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The Transportation and Market Revolutions

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Presentation on theme: "The Transportation and Market Revolutions"— Presentation transcript:

1 The Transportation and Market Revolutions

2 The Transportation Revolution
Canals, steamboats, and railroads revolutionized American economic and social life during the antebellum period between 1820 and 1860. Key transportation developments Turnpikes such as the National Road promoted trade and communication with the Old Northwest. Steamboats carried bulky farm products such as wheat, corn, and flour far more cheaply than covered wagons. By the 1840s, steamboats opened the Ohio and Mississippi river valleys to two-way traffic. Canals strengthened ties between eastern cities and western agricultural regions. Railroads connected cities, encouraged settlement, and reduced the cost of transporting goods. The number of miles of railroad track soared from just when the Baltimore and Ohio line opened in 1829 to 30,626 in

3 The Erie Canal Farmers and merchants in the Old Northwest lacked efficient and inexpensive access to the markets along the east coast. For example, farms surrounding Pittsburgh were forced to use the Ohio and Mississippi rivers to send their products to New Orleans and from there to cities on the east coast.

4 Erie Canal The Erie Canal connected Albany on the Hudson River with Buffalo on Lake Erie. When it opened in 1825 the 363-mile-long waterway created an all-water route that cut travel time from New York City to Buffalo from 20 days to 6 and reduced the cost of moving a ton of freight between these two cities from $ to $5.00.

5 Erie Canal The Erie Canal had a number of significant consequences:
It helped transform New York City into America’s greatest commercial center. It created commercial ties between the eastern manufacturing centers and western agricultural regions. It inspired a mania for building canals that lasted throughout the 1830s.

6 The Market Revolution During the Era of Good Feelings, most Americans bought goods from friends and neighbors in a local economy. The new network of roads, canals, and rail lines enabled people to buy and sell goods with consumers in distant markets. The term market revolution in the antebellum period refers to the creation of a national economy that connected distant communities for the first time. The creation of large lucrative markets led to an American system of manufacturing that utilized machines with interchangeable parts to mass produce standardized low-cost goods.


8 Impact of the Transportation and Market Revolutions
Impact on the Northeast Accelerated the rate of industrial growth. Prompted the construction of textile mills in New England. Created a close trade relationship between New England and the Old Northwest. Created a wealthy class of urban capitalists.

9 Impact of the Transportation and Market Revolutions
Impact on the Midwest Accelerated the migration of settlers into the Midwest. Transformed Chicago into an important rail-center and agricultural distributor to the West. Enabled Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, St. Louis, Cleveland, and Detroit to become thriving industrial and commercial centers. Increased the production of cash crops such as corn and wheat. Linking closely to the Northeast by canal and railroad networks.

10 Railways 1850 1860

11 Impact of the Transportation and Market Revolutions
Impact on the South Failed to keep up with the pace of industrialization and urbanization in the Northwest and Midwest. Extended a plantation system based on cotton and slavery westward into Alabama and Mississippi. Remained an agricultural economy dominated by an elite group of wealthy planters.

12 The Old South

13 The Cotton Kingdom Eli Whitney and the cotton gin
During the late 1700s a series of inventions revolutionized the textile industry in Great Britain. These advances created an insatiable (limitless) demand for raw cotton. Southern farmers could not meet the demand for raw cotton because of the difficulty of separating cotton fiber from its sticky seeds. It required a full day for a laborer to separate a pound of cotton by hand. In 1793, Eli Whitney invented a machine to perform this tedious chore. His cotton gin enabled slaves to separate fifty times as much cotton as could be done by hand. As a result of Whitney’s invention, cotton production soared from 9,000 bales in 1791 to 987,000 in 1831 and 4 million in It is interesting to note that each bale contained 500 pounds of cotton.

14 The Cotton Kingdom King Cotton
Cotton quickly became America’s most valuable cash crop. In 1840, cotton production accounted for more than half of the value of all American exports. The excessive cultivation of tobacco depleted the soil. As old fields in the Chesapeake states wore out, ambitious planters looked south and west for rich new farm lands. By 1860, a vast cotton belt stretched from eastern North Carolina to the Mississippi River Valley. This region produced over half of the world’s supply of cotton. Proud southern planters confidently boasted that “Cotton is King.”

15 The Cotton Kingdom The impact of the cotton economy
Cotton irrevocably altered the South’s attitude toward slavery. Prior to the invention of the cotton gin, thoughtful southerners regarded slavery as a necessary evil that would gradually be phased out. However, as the South became committed to a one-crop cotton economy, it also became committed to slavery. Of the 2.5 million slaves engaged in agriculture in 1850, 75% worked at cotton production. The presence of slavery discouraged immigrants from moving to the South. In 1860 just 4.4% of the southern population was foreign-born. Meanwhile, between 1844 and 1854 over 3 million European immigrants flooded into eastern seaports. The over-whelming majority of these immigrants came from Ireland and Germany. As the South devoted more and more resources to growing cotton, the region lagged behind the North in trade and manufacturing. Southern cotton was primarily exported in northern vessels. While northern factories produced manufactured goods at an ever increasing rate, southern farmers purchased finished goods under a credit system that kept them in debt. The South’s commitment to growing cotton slowed urban growth. With the exception of New Orleans and Charleston, the South had few urban centers. Instead, most southerners lived on widely dispersed farms and plantations.

