Home Region:  East Coast (North America)

Antebellum US

D G SC CC PT EQ 2020  us_antebellum

Preceding:
No Polity found. Add one here.

Succeeding:
Add one more here.


This polity period spans from American Independence in 1776 following the American Revolution, until 1865 with the end of the American Civil War.

General Variables
Identity and Location
Utm Zone:
7 N - 19 N  
Original Name:
Antebellum US  
Capital:
New York 1787 CE 1790 CE
Philadelphia 1790 CE 1800 CE
Washington D.C 1800 CE 2023 CE
Alternative Name:
United States of America  
USA  
US  
Temporal Bounds
Peak Years:
1,865 CE  
Duration:
[1,776 CE ➜ 1,865 CE]  
Political and Cultural Relations
Language
Religion
Religious Tradition:
Christianity  
Christianity  
Judaism  
Social Complexity Variables
Social Scale
Population of the Largest Settlement:
25,000 people 1800 CE
500,000 people 1850 CE
Polity Territory:
214,410,611 km2 1790 CE
533,289,690 km2 1830 CE
783,858,340 km2 1860 CE
Polity Population:
3,929,214 people 1790 CE
12,866,020 people 1830 CE
31,443,321 people 1860 CE
Hierarchical Complexity
Settlement Hierarchy:
7  
Military Level:
12  
Administrative Level:
11  
Professions
Professional Soldier:
present  
Professional Priesthood:
present  
Professional Military Officer:
present  
Source Of Support:
salary  
Bureaucracy Characteristics
Specialized Government Building:
present  
Full Time Bureaucrat:
present  
Law
Judge:
present  
Formal Legal Code:
present  
Court:
present  
Specialized Buildings: polity owned
Market:
present  
Irrigation System:
present  
Food Storage Site:
present  
Drinking Water Supply System:
present  
Communal Building:
present  
Utilitarian Public Building:
present  
Symbolic Building:
present  
Knowledge Or Information Building:
present  
Entertainment Building:
present  
Special Purpose House:
present  
Transport Infrastructure
Road:
present  
Port:
present  
Canal:
present  
Bridge:
present  
Special-purpose Sites
Mines or Quarry:
present  
Enclosure:
present  
Ceremonial Site:
present  
Burial Site:
present  
Information / Writing System
Written Record:
present  
Script:
present  
Phonetic Alphabetic Writing:
present  
Nonwritten Record:
present  
Non Phonetic Writing:
absent  
Mnemonic Device:
unknown  
Information / Kinds of Written Documents
Scientific Literature:
present  
Sacred Text:
present  
Religious Literature:
present  
Practical Literature:
present  
Philosophy:
present  
Lists Tables and Classification:
present  
History:
present  
Fiction:
present  
Calendar:
present  
Information / Money
Token:
inferred absent  
Precious Metal:
present  
Paper Currency:
Transitional (Absent -> Present)  
Indigenous Coin:
present  
Foreign Coin:
inferred absent  
Article:
inferred absent  
Store Of Wealth:
present  
Debt And Credit Structure:
present  
Information / Postal System
Postal Station:
present  
General Postal Service:
present  
Courier:
present  
Fastest Individual Communication:
1  
Information / Measurement System
Weight Measurement System:
present  
Volume Measurement System:
present  
Time Measurement System:
present  
Other Measurement System:
present  
Length Measurement System:
present  
Geometrical Measurement System:
present  
Area Measurement System:
present  
Warfare Variables (Military Technologies)
Fortifications
Military use of Metals
Projectiles
Handheld weapons
Animals used in warfare
Armor
Naval technology
Religion Tolerance Nothing coded yet.
Human Sacrifice Nothing coded yet.
Crisis Consequences Nothing coded yet.
Power Transitions Nothing coded yet.

NGA Settlements:

Year Range Antebellum US (us_antebellum) was in:
Home NGA: None

General Variables
Identity and Location

Original Name:
Antebellum US

Capital:
New York
1787 CE 1790 CE

The US did not have a capital city until 1787 when the first congress met in New York. In 1790 Philadelphia was established as a temporary national capital while Washington D.C, which was carved out from land straddling the states of Maryland and Virginia in 1788, became the national capital in 1800. [1] [2]

[1]: Volo and Volo 2004: xiii. https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/items/SIB5XSW97

[2]: ‘List of Capitals in the United States’. https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/items/XYZ5KY4D.

