- People from New England, Middle, and the South all pushed West, joined by European immigrants.
- New, better forms of transportation
- Pushed towards market economy
The Westward Movement:
- The West was the most American part of America
- By 1840, the demographic center had crossed the Alleghenies
- Pioneer life was tough and lonely "rugged individualism"
Shaping the Western Landscape:
- After burning cane off of Kentucky bottomlands, Kentucky bluegrass thrived.
- Fur-trappers extincted beavers - bison - sea otters also went extinct - "ecological imperialism"
- America's nature was beautiful - George Catlin proposed the idea of national park - Yellowstone 1872.
The March of Millions:
- Urban growth - 1860 - New York (metropolis), New Orleans "Queen of the South," Chicago "hog butcher," Cincinnati "Queen City of the West" - many immigrants
- Sewer system - Boston 1823, NY 1842.
- Immigration! Irish and Germans. Why? Europe seemed to be running out of room. Letters from previous immigrants inspired new ones.
The Emerald Isle Moves West:
- Mid-1840s: Irish potato famine - 2 million died
- Poor Irish immigrants lived in big cities (NY, Boston)
- Women: kitchen maids, men: built canals and railroads
- They were discriminated against, conflict with blacks.
- Some saved up to buy property, many became police officers, some found their place in politics.
- Famine => Immigration => Big cities => domestic servants or construction laborers
- Roman Catholics, they were distrusted.
- Politics - many voted (Democratic party)
- White-collar government jobs opened up: building inspectors, policemen
The German Forty-Eighters:
- Uprooted farmers and liberal political refugees.
- German liberals contributed to American political life.
- Most had enough money to push west (Wisconsin) and establish farms.
- Became enemies of slavery during Civil War
- Drank lots (beer), inspired temperance advocates.
- Their numbers surpassed those of any other immigrant group
- Stayed to themselves, didn't settle in cities
- "Forty-Eighters" - refugees from the democratic revolution of 1848.
- Some came for religious freedom
- Amish (Penn, Indiana, Ohio)
Flare-ups of Antiforeignism:
- Roman Catholicism flooded into America with the immigrants, in 1850, became #1 religion in America.
- American "nativists" formed "Order of the Star-Spangled Banner" - agitated for restrictions on immigration and naturalization and for laws on authorizing deportation of alien paupers [and not the ones that linger in District 9 ;)]
- Mass violence - Chatholic convent burned
- Immigrants need to industrialize economy.
The March of Mechanization:
- Industrialism was slow to reach America because no one wanted to work in factories when they had the promise of owning land - until immigration in the 1840s
- Domestic market wasn't large enough to make manufacturing profitable.
- Britain monopolized machinery and mechanics.
Whitney Ends the Fiber Famine:
- Samuel Slater "Father of the Factory System" - memorized plans for machinery in Britain and came to the US - 1791 put into operation the first American machinery for spinning cotton into thread
- Cotton was rare because the handpicking process was labor-intensive
- Eli Whitney: built cotton gin - crude machine to separate cotton seed from fiber - 50x more effective than by hand
- Revived need for slaves
- cotton in the South -> textile factories in the North - both flourished
- New England industrial center: stony soil discouraged farming, dense population -> labor, seaports -> shipping
- 1845 Elias Howe invented sewing machine - improved it in Europe w/ Isaac M. Singer
Marvels in Manufacturing:
- Treaty of Ghent in 1815 hurt American manufacturing - British goods became cheap
- Tariff of 1816 passed for protection industries
- Eli Whiteny invented muskets made with interchangable parts in 1798 - basis of assembly lines inf the 1850s.
- Invention of sewing machine in 1846 boosted northern industralization (redi-made clothing industry) =>inspired more inventions.
- 1848 - Laws of "free incorporation" - businessmen could create corporations without applying for individual charters from the legislature.
- Samuel Morse - telegraph. Communication!
Workers and "Wage Slaves":
- Hours long, wages low, meals skimpy - forbidden to form labor unions
- 1/2 the workers are children
- Allowed to vote - Jacksonian Democrats
- Martin van Buren brought it down to 10-hour days -1840
- 1842 Commonwealth vs. Hunt - labor unions were not illegal conspiracies if their methods were "honorable and peaceful"
Women and the Economy:
- Women could work in factories => more independence
- Opportunities for women to economically slef-supporting scarce: nursing, domestic service, teaching!
- Working women mostly single.
- Women chose to have fewer children "domestic feminism" - growing power and independence of women
- New "rod-sparing" forms of discipline
Western Farmers Reap a Revolution in the Fields:
- Ohio - Indiana - Illinois - nation's breadbasket
- John Deere -1837 produced a steele plow - could be pulled by horses
- Cyrus McCormick - 1830s - mechanical mower-reaper, single men could do the work of 5.
- "Cash crop" agriculture came to dominate the West
Highways and Steamboats:
- Transportation was slow and inefficient
- Lancaster Turnpike successful - many more built
- 1811 - Federal government begin to construct National Cumberland Road, Maryland -> Illinois
- Robert Fulton - steam engine => all streams became 2-way, opened up West and South
"Clinton's Big Ditch" in New York:
- 1817-1825: Eerie Canal constructed. Linked the Great Lakes with the Hudson River (under leadership of Governer DeWitt clinton)
- =>Price of potato cut in half, NE farmers left
The Iron Horse:
- Railroads: fast, reliable, cheaper to construct than canals, didn't freeze in the winter. 1st built in 1828.
- Dangerous -> sparks could combust haystacks and stuff.
Cables, Clippers, and Pony Riders:
- 1858 - Cyrus Field stretched cable underwater from Newfoundland to Ireland
- Clipper ships: long, narrow, sleek - speed! HAuled high-value cargos in record time.
- Far west: horse-drawn stagecoaches
- 1860 - The Pony Express - mail from Missouri->California carried by speeding horsemen
The Transport Web Binds the Union:
- North and south connected economically through trade: canals, steamboats, railroads
The Market Revolution:
- Subsistence economy -> national network of industry and commerce
- Home: place of refuge from world of work
- Prosperity increased, rich-poor gap increased
- Not much "social mobility"
- America was the land of opportunity in comparison to the Old World.