AP US: Growth Of America (c. 1800 - 1860)

Immigration

  • from 1790-1820, the population of the US doubles to 10 million people
    • this is a result of an increase in reproduction, as immigration had slowed
    • there were only about 250,000 immigrants during this period
      • many couldn't come because of wars and other hardships
      • others weren't sure that America would last
  • immigration increases after the defeat of Napoleon in 1815
    • immigration rates:
      • 1820s: 150,000
      • 1830s: 600,000
      • 1840s: 1,700,000
      • 1850s: 2,600,000
    • by 1860, the number of states had doubled to 33, and 40 cities had over 20,000 people
    • shift in source of immigrants
      • Irish
        • the 1840s Irish Potato Famine caused 2 million deaths and sent tens of thousands of immigrants to the US
        • by the end of the century, more Irish lived in America than in Ireland
        • 2 million come from 1830-1860
        • too poor to move west, so they stay on the East coast
          • they will make up half the population of Boston and New York City
          • hated for several reasons:
            • they will accept any wage, taking jobs from others
            • they are Catholic
          • lived in crowded, dirty tenant buildings, with high rates of crime, alcoholism, etc.
          • stereotyped as lazy, ignorant, and dirty
        • will eventually control the police department of NYC, and will later gain control of most of the political apparatus there and in Boston
        • it was said that their votes enabled Jackson's 1820 victory
        • created and ran the political machines, such as NYC's Tammany Hall
    • Germans
      • highly educated, solid work ethic, largely farmers
      • considered to be cultured and educated
      • had modest personal possessions on arrival - weren't too poor
      • many German enclaves were already built up, so they had support on arrival and could preserve their traditions (these traditions include Christmas trees and Kindergarten
  • 1849: Reaction to Immigration
    • Order of the Star-Spangled Banner becomes a political party called the American Party
      • based out of New York
      • when asked about what they do, they would reply with "I know nothing", so they became known as the "Know-Nothing Party"
      • anti-Catholic, hence anti-Irish
      • won numerous elections up to the 1850s
      • "immigrants tried to keep out the immigrants"
    • over the years, groups develop to keep out specific immigrants; the Chinese will be the first groups targeted with specific legislation

Industry and Manufacturing

  • 18th Century advances
    • British inventors make machines that can replace workers
    • allows mass production of textiles
    • kept the designs and machines secret, in order to control the industry
    • stopped those who made the machines from leaving
  • 1789 - Samuel Slater left Britain, disguised, bringing knowledge of the plans to build a textile machine
    • he was contracted in Rhode Island to build the machine
    • 1791 - built the first US machine for spinning cotton
    • 1815 - 130,000 spindles are in the US, 213 factories
    • he is known as the "father of the factory system in America"
  • 1793 - Eli Whitney built the cotton gin, a machine which took the seeds out of cotton fibres; many copies were made before he could patent the device
  • the Embargo Act and the War of 1812 had allowed manufacturing to shift from small, home-run enterprises to grow and expand; the Industrial Revolution created a shift to the factory system
  • preservation of food by canning
    • first adopted in Europe, and moves to the US
    • 1820 - several major canneries have been established in Boston, NYC, etc.
  • 1828 - Eli Whitney invents interchangeable parts
    • machine tools can create parts of a musket that are identical and can be interchanged
    • factories are built in the North for mass production of firearms
    • the idea spreads to other industries, as well
    • however, handmade products are better than machine-made ones, even though they're more expensive, and people complain about the cheap machined products and their poor quality
    • Eli Whitney can be said to have started and ended the Civil War - cotton gin created more demand for slaves, but mass-produced muskets allowed North to win
  • Charles Goodyear patents vulcanised rubber in the 1840s
  • Morse invents the telegraph, sending a message from Baltimore to Washington, D.C.; this allows instant communication throughout the nation
  • Howe invents the sewing machine in 1846, creating a new line of employment for women and lowering prices on goods
  • in Massachusetts, Francis Cabot Lowell combined spinning and weaving machines to create the Lowell Manufacturing Company
    • "factory towns" are created by him, it becomes known as the "Lowell System"
      • 2000 people live in a town owned by the Lowell Co.
      • Lowell owns everything - houses, stores, etc.
      • everything revolves around the factory and its production
      • later, the South will argue that there's little difference between Southern slaves and Northern "wage slaves"
        • South's slaves get food, room, etc. - but they're not free
        • North's "slaves" get little money, can barely pay for room and board - but they are free
  • labour unions begin to develop
    • more like trade unions, groups in specific industries get together
    • Mass. Supreme Court, in 1842 (Commonwealth v. Hunt), had one of the first rulings in favour of workers up to this time
      • however, this is a mild victory, and nothing is really gained
  • 1850 - the factory system is fine-tuned and going strong
    • New England and the Middle states are centres of manufacturing
    • textiles, lumber, machinery, clothing, and woollen goods are all produced
    • shift in American power - they start to become larger than European rivals