Capital:
Philadelphia
1790 CE 1800 CE

The US did not have a capital city until 1787 when the first congress met in New York. In 1790 Philadelphia was established as a temporary national capital while Washington D.C, which was carved out from land straddling the states of Maryland and Virginia in 1788, became the national capital in 1800. [1] [2]

[1]: Volo and Volo 2004: xiii. https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/items/SIB5XSW97

[2]: ‘List of Capitals in the United States’. https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/items/XYZ5KY4D.

Capital:
Washington D.C
1800 CE 2023 CE *Bad Years, polity duration: [1776, 1865]

The US did not have a capital city until 1787 when the first congress met in New York. In 1790 Philadelphia was established as a temporary national capital while Washington D.C, which was carved out from land straddling the states of Maryland and Virginia in 1788, became the national capital in 1800. [1] [2]

[1]: Volo and Volo 2004: xiii. https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/items/SIB5XSW97

[2]: ‘List of Capitals in the United States’. https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/items/XYZ5KY4D.


Alternative Name:
United States of America
Alternative Name:
USA
Alternative Name:
US

Temporal Bounds
Peak Years:
1,865 CE

In terms of territory and population, the US in this period reached its peak in 1865, just before the start of the civil war.


Duration:
[1,776 CE ➜ 1,865 CE]

Political and Cultural Relations
Preceding Entity:
Antebellum US [us_antebellum] ---> Us Reconstruction-Progressive [us_united_states_of_america_reconstruction]

Language
Religion
Religious Tradition:
Christianity
Religious Tradition:
Christianity
Religious Tradition:
Judaism


Social Complexity Variables
Social Scale
Population of the Largest Settlement:
25,000 people
1800 CE

Inhabitants.In 1800 New York and Philadelphia were the only cities to have a population of more than 25,000 people. By 1850 New York had grown to have 500,000 inhabitants. [1]

[1]: Volo and Volo 2004: 4. https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/items/SIB5XSW97.

Population of the Largest Settlement:
500,000 people
1850 CE

Inhabitants.In 1800 New York and Philadelphia were the only cities to have a population of more than 25,000 people. By 1850 New York had grown to have 500,000 inhabitants. [1]

[1]: Volo and Volo 2004: 4. https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/items/SIB5XSW97.


Polity Territory:
214,410,611 km2
1790 CE

in squared kilometers. The 1870 statistical atlas of the US listed the area and population of the states and territories every ten years from 1790. [1]

[1]: Walker 1874: 7. https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/items/DUWG4XAX.

Polity Territory:
533,289,690 km2
1830 CE

in squared kilometers. The 1870 statistical atlas of the US listed the area and population of the states and territories every ten years from 1790. [1]

[1]: Walker 1874: 7. https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/items/DUWG4XAX.

Polity Territory:
783,858,340 km2
1860 CE

in squared kilometers. The 1870 statistical atlas of the US listed the area and population of the states and territories every ten years from 1790. [1]

[1]: Walker 1874: 7. https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/items/DUWG4XAX.


Polity Population:
3,929,214 people
1790 CE

People.The 1870 statistical atlas of the US listed the area and population of the states and territories every ten years from 1790. [1]

[1]: Walker 1874: 7. https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/items/DUWG4XAX.

Polity Population:
12,866,020 people
1830 CE

People.The 1870 statistical atlas of the US listed the area and population of the states and territories every ten years from 1790. [1]

[1]: Walker 1874: 7. https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/items/DUWG4XAX.

Polity Population:
31,443,321 people
1860 CE

People.The 1870 statistical atlas of the US listed the area and population of the states and territories every ten years from 1790. [1]

[1]: Walker 1874: 7. https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/items/DUWG4XAX.


Hierarchical Complexity
Settlement Hierarchy:
7

levels.: 1. Capital City :: 2. Major cities ::: 3. Industrial towns ::: 4. Large towns. [1] ::::: 5. Small towns. [2] :::::: 6. Villages. [2] ::::::: 7. Plantations. [3]

[1]: Volo and Volo 2004: 17. https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/items/SIB5XSW97.

[2]: Volo and Volo 2004: 13. https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/items/SIB5XSW97.

[3]: Volo and Volo 2004: 8. https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/items/SIB5XSW97.


