History: American Civil War and Western United States Essay

Submitted By lballen
Words: 308
Pages: 2

“America’s Post-Civil War Growing Pains”

After the Civil War there were two major factors that sparked the expansion of the Western United States. One of those key factors was the spark of the Industrial Revolution. Industrial growth had begun before the war in the early 1800’s and continued up until the start of the American Civil War. After the war was over, typical American businesses were small and lacked funding to expand. Hand labor still remained the widespread method of production. Most of the businesses served small markets until investors changed the growth of small American businesses. After the generosity of investors, small businesses began to rely on machines instead of hand labor which increased production capacity of industry tremendously. With settlers from the north and south expanding west and building towns and cities, the demand for products increased, which in turn drove up the value of goods being produced. With machines taking the place of hand labor, businesses were able to produce products in large quantities. Another key factor in the industrialization of the Western United States was the completition of the railroads. With railroads in place, businesses were able to move products faster and were able to keep up with the demand of the growing west. Without the railroad system, the expansion of the Western United States would not have been possible. Although, railroads provided American business with cheap shipping, it also brought an