The industrial development of the United States from 1816 to 1845 was dramatic and incredibly expedited. This leads many in the modern era to look back to examine what factors contributed to such growth and expansion. There were many factors and the most important are worth noting.
In the previous century, the United States was mostly a farming based economy. While farms would still remain a major component of the economy in the 1800’s, the development of factories (Particularly in the north) greatly expanded the industrialization of the nation. Even in farming communities, “scaled down” automated systems would dramatically alter society. The development of cigarette rolling machines, for example, helped increase cigarette production (and tobacco farming output) enormously.
Another major contributing factor to the development of industry was the great expansion of transportation. In particular, the creation of the railroad system would essentially make interstate commerce and industrialization expand far more rapidly than it would without the railroads. Also contributing to this facet of industrialization was the development of turnpikes and canals. Really, the expansion of transportation methods had significant impact in the industrialization of the United States.
Urbanization was also a factor in the industrial development of the United States. Basically, metropolitan areas had become enormously crowded due to the need for a huge labor force in the textiles industry. Eventually, this led to sanitation problems which soon led to innovations in maintaining sanitation and pollution. These innovations helped develop the mindset that one needed to rely on industrial and automated solutions to problems due to lower costs and greater efficiency.
Of course, there were many more factors that led to the expansion of the industrialized society. However, the growth of factories, transportation, automation, and urban living were among the most important factors.
Zinn, Howard (2005). A People’s History of the United States: 1492 to Present .
New York, NY: Harper Perennial Modern Classics .