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Technology and Economic Growth Technology transformed life in antebellum America Steam engine, cotton gin, reaper, sewing machine, and the telegraph Steam.

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Presentation on theme: "Technology and Economic Growth Technology transformed life in antebellum America Steam engine, cotton gin, reaper, sewing machine, and the telegraph Steam."— Presentation transcript:

1 Technology and Economic Growth Technology transformed life in antebellum America Steam engine, cotton gin, reaper, sewing machine, and the telegraph Steam engine, cotton gin, reaper, sewing machine, and the telegraph – improvements led to eightfold increase in the amount of cotton that could be ginned in a day – improvements led to eightfold increase in the amount of cotton that could be ginned in a day Undercut positions of artisans Undercut positions of artisans

2 Technology and Economic Growth Improved transportation and increased production – lowered commodity prices Improved transportation and increased production – lowered commodity prices Raised the living standards of free Americans between 1840 and 1860 Raised the living standards of free Americans between 1840 and 1860

3 Technology and Economic Growth Agricultural Advancement After 1830 settlers moved from Ohio and Kentucky into parts of Indiana, Michigan, and Illinois After 1830 settlers moved from Ohio and Kentucky into parts of Indiana, Michigan, and Illinois Grasslands alternated with forests Grasslands alternated with forests Soil was difficult to break Soil was difficult to break 1837 John Deere – steel – tipped plow 1837 John Deere – steel – tipped plow ½ the labor to clear acres ½ the labor to clear acres Timber was still nearby for houses and barns Timber was still nearby for houses and barns

4 Technology and Economic Growth Wheat became Midwestern farmers cotton Wheat became Midwestern farmers cotton 1834 McCormick, a Virginian, patented a mechanical reaper to replace the hand sickles McCormick, a Virginian, patented a mechanical reaper to replace the hand sickles. Opened factory in Chicago in 1847 producing mass reapers Opened factory in Chicago in 1847 producing mass reapers Introduced aggressive marketing techniques (deferred payments and money-back guarantees) Introduced aggressive marketing techniques (deferred payments and money-back guarantees)

5 Technology and Economic Growth McCormick helped North win the Civil War McCormick helped North win the Civil War McCormick was a pro-slavery Democrat, but his reaper would help the North keep agricultural production high when there was a labor shortage during the Civil War. McCormick was a pro-slavery Democrat, but his reaper would help the North keep agricultural production high when there was a labor shortage during the Civil War.

6 Technology and Economic Growth A movement developed in the East to improve warn out soil instead of looking for virgin soil. (1860) A movement developed in the East to improve warn out soil instead of looking for virgin soil. (1860) Easterners who did not move west or take jobs in factories experimented with agricultural techniques. Easterners who did not move west or take jobs in factories experimented with agricultural techniques. Fed cows better products, emphasized cleanliness in processing Fed cows better products, emphasized cleanliness in processing turned to use of fertilizers turned to use of fertilizers

7 Technology and Industrial Progress 1840 – 1860 Industrial advances occurred almost simultaneously with the development of effective machine tools, 1840 – 1860 Industrial advances occurred almost simultaneously with the development of effective machine tools, Machine tools – power-driven machines that cut and shaped metal Machine tools – power-driven machines that cut and shaped metal 1800 – Eli Whitneys plans to manufacture muskets (interchangeable parts) stalled because of the absence of machine tools 1800 – Eli Whitneys plans to manufacture muskets (interchangeable parts) stalled because of the absence of machine tools Development was occurring in Britain Development was occurring in Britain Not in America until 1830 Not in America until 1830

8 Technology and Industrial Progress 1840 precise tools limited time needed to hand-file parts to make them fit 1840 precise tools limited time needed to hand-file parts to make them fit Applied to the manufacture of firearms, clocks, and sewing machines Applied to the manufacture of firearms, clocks, and sewing machines 1851 Europeans called interchangeable parts, American System 1851 Europeans called interchangeable parts, American System Two advantages of Interchangeable Parts: Two advantages of Interchangeable Parts: Break down in equipment could be fixed with replacement part Break down in equipment could be fixed with replacement part enabled entrepreneurs to push inventions swiftly into mass production enabled entrepreneurs to push inventions swiftly into mass production

9 Technology and Industrial Progress Investors were more like to invest in products that would move quickly into production Investors were more like to invest in products that would move quickly into production By 1850, Smith and Wesson were mass- producing the revolving pistol – Samuel Colt had invented in 1836 By 1850, Smith and Wesson were mass- producing the revolving pistol – Samuel Colt had invented in 1836 Samuel F. B. Morse transmitted the first telegraph message from Baltimore to Washington in Samuel F. B. Morse transmitted the first telegraph message from Baltimore to Washington in By 1850 Boston had elaborate telegraph system to alert fire stations By 1850 Boston had elaborate telegraph system to alert fire stations 1852 more than fifteen thousand miles of lines connected cities from Quebec to New Orleans, and St. Louis more than fifteen thousand miles of lines connected cities from Quebec to New Orleans, and St. Louis.

