How the industrial revolution changed America’s future

Custom Student Mr. Teacher ENG 1001-04 23 September 2016

How the industrial revolution changed America’s future

The commencement of the industrial heralded key revolutions among human communities since almost all day-to-day life aspects were somewhat influenced. It altered American landscape by leading to the development of tons that required extensive public services. It initiated some interdependent and specialized economic system and made town employees more entirely subjected to employers’ will as compared to the previous case with rural employees.

Industrialization entailed three key developments: expansion of transportation; effective harnessing of electricity and enhancements in industrial procedures like enhancement of refining processes and speeding up production (Henretta, David, Lynn, 2006, p. 13). Industrial revolution was signified by the emergence of mass manufacture and electricity and was propelled by numerous engineering branches. Electrical and chemical engineering progressed in union with physical and chemistry and had major functions in boosting electrical, telecommunications and chemical industries.

Water engineers controlled the dangers of ocean voyages. Aeronautic scientists transformed ancient flight dreams into journeys for normal folks. Control scientists speeded up the speed of mechanization. Industrial scientists developed and controlled mass manufacture as well as production structures. Engineering programs for colleges became established. Workshops were transformed into laboratories, fiddling turned into industrial experimentation and separate discoveries became organized into methodical inventions. Eli Whitney in 1794 discovered a cotton fiber gin thus speeding up the removal of seeds from yarn.

Southern regions of America boosted cotton production which was conveyed north for cloth manufacture. Cloth manufacturing efficiency was enhanced through Francis T. Lowell’s initiative of merging spinning with weaving processes. Therefore textile manufacturing developed in all of New England (Steams, 2007, p. 19). Elias Howe developed a stitching machine in 1846 thus revolutionizing cloth manufacture. Suddenly factories began to manufacture cloth as opposed to previous home cloth manufacture. Eli Whitney discovered the method of using interchangeable components in the manufacture of muskets in 1798.

In case standard components were manufactured using machines, they would ultimately be brought together faster than previously. With the emergence of factories and industries, citizens migrated from rural areas into cities. Additional issues like disease and overcrowding resulted. However, developments within agriculture were also made such as enhanced cultivators and machines. For instance, the harvester was developed by Cyrus McCormick thus permitting cheaper and quicker grain harvesting. The initial steel cultivator was invented by John Deere in 1837 to facilitate faster farming in the Midwest (Steams, 2007, p. 9).

Owing to the increasing size of the USA, enhanced communication was vital. Samuel F. B. Morse invented telegraph systems which as at 1860 had were in use from the east coast to Mississippi. The initial federal road, the Cumberland Road commenced in 1811 and it ultimately became a component of Interstate 40. Additionally, river transport was made effective by Robert Fulton owing to his invention of Clermont, the initial steamboat. James watt’s creation of the initial dependable steam locomotive assisted Fulton’s efforts (Sexton, 2006).

Development of Erie Canal developed a path from Atlantic Ocean to Great Lakes thus assisting boost new York’s economy and making the city of new York some major trading hub. Railroads proved vitally important in increasing trade in the whole of America. When the Civil War commenced, key cities in the Midwest along the Atlantic coastline were linked via railroads. Railroads additionally opened up western regions and conveyed unprocessed materials between markets and factories. The year 1869 saw the completion of the Utah Transcontinental Railroad. After the civil war, America grew into some industrial power.

Old factories and fresh ones, such as, petroleum refineries, electrical and steel production emerged. Railroads underwent significant expansion thus linking even distant regions to form a single market economic system. The immense advances witnessed in the 1800s industrial revolution propelled inventors to sustain inventions in the 19th as well as the dawn of the 20th centuries regarding methods of making life simpler and at the same time boost productivity (Steams, 2007, p. 46). Mid-1800s foundations set precedence for discoveries like Thomas Edison’s illumination bulb, Alexander Bell’s telephone and Karl Benz’s automobile.

Additionally, the invention of the assembly line by Ford, thus making manufacturing more effective, assisted America to emerge into some contemporary industrialized state. Eighteen century industrial revolution led America along the route that adopted engineering and technology as a key national uniqueness component. Political rights progress appeared to occur simultaneously with enhanced scientific expertise, technological advances as well as engineering milestones. Technological advancement minimized labor, enhanced health and ushered in abundance.

Technology acted as lubricant and fuel for propelling society ahead owing to rising democratic-capitalism. When faced with challenges, Americans usually employed technology in tackling such. This era witnesses proliferation of technologies and heightened immigration. Although it appeared to inflict harm on budding America, this revolution benefited the nation forever. Numerous aspects worked to bring in accomplishments or failures in particular instances. The revolution witnessed the proliferation of industries, women’s liberties advocacy as well as other societal transformations, and financial modifications within trade (Steams, 2007, p. 2).

