American Industrial Revolution
Period in American history in which America developed into an industrial nation.
Idea that immigrants would overwhelm, overtake, and overvote the Americans and take over America that gave birth to many prefudices against immigrants.
“Father of American Industry”. Escaped Britain with memorized factory machinery blueprints and brought the factory system over to America.
Eli Whitney/Cotton Gin
Eli Whitney created the Cotton Gin that allowed workers to pick cotton at a much faster rate than by hand. Renewed the lease on slavery and anchored the agrarian economy of the South for many years.
Invented the sewing machine that became the basis for a strong clothing industry in the American North.
Method of increasing production in Lowell mills.
Canal that linked the Great Lakes and the Hudson River. Raised prices of land around it and contributed to development of an Industrial America.
GUIDED READING QUESTIONS:
The Westward Movement
1. What were settlers of the frontier like?
Throughout the 1800’s, America experienced a restless period of time in which many desired to travel west in search of new found success. As late as 1850, most of the Americans in the U.S were under 30 and the “demographic center” of the American population map crossed the Alleghenies. Despite all the desire to move west, in reality, conditions were terrible as things such as disease, depression, or premature death ravaged the land. Life in the frontier would turn out to be cruel, and pioneers would often be misinformed of the situations out west. It was due to Ralph Waldo Emerson’s lecture-essay “Self-Reliance” that influenced the people as at that time, popular literature abounded with portraits of heroes. In the end, settlers were determined men who wanted to create opportunity, but they often died due to being ill-informed.
Shaping the Western Landscape
Know: Kentucky Bluegrass, Rendezvous, Bison, George Catlin
2. "The westward movement also molded the physical environment." Explain.
Often, hurried pioneers would deplete the nutrients in the land and move on, resulting in barren, worthless acres of land. However, the Kentucky Bluegrass was soon discovered. The plant was a perfect pasture for livestock while allowing nutrients to re-enter the land. Fur- trapping also affected the landscape as well. The Rendezvous system , in which traders traveled made camp, and waited for men with the goods in exchange for manufactured goods ruled over the fur-trapping empire. As a result, beaver and bison were wiped out.
In addition, with the movement west, Americans would begin to see the beauty of nature and thus was introduced the idea of preservation. George Catlin was a painter and student of Native Americans that advocated for the preservation of nature as a deliberate national policy. Eventually this idea would succeed as we see in America today. The movement west indeed affected the environment as land was quickly used and animals were killed in droves, however, the idea of preservation bore from this and we would soon begin to protect lands rather than harm it.
The March of the Millions
Know: Chicago, Irish and Germans, America Letters
3. How and why did American demographics change from 1820 to 1860?
As Americans moved west, the population grew rapidly. By 1860, the original 13 colonies doubled in number and the country was the fourth most populous country in the world.
Urban populations grew exponentially as cities like Chicago had over five thousand inhabitants. The high birthrate and rate of immigration also contributed to the growing population. Immigrants came here mostly due to the fact that Europe was running out of space and many wanted to come to the “land of freedom and opportunity”. During these times, there were over a million and a half Irish men, and almost as many