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The House of the Seven Gables Historical Context

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Historical Context

The United States: The Mid-Nineteenth Century

At the beginning of the second half of the nineteenth century, Americans were optimistically looking forward to the future. Opportunity was the buzzword of the day as territorial expansion and the industrial revolution continued to sweep the nation. The gold rush was on in California and with such economic opportunity feeding their dreams, Americans continued to seek land, wealth, and individual success.

Despite such hope and enthusiasm, the country was becoming increasingly divided on the issue of slavery. The debate about abolition was closely linked to the issue of territorial expansion. During President James K. Polk's term in office, the United States nearly doubled in size, but with this expansion came questions of the status of blacks in the new territories. With the Compromise of 1850, California was admitted to the United States as a "free" state, yet other territories were allowed to...

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This section contains 554 words
(approx. 2 pages at 300 words per page)
Purchase our The House of the Seven Gables Study Guide
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The House of the Seven Gables from BookRags and Gale's For Students Series. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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