Despite the fact that such an era did not usher in solely positive affects, it goes without saying that positive enduring effects outweighed negative consequences. Citizens secured jobs in factories although in horrendous, unsafe environments. Wages were hugely low and workers toiled for long hours. Such factories however beat a path for American to advance to current industrial status. Factory laborers and industries existent during such a revolution initiated mass manufacture of commodities. Clipper sea vessels were built to achieve extreme speed that had never been attained before.

This era also had negative consequences owing to the fact that machines that replaced human labor were developed. However, a look at contemporary trends and times makes it clear that if not for such initiatives, America would lag behind by many years (Henretta, David, Lynn, 2006, p. 33). Immigrants having advanced skills in English expertise went into the USA and introduced new machinery like spinning mills. Domestically-derived technology also existed for instance cotton gins which permitted one person to works on a similar amount of cotton as did several workers per day before.

Industrialization called for development of transportation channels to permit effective conveyance of unprocessed supplies to industries and processed commodities into markets. Initially such structures were inexistent in America and therefore a home market adequate to rationalize large-scale manufacture was lacking. A fresh era commenced as regards river transportation when steam boats were invented. At the same tine, the turnpike period had also commenced with toll highways joining towns.

Despite the fact that railroads acted as secondary transportation modes between 1820s and 1830s, such developments would later in the 1850s herald a huge surge in railroad construction that greatly interconnected America. Railroads acted as America’s key transportation channels and this persisted up to the time the interstate road was constructed in the mid 1950s (Henretta, David, Lynn, 2006, p. 37). The 1800s witnessed much railroad activity. Railroads proved crucial as regards stimulation of economic growth; however, their impacts transcended the economic system to pervade the greater American community.

Entrepreneurial and technological innovations, like discovery of rail tracks, generation of stream-propelled locomotives as well as emergence of trains to become freight and passenger public transporters, initiated railroads. As at 1804 inventors in America had undertaken trials on steam locomotives for transporting vehicles on land (Sexton, 2006). The initial firm to commence real operations became the Ohio and Baltimore which in 1830 inaugurated some 13 mile long track. It employed several horses to pull a freight and passenger train on such track.

Steam engines were not widely adopted until in 1832. Ohio River and Baltimore were linked through railroads in the 1850s. the Hudson and Mohawk commenced 16 mile train operations between Albany and Schenectady in 1831. As at 1836, in excess of one thousand track miles had been constructed within 11 states. Industrial progress altered American communities by producing a fresh caste of rich industrialists as well as a wealthy middle caste. It produced an extensively broadened proletarian working category. The workers who facilitated industrialization comprised of numerous fresh rural-urban immigrants.

This made American communities increasingly diverse that previously (Steams, 2007, p. 61). All citizens did not benefit from the ensuing financial prosperity. Numerous workers typically were jobless at least for a section of the year. Their remuneration was comparatively low if they secured jobs. This led to numerous workers supporting and joining labor organizations. At the same time, farmers too encountered tough times because heightened production and technology resulted in increased competition as well as reduced prices for farmhouse commodities.

Such tough times made numerous young persons to relocate from farms to cities to search for better employment opportunities. The period from the 1840s to 1850s witnessed great changes as regards the lifestyles of Americans. Several changes emanated from all-encompassing technological transformations. The key light source, for instance, evolved from use of candles to paraffin lamps and ultimately to electric bulbs. Transportation evolved from on foot and stallion energy toward steam-powered engines, electric trolleys then gasoline-propelled automobiles.

Peoples lifestyles (settlements and workplaces evolved from agricultural-oriented to industrial-based. Owing to increased efficiency in the manufacturing and production of commodities, commodity prices for users dropped and thus numerous items, previously the preserve of the rich, could now be accessed by huge sections of American societies. Reduced price structures for furniture, crop implements and furniture led to increased living standards for Americans (Steams, 2007, p. 93). Rising living standards led many Americans to enjoy more amenities and conveniences for comparatively reduced costs.

Additionally, American economic systems witnessed growth spurts owing to exports and consumer expenditure. Another advantage associated with the industrial revolution is the creation of numerous jobs to satisfy the requirements for machine operation and assemblage lines. Although numerous persons secured employment opportunities owing to the industrial revolution, many of such jobs offered meager wages that barely permitted employees to manage to survive. Numerous employees thus lived in nastiness because they returned to their living quarters to find filth-ridden residences.

Indeed owners and investors in the factories and companies are the select few who benefited from the industrial revolution (Sexton, 2006). Additionally, it appears environments for moving up the social ladder was mainly related on whether individuals were employed by some firm of were self-employed. For numerous skilled workers who worked away from industries or who ran own ventures, their financial realities were self-controlled and numerous faired well. On the other hand, for a great deal of skilled workers who were employed by prevailing and major industries, working hours and wage earnings depended on company owners and bosses commands.


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  • University/College: University of Arkansas System

  • Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter

  • Date: 23 September 2016

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