Presentation on theme: " In 1800 most Americans worked on farms. Items that could not be made at home were manufactured by hand, one at a time by local blacksmiths, shoemakers,"— Presentation transcript:
In 1800 most Americans worked on farms. Items that could not be made at home were manufactured by hand, one at a time by local blacksmiths, shoemakers, and tailors. Changes were taking place, though, in the Northern states. Power-driven machinery performed many tasks that were once done by hand. Industrialization and technology were changing the way Americans worked, traveled, and communicated.
The industrialization of the North developed in 3 phases. In the 1 st, manufacturers made products by dividing the tasks involved among the workers. During the 2 nd phase, manufacturers built factories to bring specialized workers together and allow more products to be made more quickly. In the 3 rd phase, factory workers used machinery to perform some of their work. For instance, a worker’s job may have changed from weaving to tending a machine that weaves. By 1860 the Northeast’s factories produced at least 2/3 of the country’s manufactured goods.
Between 1800 and 1850, construction crews built thousands of miles of roads and canals. Canals opened new shipping routes by connecting many lakes and rivers. Inventor Robert Fulton demonstrated a reliable steamboat in 1807 which could carry goods and passengers more cheaply and quickly along inland waterways. Steamboats spurred the growth of cities such as Cincinnati, Buffalo, and Chicago.
In the 1840s sailing ships were improved, and clipper ships with sleek hulls and tail sails were the pride of the seas. They could sail 300 miles per day, as fast as most steamships. The ships got their name because they “clipped” time from long journeys. The clipper ship cut the time it took to cross the Atlantic in half!
The development of railroads in the United States began with short stretches of tracks that connected mines with nearby rivers. Early trains were pulled by horses! The 1 st steam-powered passenger locomotive began operating in 1829, and by 1840 the United States had almost 3,000 miles or railroad track. By 1860, it was 31,000 miles, mostly in the North and the Midwest.
Before canals and railroads, agricultural goods from the Midwest were carried down the Mississippi River to New Orleans and then shipped to other countries or to the East Coast of the U.S. The development of the east- west canal and the rail network allowed these products to move directly from the Midwest to the East. Because goods now traveled faster and more cheaply, manufacturers in the East could offer them at lower prices. Railroads also led to more settlement in the Midwest.
Samuel Morse, an American inventor, had been seeking support for a system of telegraph lines. The telegraph was an apparatus that used electric signals to transmit messages. On May 24, 1844, as a crowd in Washington D.C. watched, Morse tapped in the words, “What hath God wrought!” A few moments later, the telegraph operator in Baltimore sent the same message back in reply. Morse transmitted his message in Morse code, a series of dots and dashes representing letters of the alphabet. By 1852 the U.S. operated about 23,000 miles of telegraph lines.
In the early 1800s, few farmers had ventured into the treeless Great Plains west of Missouri, Iowa, and Minnesota. Even areas of mixed forest and prairie west of Ohio and Kentucky seemed too difficult for farming since settlers worried that their wooden plows could not break the prairie’s matted sod. 3 revolutionary inventions of the 1830s changed farming methods and encouraged settlers to cultivate larger areas of the West. 1. John Deere’s Steel-tipped Plow: Invented in 1837, it was far sturdier than the wooden plow and could easily cut through hard-packed sod. 2. Cyrus McCormick’s Mechanical Reaper: Sped up the harvesting of wheat, replacing the handheld sickle. 3. Andrew Mickle’s Thresher: Quickly separated the grain from the stalk
These inventions ensured that raising wheat would remain the main economic activity in the Midwestern prairies. Wheat became a cash crop, one that is planted strictly for sale. Farmers in the Northeast and Middle Atlantic states increased their production of fruits and vegetables that grew well in Eastern soils. Despite improvements in agriculture, however, the North turned away from farming and increasingly toward industry.