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The Changing American Landscape. Changes in Demographics. The destination of most Americans during the first half of the 18 th century was from the countryside to the industrialized cities of the Northeast and Northwest

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changes in demographics
Changes in Demographics
  • The destination of most Americans during the first half of the 18th century was from the countryside to the industrialized cities of the Northeast and Northwest
  • By 1840 the population of the United Sates stood at 40 million. In 1790 the population was 4 million
    • Improvements in public health
      • Resulted in a higher birth rate
        • 6.14 children each

Increase in immigrant populations began in the 1830’s

    • Reduced transportation costs and increasing economic opportunities helped stimulate the boom
      • First great migration was Irish Catholics
        • Headed towards the cities of the Northeast
  • Cities were the great attraction
    • In 1790, one person out of thirty had lived in cities before, by 1840 one in twelve had
boom on the mississippi
Boom on the Mississippi
  • The agricultural economy produced significant urban growth as well
    • St. Louis, Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, Louisville all became major cities
      • Due to its strategic positions on the Mississippi or its major tributaries
        • Became centers of trade
    • During the era of canals, substantial trade took place between the Mississippi and the Great Lakes
      • Buffalo, Detroit, Milwaukee, Cleveland and Chicago

By 1860, the population of the United States was second only to France

    • In the decade from 1840 to 1850 more than 1.5 million Europeans arrived to the States
      • More than 2.5 in the 50’s
        • Almost all of them went to the cities of the North
    • Newcomers came from
      • England, France, Italy, Scandinavia, Poland, Holland, Ireland and Germany
        • Most from the last two
          • The economic dislocation of the industrial revolution in Europe caused widespread poverty especially in Germany
          • The Irish were tired of the British and the Potato Famine took place during this time
rise of nativism
Rise of Nativism
  • With so many new immigrants in the states, native-born Americans began to fear the cheap labor that the immigrants provided
    • Sounds very familiar to today
  • Western speculators hoped that the immigrants would move West
    • Increase the political clout of the region
  • In eastern cities UPO(Urban political organizations) wanted immigrants to enhance its image as welcoming and powerful
  • Only problem, many Americans became alarmed at the shear number of immigrants now in the states
    • Historians do acknowledge that some of this nativism was just flat out racism

Many Nativist pointed to the cities as examples of why immigrants needed to go

    • Many assumed that living in filth was a choice and not the result of poverty
    • Since they were willing to work for lower wages, they were stealing jobs from native born workers
    • The Catholics were conspiring with the Catholic Church and the Pope to gain a control on American government
    • New radical ideas would be implemented in the United States if immigrants were accepted

The “alien menace” as many called it inspired Americans to come together under similar thinking political parties and groups

    • Native American Association,1837
    • Native American Party, 1845
    • Supreme Order of the Star-Spangled Banner
      • A secret society across the country
        • The password was, “I know nothing”
        • Became the Know-Nothings
          • The American Party
            • Success in 1854 elections especially in the Northeast
transportation improves
Transportation Improves
  • Era of Canals is firmly in place
    • The Erie Canal changes the Northwest
      • Makes it a rival to the ports of New Orleans and New York
        • New York explodes in productivity. Could rival London or Paris in commercial activity
      • Erie canal was so successful that it was paid in full in seven years
        • We are still paying for the Beltway and it was built before I was born
    • Again all of this helped white settlement of the west
  • Railroads had been around for a few decades but in the 1830’s the dominance of the railroad was guaranteed
    • Improvements to the steam engine and improved rails
      • Allowed for more trade and passenger cars
        • Canal companies tried to stop the advance of the railroad
          • In the end railroads win
  • Initially railroad lines were short
    • From point A to point B in New York
      • That was not very effective for long trade
        • Consolidation of short lines into longer lines begins
          • Would be able to connect Chicago to New York to Washington DC to Charleston
      • Railroads were paid be private investors, but it would not have been possible for any of this unless local governments got involved
        • They wanted trains too
science and technology
Science and Technology
  • The railroads were critical, but would prove useless until the invention of the magnetic telegraph
    • Would keep the trains on schedule and prevent them from running into each other
    • Invented by Samuel F.B. Morse
      • Would lead to the creation of the Western Union Telegraph Company
  • Richard Hoe invented the steam cylinder rotary press
    • Allowed for the creation of cheap and rapid newspapers
      • The spread of information and ideas was accessible to anyone
        • In 1846, newspaper editors created the Associated Press
          • Would share information with everyone
            • Tribune, Herald, Times
              • Covered international events and circulated outside of its home city
      • This was primarily done in the North. The South was once again forgotten about.
        • Helped foster feelings of Southern subjugation to the North
  • Corporations begin to take over
    • No longer will smaller distributors have control of the market
      • Merchant capitalist begin to take charge and were helped out by the system of limited liability
    • These corporations were able to gain control because regular people and merchants relied on credit
      • Banks were not able to give out official currency
        • The notes only value was based on the public confidence of the bank
      • Economic growth was therefor stymied
the rise of factory american style
The Rise of Factory: American Style
  • Manufacturing took place in the home, but with the gradual improvement with technology and demand for items a fundamental change occurred
    • The creation of the textile industry
      • No longer working at home, but in a factory with machines
        • By 1860, manufactured goods equaled agricultural products
  • Advances in technology were so quick that factories could not keep up with it
    • These machines were built out of wood because by the time they needed to replace it there would be something better on the market
      • The United States was now the textile leader of the world
    • Eli Whitney and Simeon North
      • Interchangeable parts
    • Coal
      • Pennsylvania
        • Allowed mills to be located away from water and allowed industry to expand
changes in the workforce
Changes in the Workforce
  • While immigrants were still coming into the United States, many Americans began to change their ways
    • The farm life was changing rapidly
      • Due to the cities and advancements in agriculture
        • Food Production improved and labor intensive crops declined due to innovations
        • Entire families stopped farming and went to work in mills/factories
          • Women would begin working in their late teens in factories, which before was unheard of
  • Lowell System- Lowell, Massachusetts. Relied heavily on young unmarried women to work
    • Well fed and supervised
      • Factory owners placed great emphasis on keeping up proper protocol
        • You didn’t want to be known for hiring harlots
        • Treated better here than anywhere in the world
          • Idea was- you make sure your employees are happy and have a semblance of a life outside the job and they were work hard for you
    • Was difficult to maintain this standard as demand continuously grew
      • Promoted the creation of women labor unions
        • Factory Girls Association
        • Female Labor Reform Association
          • Ten hour work days

