General Survey Act of 1824

John Quincy Adams

Summary and Definition of the General Survey Act of 1824
Summary and Definition: The General Survey Act of 1824
was a law passed by Congress on April 30, 1824 that authorized the president to have surveys made of important transportation routes.  The law specified that surveys were to be made for routes requiring roads and canals "of national importance, in a commercial or military point of view, or necessary for the transportation of public mail." The responsibility for the surveys was assigned to the Corps of Engineers.

General Survey Act of 1824 for kids
John Quincy Adams was the 6th American President who served in office from March 4, 1825 to March 4, 1829. One of the important events during his presidency was the passing of the General Survey Act of 1824, important to the road and canal building program.

   
  

General Survey Act of 1824 for kids: The United States Army Corps of Engineers
The United States Army Corps of Engineers played an important role in the implementation of the General Survey Act of 1824. The United States Army Corps of Engineers was well established by 1824 and could trace its history to back to 1775, when Congress established the Continental Army.  The United States Army Corps of Engineers was established when a Chief Engineer was required to oversee the construction of fortifications at the Battle of Bunker Hill which was fought on June 17, 1775. The Corps of Engineers became division of the federal government in 1802.  The General Survey Act of 1824 provided the initial definition of the Corps of Engineers Civil Works Mission.

General Survey Act of 1824 for kids: Role of the Corps of Engineers
The role of the Corps of Engineers was to survey and to chart transportation improvements deemed vital to the nation's commercial growth and military protection. The General Survey Act of 1824
specified that surveys were to be made by the Corps of Engineers for routes requiring roads and canals:

"of national importance, in a commercial or military point of view, or necessary for the transportation of public mail."

The Civil Works Mission of the Corps of Engineers was defined further in the 1824 Navigation Act that appropriated $75000 to improve navigation on the Ohio and Mississippi rivers and the 1826 Rivers and Harbors Act that authorized further surveys and construction projects.

General Survey Act of 1824 for kids: Joseph Hemphill
The General Survey Act of 1824 was initiated by Joseph Hemphill of Pennsylvania who called for the employment of US Army Officers to conduct estimates and surveys of canals and roads.

General Survey Act of 1824: The 'American System', the construction of Roads and Canals
The supporters of the General Survey Act of 1824 were also advocates of
Henry Clay and the 'American System' which proposed the creation of new transportation systems connecting America which led to the beginning of the construction of the first National Road, the Cumberland Road. Construction of another great road was started in 1821, the Santa Fe Trail. The American System also encouraged the building of canals, notably the Erie Canal which was built between 1817 and 1825.

Significance of General Survey Act of 1824
This was also the era of great inventions and the US Industrial Revolution, the steam locomotive and the
Railroads in the 1800s would soon follow. The General Survey Act of 1824 was passed by Congress empowering the military (United States Army Corps of Engineers) to conduct surveys to estimate and chart transportation improvements vital to the nations military protection or economic growth. The Corps of Engineers  helped design state and privately sponsored roads, canals and eventually railroads. The Corps of Engineers worked under the executive branch of the government. Soldiers were also used to lay roadbeds and clear forests. The General Survey Act of 1824 started with an appropriation of $30,000 but between 1824 and 1837 a total of $425,000 was provided to the Corps of Engineers, with few limitations, to undertake surveys and plan internal improvements that would build the new roads, canals and the railways of America which fulfill the belief in Westward Expansion and the Manifest Destiny of the United States.

General Survey Act of 1824 for kids
The info about the General Survey Act of 1824 provides interesting facts and important information about this important event that occured during the presidency of the 6th President of the United States of America.

General Survey Act of 1824 for kids - President John Quincy Adams Video
The article on the General Survey Act of 1824 provides an overview of one of the Important issues of his presidential term in office. The following John Quincy Adams video will give you additional important facts and dates about the political events experienced by the 6th American President whose presidency spanned from March 4, 1825 to March 4, 1829.

General Survey Act of 1824

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