Military Level:
12

levels.The continental army was formed in 1775 to fight in the American Revolutionary War. In 1780 the ranks were reassigned as follows [1] : :General Officers : 1. Commander-in-chief :: 2. Major General ::: 3. Brigadier General :::: Field Officers :::: 4. Colonel ::::: 5. Lieutenant Colonel :::::: 6. Major ::::::: Junior Officers ::::::: 7. Captain :::::::: 8. Subaltern ::::::::: Non-commissioned officers ::::::::: 9. Sergeant Major :::::::::: 10. Sergeant ::::::::::: 11. Corporal :::::::::::: Enlisted :::::::::::: 12. Private

[1]: ’Continental Army’. https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/items/VXB8B3A7


Administrative Level:
11

levels. [1] [2] [3] [4] _Federal Government_ Executive Branch : 1. President :: 2. The Cabinet (Vice President, Secretary of State, Secretary of the Treasury etc) Legislative ::: 3. The Senate ::: 3.1 Committees ::: 3. House of Representatives Judicial :::: 4. Supreme Court ::::: 4.1 Lower Federal Courts _State Government_ Executive ::::: 5. State Governor "Upper House / Senate" :::::: 6. Senator :::::: 6.1 Party Secretaries, committee staff, etc "Lower House / House of Representatives" ::::::: 7. Members of the House _Local Government_ :::::::: 8. County governments / Town or township governments / Municipal governments / Mayors-Council. ::::::::: 9. Mayor / Commissioner :::::::::: 10. Governing board / City Manager ::::::::::: 11. Local authorities such as administrators, sheriffs, police etc.

[1]: Critchlow 2015: 18. https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/items/YKCJXB2Y.

[2]: Volo and Volo 2004: 70. https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/items/SIB5XSW97.

[3]: Politics of the United States. https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/items/DNTMUYZ9.

[4]: Branches of the U.S. https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/items/MNYMTVJB.


Professions
Professional Soldier:
present

Professional Priesthood:
present

Professional Military Officer:
present

Source Of Support:
salary

Bureaucracy Characteristics
Specialized Government Building:
present

The capital had federal government buildings, the states and counties had their own government buildings.


Full Time Bureaucrat:
present

Law
Judge:
present

There were judges at federal and local level.


Formal Legal Code:
present

The Bill of Rights was ratified in 1791. [1]

[1]: Volo and Volo 2004: xiii. https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/items/SIB5XSW97


Court:
present

there were courts across the US. [1]

[1]: Volo and Volo 2004: 19. https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/items/SIB5XSW97.


Specialized Buildings: polity owned
Market:
present

Markets were present across the polity.


Irrigation System:
present

Irrigation systems were used throughout the US. The Mormons who settled in Utah built a city with a full irrigation system in two years in 1850. [1]

[1]: Volo and Volo 2004: 27. https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/items/SIB5XSW97.


Food Storage Site:
present

Icehouses were often shared between farms and houses and the first icebox was patented in 1803. Also more personal forms of food storage became available with the introduction of canning in 1825 Rice and corn was stored locally for human and animal food supplies and also in preparation for shipping. [1]

[1]: Volo and Volo 2004: 53, 57, 166. https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/items/SIB5XSW97.


Drinking Water Supply System:
present

Wells.


Communal Building:
present

Churches, shops, public houses, town halls, factories, mills, railway and port stations, etc. [1]

[1]: Volo and Volo 2004: 13, 15, 20, 58. https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/items/SIB5XSW97.


Utilitarian Public Building:
present

Symbolic Building:
present

Churches. [1]

[1]: Volo and Volo 2004: 32. https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/items/SIB5XSW97.


Knowledge Or Information Building:
present

Schools (common schools open to all children and private institutions for the wealthy). Colleges and universities were available for wealthy men, and some efforts were made to establish colleges that offered a higher education to wealthy women. Libraries, laboratories, observatories, scientific institutes, museums. [1]

[1]: Volo and Volo 2004: 32, 53, 66, 86-89, 112. https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/items/SIB5XSW97.


Entertainment Building:
present

Pubs, inns, restaurants, saloons, dance houses, bordellos, museums, theatres, playhouses. [1]

[1]: Volo and Volo 2004: 13, 15, 112, 283. https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/items/SIB5XSW97.


Special Purpose House:
present

In the south of America, where there were sprawling plantations and few villages, there were few public houses available for travellers. Therefore, it was common for travellers to request lodging at a private home. Brothels and bordellos were common. [1]

[1]: Volo and Volo 2004: 13, 17. https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/items/SIB5XSW97.


Transport Infrastructure
Road:
present

The government financed the building and maintaining of roads during this period as part of political promises to stimulate trade and migration. [1]

[1]: Volo and Volo 2004: 304-306. https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/items/SIB5XSW97.


