A Nation Born: 1783 to 1861
- The Constitution was adopted, and the Lewis & Clark Expedition traveled overland to the Pacific coast to explore the new Louisiana Territory.
- With the end of the War of 1812, Americans began to see themselves as a fully realized nation. Manufactured goods were plentiful, even for children. In 1844, there were 88 toy stores in New York alone. Trade ads included harmonicas as early as 1833.
- Territorial expansion led to a sense of excitement in the new nation, as wagon trains of emigrant families made the long trek west to the Pacific. They carried only what they needed, and once again children made playthings from whatever was at hand, imitating what they had left at home or what they saw among the Indigenous children along the way. Music heard around the campfires gave an air of home to the journey.