Women were not expected to stay in the factories for a very long time

    • They would move on to more wholesome occupations
    • Immigrants were there to take their jobs
      • Factory conditions and pay in the States was noticeably better than in Europe
        • Immigrants could easily find work in the cities of the United States
      • Skilled artisans however suffered
        • Displaced by the factories
        • Considered themselves the embodiment of American ideal
          • They were a special class of people apart from the immigrants
          • They believed the country was becoming more and more ignorant because there was no true skill in working in a factory
    • The semblance of a Labor movement was now on the way, but if failed because the groups were not united, did not have a singular message, and the courts ruled against them
free labor
Free Labor
  • The idea of freedom has always been strong in the US. This also applied to the work one did
    • An American could choose their occupation, no one had the right to tell them differently
    • Americans were individuals and could find peace and freedom through self contemplation
      • Also meant that freedom could coexist with slavery
        • Slavery had to go for this reason
          • Also because slaves didn’t get paid and threatened free laborers
patterns in society
Patterns in Society
  • Antebellum America has arrived
    • Wealth is in the hands of a few and they want to flaunt it
      • Central Park
    • The poor were without basic resources and resorted to crime for survival
    • Major cities had a significant Black population
      • Could have menial jobs, but rarely anything else was given to them
  • It sucked to be poor, but overall the country was doing better and one was able to move up in the world
    • You were no longer stuck in the position you were born into
      • Explains the lack of social conflict during this period
        • Enough people were making a better life for themselves to make the masses realize how crappy their lives were
        • The emergence of the Middle Class changed the United States
          • Changed cities and the industrial economy
            • Diversified technology and the standards of living

With the emergence of the middle class, America has time for leisure activities

    • Not like today, but better than before
      • Rural America had nothing really yet, but the urban centers were fun
    • Taverns were for drinking, socializing and play games
    • The Ladies were gather at friend’s home and gossip
    • More affluent people read
      • The classy thing to do
  • Theatre especially Minstrel shows were popular. Boxing horse racing, cockfighting, and baseball were attracting large followings
  • American loved the bizarre
    • Freak shows were all the craze
      • P.T. Barnum
antebellum tendencies
Antebellum Tendencies
  • Families could no longer depend on the land, but on jobs
    • Women had to move into the workforce, but as Antebellum society grew it became a faux-pas for women to work
      • Yet enough women worked that the birth rate began to decline
        • Also sexual behaviors began to change in the United States
  • Being a women was very different than it was today or in colonial times
    • Wife beating was normal
    • Men got custody of the kids
    • Women were not to speak in public
      • Only the men in their immediate family could speak to them
    • Could no longer obtain a higher education
      • Unless you were learning how to be a better woman and mother
        • You had to learn your manners
    • There was no such thing as rape of a wife
  • The American Women needed to be the custodians of morality and benevolence
    • Religious and moral instruction came from the mother and needed to be the counter point to the impulses of men
      • Cult of domesticity