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Transcript of Industrialization
Beginning in the early 1800s, some Americans began to call for economic changes.
Henry Clay developed a program to help the nation grow, called the
The American System aimed to help the economy in each section of the country and increase the power of the federal government.
Clay called for higher tariffs and internal improvements like the building of roads, bridges, and canals.
Many Americans thought this was not a job of the government, to pay for and build roads, bridges, and canals, so most parts of the legislation failed to pass.
The first steam-powered locomotive began running in Britain in 1829.
A year later, Peter Cooper designed and built the first American steam-powered locomotive, the Tom Thumb.
This first locomotive was slow and actually lost a race to horse.
However, by 1840, steam locomotives were pulling trains across the U.S.
In 1840, the U.S. had almost 3,000 miles of railroad track-by 1860 the nation's tracks totaled about 31, 000 miles mostly in the North and Midwest
Moving Goods and People
Railways and canals transformed trade in the North and Midwest.
Improvements in transportation provided benefits to both business and consumers because farmers and manufacturers could now move goods faster and more cheaply.
The railroads also played a major role in the settlement of the Midwest-fast affordable travel brought people to Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois.
As populations grew, new towns and industries developed.
Cities in the North like Cincinnati, Buffalo, and Chicago benefited from this growth.
Technical and Mechanical Innovations
The growth of industry coupled with the growth of the U.S. made a need for faster methods of communication.
Samuel Morse, an American inventor, developed a way to send messages instantly along electrical lines, called the telegraph.
Telegraph operators could send messages quickly across the country through the use of Morse Code to represent letters of the alphabet.
In the early 1800s, few farmers were willing to settle in the treeless areas of the Midwest or Great Plains because they were afraid the ground was too hard to plow and could not support crops.
In 1837, a man named John Deere developed a steel plow that could cut through the hard prairie sod.
Cyrus McCormick developed the mechanical reaper. Prior to this invention, farmers had to harvest wheat with handheld tools, but the reaper made growing wheat profitable.
Between 1800 and 1850, crews built thousands of miles of roads and canals.
Some important early roads were the National Road and Cumberland Road.
Canals like the Erie Canal carried goods and passengers more cheaply and quickly than flatboats or sail-boats.
In 1807 inventor
Robert Fulton launched his first steamboat, the Clermont
, on the Hudson River. Steamboats made fast upstream travel possible. They carried goods and passengers more cheaply and quickly along inland waterways than flatboats or sail-powered vessels did.
By the 1840s, builders began to widen and deepen canals to accommodate the increasing steamboat traffic.
Sailing technology also improved with the advent of clipper ships that got their names because they "clipped" time from long journeys.
Early drawing of a steam-powered locomotive
Peter Cooper's Tom Thumb locomotive
The Tom Thumb losing the race to a horse
Notice the difference in growth of both railroads and cities in the North versus the South
Factories and Cities
The revolution of steam-powered machines also changed manufacturing.
Where factories did exist, primarily in the Northeast, they were powered by water wheels. After the invention of the steam engine, factories were transformed and were able to produce more products and hire more workers
Working conditions in most factories were terrible. Low wages and dangerous working conditions were common.
Factories employed many women and even children.
Whole cities began to develop around these large factories. The conditions in the cities themselves were usually no better than in the factories.
Lowell, Massachusetts is one city that developed around a large factory.
Lowell Girls were workers in the factories who had to deal with the hard and terrible working conditions
In the mid-1800s, large numbers of immigrants came to the U.S. from Europe and sought jobs in these new factories and lived in the new factory towns and cities.
In the mid-1840s, a potato famine led to widespread starvation in Ireland
In 1848, Germany was in the midst of a revolution, and many Germans fled to the U.S. to escape political persecution.
Many Americans opposed with widespread immigration, and they were known as