The first American Industrial Revolution took place between 1780 and 1860, an event in history that changed the United States dramatically. Prior to the Industrial Revolution, producing material goods was very time-consuming and labor intensive because everything was handmade. Advances technology, however, allowed for manufacturers to produce large quantities of products within a short period of time. Changes to the way products were made in the factories enabled America to become a wealthy and prosperous country.
Although the Industrial Revolution had many impacts on economics and politics in the United States, it ultimately had an incomparably positive impact on society in America. The construction of the railroads, for example, changed the way goods flowed throughout the United States and neighboring territory. Railroads offered a cost-effective and cost-efficient way to move goods, as well as people, across the country. As stated in document 4, “… the building of transcontinental railroads… tied the nation together from coast to coast. ” Connecting the country nationwide allowed the United States to faster travel.
In addition to the new modes of trainsportation, the invention of the telegraph was also a factor that affected the United States during the years of the Industrial Revolution. In document 6, it says, “… [The telegraph] became a necessity for companies doing business across long distances. ” Making the telegraph vital for everyday business contributed to the everyday political life of America. Through the transportation and communication inventions, America’s politicians started to become more reliant on the quickened speed of travel and communication.
Inventions and technology fueled the Industrial Revolution in the United States economically as well. The Cotton Gin had a huge impact on the United States. According to document 3, the cotton gin vastly reduced the labor time needed to get cotton ready for sale. This helped textile factories to produce more goods; thus, multiplying the effects of the industrial revolution. The other invention that industrialized the America economically was the steam power. As document 5 states: “… steamboats made the nation a huge single market for the products of farms and factory. Without this invention, the new industrialized farms and factories couldn’t have traded any of their goods this much. The Industrial Revolution was hugely impacted economically by the inventions of the cotton gin and steam power. Lastly, the Industrial Revolution funded an unmatched change for women in society.
As the textile industry began to grow, a man by the name of Francis Cabot Lowell created the Lowell system which allowed young women to work and support themselves. A young woman wrote a letter in document 2 stating: “… I can now] save money toward my dowry and still have some left for an occasional luxury. ” Because of this, women were now able to become more independent and are starting to participate in church activities, lectures, and shopping for the first time. Although women were gaining independence they were treated harshly and the working conditions began to slowly worsen. According to document 1, “After thirteen hours unremitting toil. day after day and week after week, how much energy and life would remain… ” Consequently, trade unions began controlling the environments of employees for the better.
In the end, the many social changes in the industrial revolution began to shape America’s working conditions into what it is today. Despite the fact that the changes in America during the Industrial Revolution had many effects politically and economically, the changes in society were massively unmatched. Although some of these effects had a negative impact on some, it ultimately had an incomparable impact for the better. These changes by the Industrial Revolution created the start to the shaping of America’s future and the remembrance of our ancestor’s pasts.
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