Section 1: A Growing Economy (p. 296-301)
In the mid-1700s, the way goods were made began to change. The changes began in Great Britain where they began using machines. For example, they used a machine to make cloth. They built textile mills along rivers. The water from the river powered their machines.
People stopped working only in their homes or on their farms and moved to cities to work in the mills and earn money. This big change in how people worked and how things were made is known as the Industrial Revolution.
The Industrial Revolution came to the United States around 1800. The changes began first in New England. There were three main reasons:
- New England did not have good soil for farming. People were willing to give up farming and look for other kinds of work.
- New England had rivers and streams for waterpower. People used waterpower to run machines in new factories.
- New England had many ports that could ship goods (i.e. Boston).
Technology was an important part of the Industrial Revolution. There were new machines to make cloth. The water frame and the spinning jenny spun thread. Before, people had to do this by hand. The power loom wove thread into cloth. These machines saved time and money.
In 1793 Eli Whitney invented the cotton gin. The cotton gin made it easy and fast to remove the seeds from cotton and now much more cotton was produced.
Whitney developed the idea of interchangeable parts. These were identical musket parts and could be put together quickly. No need special training needed. If part of a musket broke, it could be replaced. The idea of interchangeable parts changed manufacturing.
The U.S. Congress passed a patent law. A patent gives the inventor the sole right to make money from his or her invention for a certain period of time.
Samuel Slater was from Britain and memorized how to make the machines that made cotton thread. Slater built copies of those machines in the United States. Francis Cabot Lowell made Slater’s idea even better. All the steps of making cloth, or textiles, were done in one factory. When all the manufacturing steps are done in one place, it is called a factory system.
The economic system of the United States encourages industrial growth called capitalism. People put their capital, or money, into a business. They hope the business will make a profit.
The American economy is a free enterprise economy.
Many people went to work in factories. Still, agriculture (farming) was the main economic activity in the United States.
There were many farmers in the West.
The growth of textile industries increased the demand for cotton. Cotton was grown in the South. The cotton gin made it faster to process cotton. Southern farmers moved west to find new land to grow cotton. To grow more cotton, Southern farmers needed more enslaved workers.
Small investors began to invest money in new businesses. They hoped to make money in return. Large businesses called corporations were formed. Corporations are companies owned by many people. The corporations sold stock, or shares of ownership in a company. This helped to pay for industrialization.
The growth of factories and trade led to the growth of cities. Many cities grew up near rivers because factories could use water to power their machines. People could ship their goods to markets more easily. (i.e. New York and Boston) In the West, towns such as Cincinnati and Pittsburgh were located on major rivers.
Section 2: Moving West (p. 302-307)
In 1790 the first census was taken. A census is an official count of the population. It indicated that more settlers were heading west.
Wilderness Road allowed people to get past the Appalachian Mountains down in Kentucky.
Traveling west was not easy without roads. The United States needed roads. Roads were the way to move people and goods inland. Some companies built turnpikes. Travelers paid tolls, or fees, to use the turnpikes. This helped pay for building them.
Building started on the National Road in 1811 but was halted because of the War of 1812. After the war, this road went from Maryland to what is now West Virginia.
People preferred river travel over wagon. However, some problems with this were:
- Most rivers flowed north to south and people generally travelled east to west.
- The river only flowed downstream (going south).
Robert Fulton developed a steamboat with a powerful engine called the Clermont. It could travel upstream. Steamboats made transportation easier and more comfortable. Shipping goods by steamboat became cheaper and faster. Steamboats also helped river cities, such as St. Louis and Cincinnati, grow.
Steamboats could not link the eastern and western parts of the country. De Witt Clinton made a plan to link New York City with the Great Lakes region. They would build a canal (the Erie Canal) across the state of New York. A canal is a waterway built by people.
The Move West Continues
The United States added four new states (Vermont, Kentucky, Tennessee and Ohio) by 1803. By 1821, Indiana, Illinois, Mississippi, Alabama, and Missouri became states.
Pioneers moved west to find a better life. Most pioneer families settled along the big rivers and canals. They could more easily ship their crops and goods to markets. People usually settled with others from their original home state.
Section 3: Unity and Sectionalism (p. 308-315)
A feeling of national unity grew in the United States after the War of 1812. James Monroe, a Republican, easily won the election of 1816 because the Federalist Party had become weak.
This period became known as the Era of Good Feelings. Feelings at the time were those of loyalty to the nation, or nationalism. The Republicans wanted a strong federal government.
Henry Clay was a leader in the House of Representatives and proposed the American System to help the economy in each section of the country, and also to increase the power of the federal government. Clay’s system called for
- higher tariffs
- a new national bank
- internal improvements such as new roads, bridges, and canals.
After the War of 1812, many people purchased goods from British factories. The British goods were better than American goods. They cost less, too. Britain hoped they could keep Americans from competing with them. They sent a lot of their products to America.
American manufacturers wanted to protect growing industries. They wanted high tariffs. The Republicans passed a protective tariff (a tax on imported goods) in 1816. This encouraged people to buy American-made goods.
Southerners did not like the tariffs. They felt the tariffs protected the Northern manufacturers. The Southerners felt forced to pay higher prices.
Most Americans felt loyal to the region where they lived. Now this feeling was stronger. Each section of the country had different goals and interests (North vs. South vs. West). These differences are called sectionalism.
Each section of the country had a voice in Congress. Henry Clay spoke for the West. John C. Calhoun of South Carolina spoke for the South. Daniel Webster of Massachusetts spoke for the North. Each leader tried to protect the interests of his own section of the country.
In McCulloch v. Maryland (1819) , the Court ruled that a state could not tax property of the national government. In Gibbons v. Ogden, the Court ruled that only Congress could make laws governing interstate commerce, or trade between states.
In 1819 there was an argument between the North and the South. Missouri wanted to enter the Union as a slave state. Congress disagreed. Henry Clay came up with a plan to solve this disagreement over slavery. The Missouri Compromise called for Missouri to be admitted as a slave state. Another new state, Maine, would be a free state. This meant that there would still be an equal number of slave and free states. This kept a balance of power in the Senate. Neither side could change the laws governing slavery. The Missouri Compromise also dealt with slavery in the rest of the Louisiana Territory. The land south of Missouri could allow slavery, and the land north of it could not.
Americans had a lot of pride in their country following the War of 1812.
The Convention of 1818 was an agreement between the United States and Britain. It set the boundary of the Louisiana Purchase between the United States and Canada at the 49th parallel. It made a secure border without armed forces. Americans got the right to settle in the Oregon Country
The United States had a dispute with Spain over parts of Florida. Spain controlled Florida. Americans took control of West Florida to Louisiana and Mississippi and Spain took no action. In 1818 General Andrew Jackson was ordered to stop Native American raids from East Florida. He invaded West Florida and continued into East Florida. He captured several Spanish forts. The Spanish realized they were not strong enough to hold on to Florida. The Adams-Onís Treaty was signed in 1819. In the treaty, Spain ceded, or gave up, Florida. At the same time, Spain was losing power in Mexico. In 1821 Mexico finally gained its independence. By 1824, Spain had lost control of most of South America.
In 1822 several European countries talked about a plan to help Spain take back its American colonies. President Monroe did not want more European involvement in North America. In 1823 he issued the Monroe Doctrine. It said that European powers could no longer set up colonies in North America and South America.