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Forging the National Economy

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  1. Forging the National Economy 1790-1860

  2. I. Westward Movement • Americans constantly pushed west, cheap land opportunity • First part of 19th century new immigrants joined movement (Irish, Germans) • New machinery allowed crops to be cultivated quicker, goods produced faster, expectations for workers changed • New methods of transportation allowed goods, people and products to move quicker • Origins of market oriented economy

  3. I. Westward Movement • Jackson symbolized the rise of trans-Appalachia • Raw frontier seen as typically American • 1850 half of all Americans under 30 • Seen as restless energetic, always on the move • Demographic center of America had move steadily westward • Reality of pioneer life was grim (especially for women) • Rugged individualism became part of national character- Was this true?

  4. II. Shaping the Western Landscape • People molded physical environment • Left behind fields destroyed by tobacco cultivation • Planted “Kentucky Bluegrass” from charred canfields, • 1820-1840 trappers, mountain men had decimated beaver across the West • Buffalo, sea otters were hunted into near extension for their fur • Ecological Imperialism- exploitation of Americas natural bounty

  5. II. Shaping the Western Landscape • Many Americans revered nature • American wilderness seen as unique to many Europeans • Wild unspoiled land one of the nations defining attributed- move west you can always start over • Inspired literature, painting and by the end of the 1800’s a conservation movement

  6. III. The March of the Millions • Population doubling every 25 years • By 1860 there were 33 states, 4th most populous country in the world • Urban growth- by 1860 there were 43 cities with more than 20,000 (1790 only 3) • Urbanization brought problems (inadequate public services, poor housing) • 1823 Boston developed first sewer system, 1842 NYC first piped in water supply

  7. III. The March of the Millions • By 1840’s population growth comes from immigration • Most Irish and German • What caused them to come to America? • Europe had surplus of population, running out of room • America seen as land of opportunity • Freedom of European class system • Abundant, cheap land • No compulsory military service

  8. IV. The Emerald Isle Moves West • Mid 1840’s potato crop failure pushes many out of Ireland • 1830-1860 2 million Irish come to the United States • Newcomers too poor to buy land, stayed in cities on eastern seaboard (NYC largest Irish city in the world) • Irish had to take worst jobs, poorest housing- viewed as a social menace • Competed with African Americans for jobs (Irish did not support abolition) • Formed Irish only clubs (Ancient Order of Hibernians, Molly Maguire's)

  9. IV. The Emerald Isle Moves West • Irish acquired property and improved lives in America • Politicians wanted to cultivate Irish vote • Many entered politics and gained control of political machines (NYC Tammany Hall) • Dominated police departments

  10. V. The German Forty-Eighters • 1830-1860 over 1.5 million Germans immigrated to US • Uprooted farmers, political refugees • German immigrants better off than Irish, had more money • Moved to Middle West, established farms • Less political power, widely scattered population

  11. V. The German Forty-Eighters • Germans more educated than Irish, supported public schools • Were not supporters of slavery • Fled militarism of Europe, became isolationists • Language, culture viewed as suspicious by many • Settled in colonies, separate from surrounding community • Brought Old World drinking habits (brought beer to America)

  12. VI. Flare-ups of Antiforeignism • Immigration inflamed anti-foreign sentiment • Feared they would take jobs, worried about “popish” newcomers • 1840’s Immigrants establish separate Catholic school system, protect children from Protestant indoctrination • By 1850 Catholics largest single religious group in America

  13. VI. Flare-ups of Antiforeignism • “Nativists” rally for political action, form Know-Nothing Party 1849 • Wanted restrictions on immigration, easier ways to deport “aliens” • Promoted literature to expose foreigners (most of it untrue) • Mass violence 1834, Catholic convent burned • 1844 Philadelphia nativists, Irish Catholics riot Effects of immigration • made America more pluralistic society • Growth of economy really did not jeopardize wealth of others • Labor of immigrants helped fuel economic expansion

  14. VII. Creeping Mechanization • 1750 Industrial Revolution begins in England with mass production of textiles • End of muscle, animal power beginning of machine power • Slow to catch on in US cheap land, labor scarce • Capital in short supply, raw materials in America were untapped • 1840’s rise of immigration caused labor pool to grow

  15. VIII. Whitney Ends Fiber Famine • Samuel Slater from England steals plans for first textile machines • 1791 first efficient machine for spinning cotton • 1793 Eli Whitney invents first cotton gin (separates cotton fiber from seeds, 50X more effective than human labor) • Changed history of America made cotton growing profitable enterprise

  16. VIII. Whitney Ends Fiber Famine • Slavery had been dying out • Invention of cotton gin caused more acres to be cleared -Cotton Kingdom moved westward (into AL, MS) • Cotton sent to mills in New England • Factories were established in Northeast • Little manufacturing in South, money tied up in land and slaves New England ideal for industrialization • soil too poor for farming, • dense population, markets available • shipping allowed for export of finished products • large poor immigrant population for labor • rapid rivers good for water powered mills

  17. IX. Marvels in Manufacturing • Consequences of embargo 1807 and War of 1812 was capital kept in America • Used to invest in American manufacturing • After war British flood America with cheap goods, Tariff of 1816 attempts to protect American manufacturing • Eli Whitney develops idea of mass produced interchangeable parts for muskets, by 1850 became the basis of mass production • Most factories located in the northeast (industrial plant of America)

