Economics in Antebellum America




After the War of 1812, American attention turned from overseas to domestic interests. Building up the nation and promoting economic development became the major objectives. While the largest sector, agriculture, grew and adapted to changing needs and conditions; manufacturing expanded rapidly. Tariffs became the subject of increasingly bitter debate as the nation?s regional tensions became more apparent. Issues of western expansion and banking came to a head as the nation dealt with two major financial crises and a long debate over the Second Bank of the United States.