Southern Agriculture: Cotton as King

  • by 1860, the leading export of the US is cotton
  • leads to the creation of a Southern way of life
  • cotton is very labour-intensive, so more slaves are needed
    • will cause argument about slavery to grow
    • the South will become absolutely reliant on slavery
  • Eli Whitney's cotton gin allowed a marked increased in the cotton industry
    • he built the first in 1793, and made a larger, water or horse-powered, version later
  • cotton will surpass tobacco, rice, and sugar as primary Southern crop, increasing by 800%
  • this brings the South unprecedented prosperity
  • some argue that it is also the death of the South: because of the focus on cotton, nothing else is grown, leading to dependence on the North and West
  • leads to rise of large-scale commercial agriculture and a rise in slaves
  • will cause the removal of any impediments (such as Indians) to cotton growth and production
  • leads to an economic boom in the North
    • 80% of Southern cotton is sent to England by Northern shippers
    • 75% of cotton used in English production comes from the South
    • notable during Civil War
  • most people ignored indications that the one-crop economy could not be sustained
    • cotton was very hard on the soil, destroying nutrients
    • cotton's money is so good that they ignore the impact on the soil
    • they will have to move west and farther southwest to gain more land
  • promotes an unequal social/economic structure
    • there is an excess of poor whites and slaves during a time in which there's more democracy in the North and West
    • the majority of the South is under the control of a minority - the prosperous plantation owners
    • by the mid-19th century, the South had developed its own aristocracy
      • wealthy plantation owners are at the top
      • a small number of families own almost all the land and slaves, and have significant political power
      • leads to the development of a unique culture in the South, different from the rest of the nation
      • Southern aristocrats send their children to the finest schools - Northern or foreign; for others, education isn't important in the South
      • the South produces a high proportion of statesmen
      • Southern women run households, manage slaves for household chores
      • while some men talked about abolition, most women were strongly opposed
      • the rich have control, but small plantations represent the majority's Southern lifestyle
        • only about 1/4 of the South owned slaves
        • many small farms had less than 10 slaves
        • over 6 million residents of the South had no slaves
        • there are large groups of poor whites
          • not educated
          • tradesmen or other occupations
          • worked on plantations
          • suffer from malnutrition and other diseases
          • portrayed as slow-moving, laid back, and lazy
          • the ultimate goal for many was to, at some time, own a slave
  • by 1860, about 250,000 free blacks are in the South
    • freed during the Revolution, or the offspring of plantation owners and slaves
    • laws restrict their freedom
    • often captured and sold back into slavery - whether they were escaped slaves or not
  • about 250,000 free blacks in North
    • denied basic rights, including the right to vote - in some cases, they can't even receive a public education
    • compete with the Irish for jobs
  • by 1860, there are 4 million slaves in the South; importation was made illegal in 1808, but slaves were still smuggled in

Corporations

  • in the 1860s, one begins to see the organisation of corporations
    • corporations become legal individuals
    • allow people to invest in part of a company - if the company fails, all you lose is the initial investment
    • also, there's no liability - you can only lose money for the corporation's errors, not be jailed, etc.
  • movement into cities
    • people move to cities as factory system grows
    • more time for leisure activities, such as dog fights, horse/foot/boat races (ex. 1845 horse race with 100,000 in attendance)

Western Agriculture

  • small-scale farming matures into a wide-reaching capitalistic market
  • by 1860, more than 1/2 of the population is west of the Appalachians
    • poorly fed and clothed, live in houses of sod
    • as more move, conditions improve
    • land speculators buy large tracts of cheap land
  • in 1830, Chicago was a trading village, but it became one of the largest and richest cities in the nation
  • 1820 land law drops price of land from $1.64 to $1.25 per acre
  • Pre-Emption Act of 1830 decreed that squatters could mark out land and get it for $1.25 per acre
  • the 1862 Homestead Act stated that settlers could claim land by staying there for 5 years
  • squatter's rights will later be threatened by large cattle corporations, whose move to expand into large pasture lands is hindered by the small farmers in their way; these "sodbusters" will be in the way of pasture land
  • these three areas become economically tied
    • the West quickly becomes the granary of America, sending grain down the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers to the South
    • the South focusses on cotton, as they don't need to grow food
    • the North focusses on manufacturing

Transportation

  • turnpikes (broad, paved toll roads) are built for about 20 years
  • the Cumberland (National) Road
    • begun in 1811 and completed in 1852
    • stretches 591 miles from Cumberland, Maryland to Vandalia, Illinois
    • used federal and state funds
  • in 1807, Fulton's steamboat goes up the Hudson River
    • the steamboat becomes the most popular way of moving goods over water
    • there will be more than 200 on the Mississippi River by 1820
  • in 1817, the New York legislature endorsed Governor DeWitt Clinton's plan to connect the Hudson River with Lake Erie
    • the Erie Canal stretches 363 miles from Albany to Buffalo
    • reduces the cost of moving freight and lowers travel time
    • provides a water route from New York to Chicago, via the Great Lakes
    • this route enables migration to the West
    • combined with Britain's repeal of the Corn Law, it opened new markets for Midwestern farmers on the East Coast and in Europe
    • paid for itself in 7 years
    • the "Big Ditch" sparks a canal craze, with 3000 miles of waterways by 1840
  • Railroads
    • hold many advantages over water, as they're faster, cheaper to build, and don't freeze in winter
    • put together by private business, as states had overextended in building canals and didn't have sufficient funds
    • completed in 1828, the B and O Railroad runs from Baltimore to Ohio (63 miles)
    • by 1840, 3000 miles of railroad track had been built, which is double the mileage of all of Europe
    • by 1860, there were 30,000 miles of railroad
    • 3/4 of the railroads were located in the North, which will haunt the South during the Civil War
  • Clipper Ships - 1845
    • long, narrow ships that were built for speed
    • carried tea from China to America
    • transport goods to California from the East coast
    • a US "claim to fame" - a purely American invention
    • last for about 2 decades
    • not much room for cargo; they make up for this with speed
    • they will be superseded by ocean-going steamboats that, while slower, are more deluxe and carry larger cargoes
  • Pony Express (1860s)
    • located in the far West during the 1860s
    • can travel from Missouri to California in 10 days using system of changing horses every 10 miles
    • they were the established form of mail transport, riding in all weathers and through all dangers
    • only last for less than 10 years
    • replaced by the telegraph
  • transportation helps to form a continental economy
  • cuts in time and cost lead to larger profits
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