Economic Development On Americ Essay, Research Paper
Between 1815 and 1850….A national economy based on small-scale farming and local commerce matured into a far-flung capitalist marketplace entwined with world markets. (p.362). How? Include in your discussion the role of transportation and Industrial revolutions. What impact did this economic development have on American life?
Between 1815 and 1850 the United States which is only made up of small farmers and businesses(traders) began to grow. America had expanded itself to the pacific coast. This great expansion was due to many changes in the marketplace, transportation, and industry. The cotton industry was a main factor in opening up America to major business. There was always a high demand for cotton and new technologies made cotton abundant in America. While cotton is very profitable in America, the transportation of goods around the country is crucial to trading. New roads, canals, waterways and railroads are built for this purpose. These forms of transportation connected major cities making transportation easier and cheaper. During this time, an Industrial revolution took place. Many new inventions were created that help speed up the production of goods. Textile factories were built and they were very successful. These changes had a major impact on American life. The growth of America during this time period help shape America into its present form.
Cotton was a major influence to the expansion of America. The growth of cotton was a profitable crop that began to spread from South Carolina and Georgia to Mississippi and Alabama. The use of cotton had been in use since ancient times, but during the eighteenth century its market grew extensively. To grow cotton, labor was needed to pick the green seeds that were caught in it. This was a difficult process that required a lot of time. Farmers would purchase many slaves to do this work. This idea of using slaves for the production of cotton became popular among farmers and gave them another reason to keep Africans in bondage. However, in 1793 a Yale graduate named Eli Whitney invented a machine that could separate the seeds and the cotton. This machine called the cotton gin produces fifty times more cotton than one slave. This caused the cotton market to skyrocket. Profits were now even better, and farmers were in search of more land. Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Texas were all approached by farmers for the growth of their cotton. The cotton gin greatly increased the supply of cotton; so much of it was exported. At this time, Napoleon was defeated and the demand for cotton in Europe significantly increased. American farmers were ready for the demand and began exporting more cotton. Cotton made up 39 percent of all American exports. Cotton was extremely profitable to American farmers because of the abundance and the great demand. This booming market help influence the idea of easier and better ways of transportation. Eli Whitney s cotton gin also helped mark the start of a industrial revolution.
In the eighteenth century, many goods were being produced and traded, but to trade, transportation of goods is necessary. One way to transport goods was by road. New roads were being built in the northeast because of public demand. In 1794, the Philadelphia-Lancaster Turnpike was constructed. It served as an example to other areas to build more roads. Eastern cities followed the example and by 1821 had nearly four thousand miles of turnpikes. Western cities did not have many roads, but had the Fredrick Turnpike which lead to other roads that connected to northern cities. However, in the 1820 s flatboats became very useful. Flatboats were made up of logs that are tied together. These logs could also be use for lumber. It is estimated that three thousand flatboats traveled down the Ohio river yearly. The west used flatboats mostly to carry wheat, corn, flour, meal, port, whiskey, soap and candles. Steamboats also came into play. By 1836, 361 steamboats traveled the western area. They brought cheaper and faster two-way traffic to the Mississippi Valley (p.368). The steamboats carried bulk goods cheaper than by a wagon on the road. Robert Fulton and Robert R. Livingston used the first steamboat. In addition, canals were built for easy access to rivers and oceans. In 1817 Governor De Witt Clinton authorized the constructing of a canal from Lake Erie to the Hudson River. After eight years of constructing, the canal was complete. The Erie Canal stretched 350 miles from Buffalo to Albany. It reduced traveling time from Buffalo to New York City from twenty days to only six. Also, the price to ship a ton of goods drastically reduced from $100 to $5. The Erie Canal was so beneficial that by 1837, 3,000 miles of canal were completed, but no other canal would be as beneficial. Another form of transportation that was that was very influential to the market and American life was the railroad. Many states had turned to the develop of railroads because of the great expense of a canal. By 1840, there was a total of 3,328 miles of railway laid across the country. Within the next twenty years the railroad would grow into 30,626 miles. Railroads finally transported more good than canals in1859. Also, the iron and tools needed for the production of railroads benefited industries that supplied the capital goods. However, by making travel to the west easier it pushed Native Americans back even quicker than before.
In addition, industries were being built and inventions being discovered. In 1804, Oliver Evans made a high-pressure steam engine that had many uses on ships and factories. In 1834, Cyrus Hall McCormick invented a primitive grain reaper. After a few years he had it patented and opened a factory that produced them. Thousands of these tools were sold, because it was as useful as the cotton gin. In 1844, Charles Goodyear created a rubber that strong and flexible at the same time. A fabric to make raincoats was also made by Goodyear. In the same year, the first telegraph was sent from Baltimore to Washington. After seventeen years, the whole country was connected and people could now communicate from one end of the country to the other in a flash. These technological advances helped improve the way of living. More houses were built; they were heated and illuminated better. Indoor plumbing, bathtubs, iceboxes, and sewing machines all were great advances in the home. Many items such as watches, clocks newspapers and magazines were affordable and clothes fit better because of the sewing machine. The first sewer systems are being produced as well as water lines for fire companies.
As the times got better, new ways of leisure and entertainment were found. In cities many people went to balls and picnics. They played parlor games such as billiards, cards, and chess. In rural areas, barn parties, corn-husking parties, foot races and shooting were forms of entertainment.
As a result, economic development had a major impact on American life. Cotton was abundant and very profitable. Transportation of goods was necessary so new ways of travel were discovered and built. Canals allowed traders to ship goods easily and cheap to different cities. Roads also opened up America by giving people access to different cities. Railroads helped transport goods and migrate people to the west. Many inventions from the industrial revolution helped boost the market. These advances also improved living conditions. The growth of America during this time period help shape America into its present form.