16 Immigration in Antebellum America

17 Key Facts about Immigration in Antebellum America
Immigration to America slowed dramatically during the four decades between the Revolutionary War and the War of The French Revolution and the prolonged war between Britain and France reduced immigration from Europe to a trickle. The first great wave of nineteenth century immigration took place between 1820 and During this period, almost 5 million people immigrated to America. While many immigrants came from England and Scandinavia, over two-thirds of the total came from Ireland and Germany. The overwhelming majority of the antebellum immigrants chose to settle in urban areas of the North and on Midwestern farms. Most immigrants avoided the South because they did not want to compete for jobs with slave laborers.

18 The Irish Immigration What happened?
Between 1840 and 1860 almost 1.7 million men, women, and children left Ireland for America. By 1860, Irish-born immigrants comprised over 4% of the U.S. population. Most Irish immigrants settled in the fast-growing port cities along the Northeast coast. By 1860, Irish made up half the population of Boston and New York City. What caused the Irish immigration? Desperate living conditions in Ireland made mass immigration inevitable. Most rural Irish were impoverished tenant farmers who subsisted (barely survived) on a diet that depended upon the potato. Beginning in 1845 a blight destroyed three successive potato crops. A million people died from starvation and disease while another 1.7 million immigrated to the United States.

19 The Irish Immigration Why should you remember the Irish immigration?
The flood of Irish immigrants transformed Boston, New York City, and Philadelphia into densely populated centers that experienced high rates of poverty and crime. Most Irish immigrants were forced to work in the lowest-paying and most demanding unskilled jobs. Irish women found work as domestic servants while the men built roads, canals, and railroad beds. The percentage of Irish workers employed in the Lowell mills jumped from 8% in 1845 to 50% in 1860. The Irish played a key role in the growth of the Catholic Church in the United States. The number of Catholic churches in America increased from 700 in 1840 to over 2,500 in 1860. The wave of Irish immigration aroused intense anti-Catholic prejudice. Many native-born Protestants stereotyped the Irish as an ignorant and clannish people who would never assimilate into American life. Prejudiced employers posted “No Irish Need Apply” signs, while Protestant leaders complained that Irish-sponsored parochial schools would undermine support for public education. Irish voters supported the Democrats as the party of the “common man.” Irish bosses soon played a key role in the formation of big city political machines.


21 The German Immigration
Just over 1.5 million Germans immigrated to America between 1830 and 1860. Unlike the Irish, the Germans typically settled in rural areas of the Midwest rather than in East coast cities. The Germans were a very diversified group that included exiled political refugees and displaced farmers. Although the majority of Germans were Protestants, about one-third were Catholics and a significant number were Jewish. Because the Germans were such a heterogeneous group, they were difficult to stereotype. As a result, the Germans experienced less prejudice than the Irish.


23 Nativism and the Know-Nothing Party
The great wave of Irish and German immigration sparked a nativist or anti-foreign reaction among native-born Protestants. Nativist leaders argued that Catholics posed a danger to America’s republican institutions. They pointed to a statement by Pope Pius IX denouncing republican institutions because they relied upon the sovereignty of the people instead of the sovereignty of God.

24 Nativism and the Know-Nothing Party
During the early 1850s, nativists formed the American Party. The party began as a secret society, complete with special passwords and elaborate handshakes. When members were asked about their party, they were instructed to reply: “I know nothing!” As a result, the American Party was soon popularly called the Know-It-All Party.

25 Nativism and the Know-Nothing Party
The Know-Nothing Party directed its hostility toward Catholic immigrants from Ireland and Germany. The party’s platform demanded that immigrants and Catholics be excluded from public office. Know-Nothing candidates enjoyed initial success. The party captured over 40 congressional seats in the 1854 election. Its 1856 presidential candidate Millard Fillmore won 21% of the popular vote and 8 electoral votes. The Know-Nothing’s success proved to be fleeting. The anti-Catholic fervor subsided as immigration declined and the country shifted its focus to the great national debate over the future of slavery.


27 The End of Homespun: The Early Industrial Revolution
1. Identify three factors that contributed to the development of a market economy by the middle of the nineteenth century. 2. Regions and manufacturers’ specialization contributed to a reshaping of the American economic system. What effect did these changes have on the lives of ordinary Americans? (Positives and Negatives) 3. Read the handout provided and compile a list of factors that contributed to the development of the early Industrial Revolution in the United States. (Need at least 10) 4. Rank the factors in order to assess their relative importance in promoting industrial revolution. 5. Write a thesis statement to account for the early development of manufacturing in the United States.

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