Internal improvements is the term used historically in the United States for public works from the end of the American Revolution through much of the 19th century, mainly for the creation of a transportation infrastructure: roads, turnpikes, canals, harbors and navigation improvements. This older term carries the connotation of a political movement that called for the exercise of public spirit as well as the search for immediate economic gain. Improving the country's natural advantages by developments in transportation was, in the eyes of George Washington and many others, a duty incumbent both on governments and on individual citizens.
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