  18. IX. Marvels in Manufacturing • 1846 Isaac Singer, Elias Howe invent sewing machine (mass production of clothes) • Patents increased 306 in 1800, 28,000 1860 • Legal status of business organizations changed • Limited liability principle allowed investors to invest in companies • Companies could concentrate capital • Investment capital companies used in textiles, railroads, insurance and banking • 1844 Invention of telegraph (Samuel Morse) brought world closer together (revolutionized exchange of information)

  19. X. Workers and Wage Slaves • Industrial Revolution end of age of close personal relationships with boss • Spindle Cities grew up around factories to house workers • Hours long, wages low, poor working conditions • Could not form labor unions to improve life at work (criminal conspiracy) • Child labor a huge problem

  20. X. Workers and Wage Slaves • Wages did rise (1820’s-1830’s), growth of middle class Americans • More workers could vote • Supported Democratic Party of Jackson • Fight against all forms of privilege (Bank of US), reflected anxiety about new capitalist economy • 1840 Van Buren reduces work day for federal workers, states eventually followed • Workers gained right to strike but usually lost • They could easily be replaced by workers “fresh off the boat” from Europe • Commonwealth vs. Hunt (1842), Mass; unions were not conspiracies

  21. XI. Women and the Economy • Women left farms, went to work in factories • Gave them greater economic independence • Lowell Mills (Mass.) seen as a model workplace for “factory girls” • Factory provided income, protected morality • Overall employment opportunities for women were scarce • Influence of Harriet Beecher Stowe, many women became teachers (feminized profession) • Vast majority of working women single

  22. XI. Women and the Economy • Women married, left jobs • Work as wives and mothers called “cult of domesticity”, glorified functions as a homemaker • Home was women’s sphere • Love determined choice of spouse • Nuclear family became closer • Home was a refuge from the industrial world • Number of children per family dropped • Domestic feminism in the home, growing power and influence of women • New ideas of raising children, family more child centered, affectionate • Children raised by morals of “modern family” were good citizens

  23. XII. Western Farmers Reap a Revolution in the Fields • Farms were changing the West • Pioneer families planted corn, lots of it • Staple market item, had many uses • Western goods floated down Mississippi River • Fed the south • Western Farmers wanted to cultivate more acres but soil hard to break up • 1837John Deere introduces steel plow • 1830’sCyrus McCormick introduces mechanical reaper, could do the work of 5 men • Farmers could plant more land, rise of large scale cash crop agriculture for region • Farmers became businesspeople, looked east for a new market for their crops

  24. XIII. Highways and Steamboats • Need for cheap and efficient carriers of products • 1790’sLancaster Turnpike first highway (charged toll and made a huge profit) • Turnpike building spurred western development, allowed for easy access to the West • Use of federal funds to build roads opposed by state’s righter's and Eastern states (fear of loss of population) • 1811 Federal government builds Cumberland Road (finished 1852)

  25. XIII. Highways and Steamboats • 1807 Robert Fulton launches steamboat craze • Steamboats could travel upstream, against the current • Navigable rivers two way arteries of transportation • 1820- sixty steamboats on Mississippi River • 1860- over 1,000 • Steamboats opened up West and South • Goods could be shipped out cheaply, quickly • Bring in manufactured goods • New population centers grew up along the banks

  26. XIV. “Clinton’s Big Ditch” in New York Canal cutting craze • 1817-1825 New York financed building of Erie Canal, linked Great Lakes and Hudson River • Cost of shipping and time of transportation dropped • Value of land along canal went up, new cities (Rochester, Syracuse) • Interior cities population exploded (Chicago, Detroit, Cleveland) • Settlers migrated from northeast to Midwest

  27. XVI. Iron Horse • Railroad not limited by geography • 1828 first RR in US • 1860 30,000 miles of track, most of it in north • Faced opposition from canal backers, considered as public menace • Problems overcome by technology- differences in gauge (as time went by became more standardized), improvements in brakes, Pullman sleeping car introduced (1859)

  28. XVII. Cables, Clippers and Pony Riders • 1858- first trans-Atlantic telegraph cable connected Europe and US • 1840’S-1850’s- “Golden Age of American Shipping” • Clipper Ships rapidly move freight across Pacific, eventually replaced by steam powered ships • 1860- Pony Express established, folded after 18 months (telegraph better) • Dying technology of wind and muscle power, replaced by machines

  29. XIV. The Transport Web Binds the Union • Before 1830 West linked to South by Mississippi River • Building of RR linked North to West, robbed Mississippi River of it’s traffic • NYC became major port of nation • Emergence of continental economy, each region specialized in economic activity

  30. IXX. The Market Revolution • Market Revolution transformed country from small, scattered subsistence farmers and workshops into national network of industry and commerce • Questions over who should regulate economy? Who owns technology? • Supreme Court decisions sided with liberal state laws that encouraged greater competition in the marketplace “rights of the community” • Self sufficient households transformed • Wage earners went to work, made money and purchased manufactured goods • Home became a place of refuge from work, separate sphere for women • Gap between have and have-nots grew, greatest in cities • Rising wages and middle class helped diffuse potential conflict between classes