of resources across America. From the primary resource, Missouri Controversy Documents, 1819-1920, over representation of the Southerners in the federal government was discussed. The Virginians, for example, were privileged to hold the presidency for a span of thirty-two years, meaning that by this time, more resources were channeled to the same state, leaving aside other member states (Pitkin, 1940). Such massive differences in the allocation of resources led to the drafting of several amendments including the Tallmadge amendment of 1819. It is, therefore worth stressing that there is no way a country would become united when some states were getting more benefits from the presidency and federal government at the expense of others.
The geographical growth has also led to the spread of divisive politics across America, hence leading to more disunity rather than unity. For so long, the Democratic party has been linked to the people of minority groups including African Americans, Hispanic Americans, and so much more. The political agenda of such parties have, therefore, been aligned to meet the demands of their followers. The same applied to the Republican Party, which has for centuries been accused of propagating capitalist ideologies in the nation (Pitkin, 1940). With these differing opinions, Americans have been divided along political party lines. In the recent past, the divisions have led to an exchange of insulting words among the top seating government leaders, a trend that has led to worse political discussions across the social media channels. It, is, therefore, high time for both federal and state governments to enhance equal distribution of resources across states.
Overall, American geographical
growth has led to more divisions among racial groups and disunity than ever
before. As explained in this resourceful paper, the trickle-down effect of the
nation’s geographical growth has not benefited everyone in the country. To
date, more Americans are left homeless, as others live below the poverty
levels. Such differences in the economic standards among citizens have fueled
more discussions on the increasing wealth gap between the rich and the poor.
The differences in political ideologies touching on the biased geographical
growth have led to more disunity than ever before. It, is, therefore, crucial
for the ruling government to impose fair regulations that support the minority
groups and large groups of families who languish in poverty. Such laws should, therefore,
consider balanced geographical growth and development without focusing on the
few rich communities alone.
Hall, B. (1829). Travels in North America, in the Years 1827 and 1828 (Vol. 1). Carey, Lee & Carey.
Pitkin, T. M. (1940). “Western Republicans and the Tariff in 1860.” The Mississippi Valley Historical Review, 27(3), 401-420.