It was [April 14] in 1828 that Noah Webster published his American Dictionary of the English Language. He was a man who'd grown up in America at a time when Americans from different states could barely understand each other because they spoke with such different accents and even different languages. Americans in Vermont spoke French, New Yorkers spoke Dutch, and the settlers in Pennsylvania spoke German. All these different languages were influencing American English and there were few standards of spelling or meaning.
Noah Webster spent 20 years working on his dictionary, which contained 70,000 words, and he did all the research and the handwriting of the book by himself. He is believed to be the last lexicographer to complete a dictionary without an assistant.
Webster's dictionary had the result he intended. His standardized spelling and pronunciation guides helped ensure that Americans who speak English speak more or less the same English. The United States has the fewest dialects of any major country in history.