Port:
present

There were ports all along the coast of the US such as Boston, Salem, Portland and Haven and inland ports such as Buffalo, Cleveland, Louisville, and Memphis. [1]

[1]: Volo and Volo 2004: 4-5. https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/items/SIB5XSW97.


Canal:
present

Canals were used for expansion into the west and there was a huge investment in them during this period due to them being the preferred method of transporting heavy goods such as coal, wood and ore. [1]

[1]: Volo and Volo 2004: 4, 55, 316. https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/items/SIB5XSW97.


Bridge:
present

Bridges were present across the US. [1]

[1]: Volo and Volo 2004: 32, 134. https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/items/SIB5XSW97.


Special-purpose Sites
Mines or Quarry:
present

Gold, copper and coal mines. [1]

[1]: Volo and Volo 2004: 58, 316. https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/items/SIB5XSW97.


Enclosure:
present

Private land such as farms and plantations were enclosed. Animal enclosures and stables. [1]

[1]: Volo and Volo 2004: 62. https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/items/SIB5XSW97.


Ceremonial Site:
present

Churches. . [1]

[1]: Volo and Volo 2004: 20. https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/items/SIB5XSW97.


Burial Site:
present

Cemeteries across the US. Rural cemeteries often had a children’s section for families who could not afford a family plot. Mausoleums and tombs. [1]

[1]: Volo and Volo 2004: 33, 35, 40, 135. https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/items/SIB5XSW97.


Information / Writing System
Written Record:
present

Literature, text books, newspapers (by 1840 there were 1,400 newspapers in the US), journals, magazines, serials, essays, pamphlets, advertisements [1]

[1]: Volo and Volo 2004: 20-27, 31-32, 34, 36, 89, 107, 138. https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/items/SIB5XSW97.



Phonetic Alphabetic Writing:
present

The English alphabet.


Nonwritten Record:
present

Seals, stamps, photographs (daguerrortype was invented in 1839). [1]

[1]: Volo and Volo 2004: 39. https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/items/SIB5XSW97.


Non Phonetic Writing:
absent

Mnemonic Device:
unknown

Information / Kinds of Written Documents
Scientific Literature:
present

Scientists in the US were generally focussed on invention, mechanics, technology and medicine (in comparison to European theory). Drawings and explanations for inventions were submitted to the U.S. Patent Office. Findings on biological studies, such as Jeffries Wyman’s study of apes and gorillas were published. This study in particular contributed to Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution. Universities taught and published on a variety of sciences such as geology, chemistry, biology, astronomy and natural philosophy. [1]

[1]: Volo and Volo 2004: 43, 54, 96-97. https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/items/SIB5XSW97.


Sacred Text:
present

The Bible and other sacred texts such as the Book of Mormon, the Tanakh of Judaism. [1]

[1]: Volo and Volo 2004: 20-27, 29. https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/items/SIB5XSW97.


Religious Literature:
present

The varied sects of Christianity across the US had their own religious texts to suit their beliefs e.g. The Mormon’s Book of Mormon. Sermons and religious essays were printed. There were also anti-Catholic texts printed. [1]

[1]: Volo and Volo 2004: 20-27, 31. https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/items/SIB5XSW97.


Practical Literature:
present

Books on cemeteries, headstones, emblems and their meanings were popular. Manuals for young women on how to behave, dress, socialise, mourn etc, such as Godey’s Lady’s Book() and Martine’s Hand-Book of Etiquette, and Guide to True Politeness (), as well as books specifically for mothers, such as Lydia Child’s Mother’s Book () and housekeepers, Miss Beecher’s Domestic Receipt-Book. Amelia Simmons was the first American author to write a cookbook, American Cookery, in 1796. Directions for Cookery, written by Eliza Leslie and published in 1837 was the most successful cookbook of the nineteenth century with sixty editions published. [1]

[1]: Volo and Volo 2004: 34, 36, 124, 178. https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/items/SIB5XSW97.



Lists Tables and Classification:
present

Scientific studies, census records.


History:
present

There was a growing interest in history, particularly American history, such as and George Bancroft’s History of the United States which was published in ten annual instalments from 1834, and the biographies of presidents such as The Life of George Washington (1855) during this period. William Hickling Prescott became famous in the US and Europe for his histories in Ferdinand and Isabella (1838), Conquest of Mexico (1843) and Conquest of Peru (1847). In schools, books such as Frost’s United States History were studied. Historical journals such as the North America Review and The National Journal were established during this period. [1]

[1]: Volo and Volo 2004: 83, 236-237. https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/items/SIB5XSW97.


