By 1860 26% of Free State populations lived in towns or cities. Booming agricultural economy of west led small villages and trading posts to become cities. Benefited from Mississippi Rivers, centers of Midwest trade. By 1860 American population greater than that of Great Britain and approaching France and Germany. Urban growth from flow of people from Northeast farms Majority of immigrants from Ireland and Germany. German industrial revolution had caused poverty, & because of collapse of liberal 1848 revolution. In Ireland unpopular English rule & “potato famine” of 1845-1849 .Most Germans moved to Northwest, farming or business in towns (many were single men) "Nativism" refers to hostility on the part of native-born Americans, especially native-born Anglo-Protestants, towards foreign-born persons, especially if not English speaking and not Protestant. It led eventually to restrictions on various categories of immigrants.
Traffic on large rivers such as Mississippi and Ohio had been mainly flat barges that could not travel upstream, by 1820s steamboats and riverboats carried western and southern crops quickly, from New Orleans ocean ships to Eastern ports. New York’s Erie Canal began July 4, 1817 to connect Hudson R and Lake Erie. Opened 1825, tolls repaid construction costs, and gave New York access to Great Lakes, Chicago, growing Western markets. New York now competed with New Orleans .Water transport system expanded when Ohio and Indiana connected Lake Erie & Ohio River. Increased white settlement.
Throughout the 1830s and 1840s there came claims that some new system or other would allow successful steam working on canals, but in practice the canals never competed with railway speeds. Nevertheless, they survived and even increased their carrying for a while, helped by the fact that manufacturers and carriers had integrated their operations with the canal network, while the smaller railway companies were slow to develop transfer arrangements. Soon after 1850, however, the railways began to carry a greater volume of goods than the canals. After 1840 rail gradually supplanted canals. 1850’s track age tripled. Most comprehensive and efficient system in northeast, but no region untouched. Capital to finance railroads came from private investors, abroad, and local governments. Fed government gave public land grants to railroads, states. Magnetic telegraph lines along tracks aided train routing, but also allowed instant communication between cities. By 1860 Western Union Telegraph Company had been founded linking most independent telegraph lines. In journalism Richard Hoe’s 1846 steam cylinder rotary press allowed rapid and cheap newspapers, telegraph increased news speed. 1846 Associated Press formed to promote cooperate wire transmission. In 1840s/50s journalism fed sectional discord, most major magazines and newspapers located in North. New awareness of differences a “corporation” company or group of people authorized to act as a single entity (legally a person) and recognized as such in law
Business grew b/c population, transportation revolution, and new