Forging the National Economy
The Westward Movement
The life as a pioneer was very grim. Pioneers were stricken with disease and loneliness.
Shaping the Western Landscape
Fur trapping was a large industry in the Rocky Mountain area. Each summer, fur trappers would trade beaver pelts for manufactured goods from the East.
George Caitlin - painter and student of Native American life who was among the first Americans to advocate the preservation of nature; proposed the idea of a national park.
The March of Millions
By the mid-1800s, the population was doubling every 25 years. By 1860, there were 33 states and the U.S. was the 4th most populous country in the western world.
The new population and larger cities brought about disease and decreased living standards.
In the 1840s and 1850s, more European immigrants came to the Americas because Europe seemed to be running out of room.
The Emerald Isle Moves West
In the 1840s, the "Black Forties," many Irish came to America because of the massive rot that came upon the potato crops, inducing a famine. Most of the Irish were Roman-Catholic. They were politically powerful because they bonded together as one large voting body. The Irish did not possess many goods. They came to America and were hated by native workers of factories. The Irish hated the blacks with whom they rioted. They also hated the British.
The German Forty-Eighters
Between 1830 and 1860, many Germans came to America because of crop failures and other hardships.
Unlike the Irish, the Germans possessed a modest amount of material goods.
The Germans were more educated than the Americans and were opposed to slavery.
Flare-ups of Antiforeignism
The massive immigration of the Europeans to America inflamed the prejudices of American nativists. The Roman Catholics created an entirely separate Catholic educational system to avoid the American Protestant educational system.
Many people died in riots and attacks between the two religions.
The March of Mechanization
In 1750, steam was used as a major way to take the place of human labor. With it came the Industrial Revolution in England.
It took a while for America to embrace the machine because virgin soil in America was cheap and peasants preferred to grow crops as opposed to working in factories. Because of this, labor was scarce and hard to find until the immigrants came to America in the 1840s. There was also not a lot of money for investment in America and consumers were scarce. The large British factories also had a monopoly on the textile industry.
Whitney Ends the Fiber Famine
Samuel Slater- "Father of the Factory System" in America; escaped Britain with the memorized plans for the textile machinery; put into operation the first spinning cotton thread in 1791.
Eli Whitney- built the first cotton gin in 1793.
The cotton gin was much more effective at separating the cotton seed from the cotton fiber than using slaves. It affected not only America, but the rest of the world. Because of the cotton gin, the South's production of cotton greatly increased and the demand for cotton revived the demand for slavery.
New England was favored as the industrial center because it had poor soil for farming; it had a dense population for labor; shipping brought in capital; and seaports made the import of raw materials and the export of the finished products easy.
Marvels in Manufacturing
The War of 1812 prompted a boom of American factories and the use of American products as opposed to British imports.
The surplus in American manufacturing dropped following the Treaty of Ghent in 1815. The British manufacturers sold their products to Americans at very low prices. Congress passed the Tariff of 1816 in order to protect the American manufacturers.
In 1798, Eli Whitney came up with the idea of machines making each part of the musket so that every part of the musket would be the same. The principle of interchangeable parts caught on by 1850 and it became the basis for mass-production.
Elias Howe- invented the sewing machine in 1846.
The sewing machine gave a boost to northern industrialization. It became the foundation of the ready-made clothing industry.
Laws of "free incorporation"- first passed in New York in 1848; meant that businessmen could create corporations without applying for individual charters from the legislature.
Samuel F. B. Morse- invented the telegraph.
Workers and "Wage Slaves"
Impersonal relationships replaced the personal relationships that were once held between workers.
Factory workers were forbidden by law to form labor unions to raise wages. In the 1820s, many children were used as laborers in factories. With Jacksonian democracy came the rights of the laboring man to vote.
President Van Buren established the ten-hour work day in 1840.
Commonwealth vs. Hunt- Supreme Court ruling said that labor unions were not illegal conspiracies, provided that their methods were honorable and peaceful.
Women and the Economy
Farm women and girls had an important place in the pre-industrial economy, spinning yarn, weaving cloth, and making candles, soap, butter, and cheese.
Women were forbidden to form unions and they had few opportunities to share dissatisfactions over their harsh working conditions.
Catharine Beecher- urged women to enter the teaching profession.
The vast majority of working women were single.
During the Industrial Revolution, families were small, affectionate, and child-centered, which provided a special place for women.
Western Farmers Reap a Revolution in the Fields
The trans-Allegheny region became the nation's breadbasket.
Liquor and hogs became the early western farmer's staple market items.
John Deere- produced a steel plow in 1837 which broke through the thick soil of the West.
Highways and Steamboats
Lancaster Turnpike- hard-surfaced highway that ran from Philadelphia to Lancaster; drivers had to pay a toll to use it.
In 1811, the federal government began to construct the National Road, or Cumberland Road. It went from Cumberland, in western Maryland, to Illinois. Its construction was halted during the War of 1812, but the road was completed in 1852.
Robert Fulton- installed a steam engine and created the first steamboat.
The steamboat played a vital role in the opening of the West and South. It played a vital role in binding the West and South.
"Clinton's Big Ditch" in New York
Governor DeWitt Clinton- governor of New York who lead the building of the Erie Canal that connected the Great Lakes with the Hudson River in 1825; the canal lowered shipping prices and decreased passenger transit time.
The Iron Horse
The most significant contribution to the development of such an economy was the railroad. The first one appeared in 1828.
Railroads were at first opposed because of safety flaws and they took away money from the Erie Canal investors.
Cables (Telegraphs), Clippers, and Pony Riders
In the 1840s and 1850s, Yankee navel yards began to produce new crafts called clipper ships. These ships sacrificed cargo room for speed and were able to transport small amounts of goods in short amounts of time. These ships faded away after steam boats were made better and able to carry more goods and, hence, become more profitable.
The Pony Express was established in 1860 to carry mail from St. Joseph, Missouri to Sacramento, California. The mail service collapsed after 18 months due to lack of profit.
The Transport Web Binds the Union
The desire of the East to move west stimulated the "transportation revolution."
The South raised cotton for export to New England and Britain. The West grew grain and livestock to feed factory workers in the East and in Europe. The East made machines and textiles for the South and the West. All of these products were transported using the railroad; the railroad linked America.