Fiction:
present

Anti-Catholic literature such as Maria Monk’s Awful Discourses of the Hotel Dieu Nunnery of Montreal (1834). Literature now considered as ‘American Classics’ such as Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin (). Less than 500 American-written titles were published in 1834, but by 1862 almost 4,000 were published, with romance, adventure and horror novels becoming increasingly popular. Poems, children’s stories, plays. [1]

[1]: Volo and Volo 2004: 31-32, 204, 211-216. https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/items/SIB5XSW97.



Information / Money
Token:
absent

No mention of tokens in the sources consulted thus far.


Precious Metal:
present

Gold, silver, copper.


Paper Currency:
Transitional (Absent -> Present)

Paper currency in the form of Treasury Notes, began to be issued in order to fund the War of 1812. [1]

[1]: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_dollar


Indigenous Coin:
present

The US Dollar. The US Mint began issuing coins after the Coinage Act of 1792. Prior to this, Spanish-American silver dollars were produced and were minted from 1732. [1]

[1]: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_dollar


Foreign Coin:
absent

No mention of foreign coins in the sources consulted thus far.


Article:
absent

No mention of articles in the sources consulted thus far.


Store Of Wealth:
present

Banks, personal stores.


Debt And Credit Structure:
present

Banks were present across the polity period.


Information / Postal System
Postal Station:
present

The US Postal Service was established in 1775 with Benjamin Franklin as the first Postmaster General. Stations would have been present throughout the US territories. [1]

[1]: https://about.usps.com/who/profile/history/significant-dates.htm


General Postal Service:
present

The US Postal Service was established in 1775 with Benjamin Franklin as the first Postmaster General. [1]

[1]: https://about.usps.com/who/profile/history/significant-dates.htm



Fastest Individual Communication:
1

In 1811 the first steamboat was able to travel on the Mississippi River. However, in 1844 the Telegraph was invented, and as increasingly efficient and sophisticated methods of technology were created, over 23 thousand miles of telegraphs wires were hooked up across the US, allowing news to reach one end of the territory from another in the same day. [1]

[1]: Volo and Volo 2004: xv, 51. https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/items/SIB5XSW97.


Information / Measurement System
Weight Measurement System:
present

The United States Customary Units (USCS) were developed from the English measurement system and were standardised in 1824. e.g. ounce, pound, ton. [1]

[1]: ‘United States Customary Units’. https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/items/K2R2BW5U.


Volume Measurement System:
present

The United States Customary Units (USCS) were developed from the English measurement system and were standardised in 1824. e.g. cubic inch, cubic foot, fluid ounce, US pint, US cup, US gallon. [1]

[1]: ‘United States Customary Units’. https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/items/K2R2BW5U.


Time Measurement System:
present

Pocket-watches, clocks, city tower-clocks, shift work. [1]

[1]: Volo and Volo 2004: 6. https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/items/SIB5XSW97.


Other Measurement System:
present

Algebra, trigonometry and calculus were taught at university level mathematics. [1]

[1]: Volo and Volo 2004: 89. https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/items/SIB5XSW97.


Length Measurement System:
present

The United States Customary Units (USCS) were developed from the English measurement system and were standardised in 1824. e.g. inch, foot, yard, and mile. [1]

[1]: ‘United States Customary Units’. https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/items/K2R2BW5U.


Geometrical Measurement System:
present

Geometry was taught at university level mathematics. [1]

[1]: Volo and Volo 2004: 89. https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/items/SIB5XSW97.


Area Measurement System:
present

The United States Customary Units (USCS) were developed from the English measurement system and were standardised in 1824. e.g square foot, square mile, acre, section. [1] Farmlands and plantations were divided into acres. While plantations could be many thousands of acres, family farm standards were 160 acres, which was initially set by the way territory was divided up in the Midwest, and later adopted by the government as a standard measurement. [2]

[1]: ‘United States Customary Units’. https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/items/K2R2BW5U.

[2]: Volo and Volo 2004: 62-63. https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/items/SIB5XSW97.



Warfare Variables (Military Technologies)
Fortifications
Military use of Metals
Projectiles
Handheld weapons
Animals used in warfare
Armor
Naval technology

Human Sacrifice Data
Human Sacrifice is the deliberate and ritualized killing of a person to please or placate supernatural entities (including gods, spirits, and ancestors) or gain other supernatural benefits.
- Nothing coded yet.
Power Transitions