The Westward Movement
• West filled with disease and loneliness.
• Frontier people= individualistic, superstitious and uninformed of current matters.
Shaping the Western Landscape
• Tobacco overuse forced settlers to new land but “Kentucky bluegrass” thrived.
• Settlers hunted beavers, sea otters, and bison for fur to trade back east.
• Artist George Catlin wanted national parks and later est. Yellowstone (1872). Nationalism led to an appreciation of American wilderness
The March of the Millions
• Mid-1800s, population doubled every 25 years. 1860- 33 states U.S. 4th populous country in the western world. (brought about disease and decreased living standards)
• 1840/50s, Eur. immigrants came to Americas b/c Europe was running out of room.
• U.S. appeal- land, freedom from church, no aristocracy, 3 meat meals a day.
• Transoceanic steamships travel time dropped to 12 days and it was safer.
The Emerald Island Moves West
• Irish potato famine (mid-1840) killed 2 million and saw many flee to the U.S.
“Black Forties”— came to cities like Boston and New York (biggest Irish city).
Illiterate, discriminated by older Americans. Low-pay jobs (railroad-building).
Hated by Protestants because they’re Catholic.
Ancient Order of Hibernians was established to aid the Irish.
Irish were attracted to politics, and often filled police departments as officers.
Politicians appealed to Irish by yelling at London (“Twisting the Lion’s Tail”).
The German Forty-Eighters
• 1830-1860, Germans came to America because of crop failures and other hardships.
• Unlike Irish, Germans had good amount of material goods.
• Germans more educated than Americans and were opposed to slavery.
Flare-ups of Antiforeignism
• “nativists” – older prejudice Americans against newcomers in jobs, politics, and religion
• Immigrants were Catholics. 1840/ 50s; they set out to build Catholic schools
• Nativists feared Catholicism challenged Protestantism (Popish idols) and formed “Order of Star-Spangled Banner” AKA, “The Know-Nothings.”
they met in secrecy - “I Know-Nothing” was their response to any inquiries
fought for immigration restrictions, naturalization & deportation of alien paupers
mass violence, Philadelphia 1844, churches and schools burnt, & people killed
America a pluralistic society with diversity
• Industrial rev. spread to U.S. because-
land was cheap, money for investment plentiful, raw materials were plentiful
Britain lacked consumers for factory-scale manufacturing
Brits kept textile industry secrets as a monopoly (forbade travel of craftsmen & export of machines)
• U.S. stayed very rural and was mostly a farming nation
Whitney Ends the Fiber Famine
• Samuel Slater- “Factory System"; escaped Britain with plans for textile machinery; put into operation, first spinning cotton thread in 1791.
• Eli Whitney- built first cotton gin in 1793.
• The cotton gin was much more effective at separating the cotton seed from the cotton
Production and demand of cotton increased and required slavery.
• New England was the industrial center because it had poor soil for farming
Marvels in Manufacturing
• Embargo Act of War of 1812 encouraged home manufacturing
• Congress then passed Tariff of 1816 to protect U.S. economy from Brit. goods
• Eli Whitney created machine-made inter-changeable parts (on muskets) - 1850
• Elias Howe & Issac Singer (1846) made the sewing machine (beg. of clothing industry)
• 1860 had 28,000 patents while 1800 only had 306
• Limited liability in a corporation (can’t lose more than invested) stimulated the economy
• Samuel Morse created the telegraph
Workers and Wage Slaves
• Factory workers forbidden to form labor unions to raise wages. 1820s, children used in factories. Jacksonian democracy gave rights of working men to vote.
• President Van Buren