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"Improvement" article from the New York Ladies Chronicle republished in the Greenfield Gazette and Franklin Herald newspaper
(c) Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, Deerfield MA. All rights reserved.
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This author's celebration of the progress of the United States was written in 1830 during the administration of Andrew Jackson. It presents several typical themes. It notes the inevitable progress of the country through science, commerce and individual self-improvement. It glorifies the triumph over and righteous exploitation of nature. It also points to the promise of the "new world" when compared to the decadence of the "old world." The author claims that in America "the citizen of every clime, and the child of every creed, roams free and untrammeled at the wild winds of heaven." It should be remembered, however, that by 1830 the successes of Southern industry, lauded by the author, were the product of the labor of over 2 million chattel slaves. . Furthermore, the Indian Removal act became law in 1830. By the end of the decade, 47,000 Native Americans would be displaced from the Eastern homelands to the West, either through treaty or through coercion.
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