10 The Railroad Boom Railroads dramatized technologys democratic promise Railroads dramatized technologys democratic promise By 1850 ordinary Americans could travel over 42 miles an hour. By 1850 ordinary Americans could travel over 42 miles an hour. Considerable comfort was offered Considerable comfort was offered Only one class of ticket was offered Only one class of ticket was offered European railroads had several classes European railroads had several classes African Americans were often forced to sit separately African Americans were often forced to sit separately

11 The Railroad Boom Before standard time scheduling was a nightmare Before standard time scheduling was a nightmare Between 1840 and 1860 stunning transformation occurred. Between 1840 and 1860 stunning transformation occurred. Size of rail network – 3,000 to 30,000 Size of rail network – 3,000 to 30,000 Power and convenience of trains – more powerful engines made steep hill climbing possible Power and convenience of trains – more powerful engines made steep hill climbing possible Flat roofed coaches replaced open cars Flat roofed coaches replaced open cars Kerosene lamps made night travel possible Kerosene lamps made night travel possible Miles of telegraph wire enable dispatchers to communicate with trains en route Miles of telegraph wire enable dispatchers to communicate with trains en route

12 The Railroad Boom By 1860 the US had more rail than any other country. By 1860 the US had more rail than any other country. Canals remained in use. Canals remained in use. Erie canal did not reach peak volume until 1880 Erie canal did not reach peak volume until 1880 By 1860 volume of goods transported by rail surpassed canal transport By 1860 volume of goods transported by rail surpassed canal transport 1860 few lines west of the Mississippi 1860 few lines west of the Mississippi Numerous line east of the Mississippi Numerous line east of the Mississippi

13 The Railroad Boom Rail lines impacted growth of cities Rail lines impacted growth of cities East/West lines stimulated agricultural growth in the Midwest East/West lines stimulated agricultural growth in the Midwest Farmers could quickly get produce to market (increasing value of farm land). Farmers could quickly get produce to market (increasing value of farm land). Population growth triggered industrial development in cities Population growth triggered industrial development in cities Need for lumber and wheat to be ground Need for lumber and wheat to be ground

14 The Railroad Boom Railroads were the nations first big business Railroads were the nations first big business Depended on financial aid from state governments Depended on financial aid from state governments Slowed down support during depression of 1830s Slowed down support during depression of 1830s 1840s voters pushed to amend state constitutions to bar funding for railroads and canals 1840s voters pushed to amend state constitutions to bar funding for railroads and canals The Federal government took over some of the funding The Federal government took over some of the funding Small investors could not support railroads either and funding shifted to NY City. Small investors could not support railroads either and funding shifted to NY City.

15 The Railroad Boom Securities for the railroads were traded on the floor of the NY Stock Exchange Securities for the railroads were traded on the floor of the NY Stock Exchange Railroads turned NY into the center of modern investment firms Railroads turned NY into the center of modern investment firms

16 Rising Prosperity Technology improved lives of consumers by bringing down prices Technology improved lives of consumers by bringing down prices 1800 clocks that cost $50 cost.50 by clocks that cost $50 cost.50 by Annual wages rose from $163 in 1830 to $176 in 1849 to $201 in Annual wages rose from $163 in 1830 to $176 in 1849 to $201 in Steam Engines made it possible to work more days of the year. (No down time for the water wheel freezing in winter.) Steam Engines made it possible to work more days of the year. (No down time for the water wheel freezing in winter.) Densely populated cities offered more opportunities for others who might be ought of work seasonally. Densely populated cities offered more opportunities for others who might be ought of work seasonally.

17 Rising Prosperity Women and Children also had new opportunities Women and Children also had new opportunities Women and Children had long worked in agriculture for no pay Women and Children had long worked in agriculture for no pay Wages of children ages 10 to 18 played an integral role in the nineteenth century family economy Wages of children ages 10 to 18 played an integral role in the nineteenth century family economy Only those who made at least $600 a year might be able to keep their children in school Only those who made at least $600 a year might be able to keep their children in school Most heads of household were lucky to make $300 a year. Most heads of household were lucky to make $300 a year.

18 Rising Prosperity Family Expenditures $500 - $600 Family Expenditures $500 - $600 40% on food 40% on food 25% – 30% on rent 25% – 30% on rent Most of the rest on clothing and fuel Most of the rest on clothing and fuel Families needed the wages of children and the wife Families needed the wages of children and the wife Because farmers rarely ran out of food, many still aspired to farming. Because farmers rarely ran out of food, many still aspired to farming. Set up expenditures, hard labor, seasonal unpredictability caused many to be less well off than urban dwellers. Set up expenditures, hard labor, seasonal unpredictability caused many to be less well off than urban dwellers.


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