Industrial Revolution in America

Industrial Revolution in America
Timeline of the First Industrial
Revolution of America
The Erie Canal opens and allows goods to
flow between the Great Lakes and New
York City.
Opening of the Erie Canal
Work began on the Baltimore & Ohio
Railroad, the nation’s first commercial
Baltimore & Ohio Railroad
Women made up 80% of the textile mill
work force in America.
1830s Textile Mill
Cholera Pandemic in New York state caused
by water pollution of densely populated
urban slums.
The Panic of 1837
Second Bank of the United states closed,
millions of dollars in bank notes, rising
business failures, high unemployment rate
Samuel F.B. Morse develops the first
functional telegraph.
Painted portrait of American artist and
inventor Samuel Morse (1791 1872)
The Industrial Revolution completely
transformed the United States until it
eventually grew into the largest economy in
the world and became the most powerful
global superpower.
The industrial revolution occurred in a
number of places across the world including
England, North America, Continental
Europe, Eastern Europe and Asia.
First Phase
Took place between 1750 and 1850
Began in England and then spread to
Continental Europe and North America
Second Phase
Took place between 1850 and 1914
Began in America and then spread to
When Was the Industrial Revolution in
Full-scale Industrialization didn’t occur in
America until two textile manufacturers,
Samuel Slater and Francis Cabot Lowell,
introduced mechanized textile
manufacturing to the United States in the
late 1790s and early 1800s.
Where Did the Industrial Revolution Take
Place in America?
The American industrial revolution began in
New England.
Several large-scale textiles mills were
established in the region during the late
18th and early 19th century which quickly
led to widespread industrialization in the
The Beverly Cotton Manufactury in
Massachusetts in 1787
Slater Mill in Rhode Island in 1790
Waltham Mill in Massachusetts in 1814
Massachusetts’s role in the industrial
revolution was pivotal, particularly because
of its textile mills.
It is often referred to as the “cradle of the
American industrial revolution.”
How the Industrial Revolution
Changed America
Caused rapid urbanization in America
In 1800, only 6 percent of the population of
America lived in cities but by 1900, that
number had increased to 40 percent
Caused a rise in unskilled labor
Prior to the 19th century, most Americans
who were not employed in agriculture
performed a skilled trade
The use of child labor also led to new labor
laws, such as the 1938 Fair Labor Standards
Poor working conditions and low wages led
to the growth of labor unions
Workers had little political support due to
the fact that many of them were immigrants
and women who were not allowed to vote
New economic changes led to social and
cultural transformations
A new middle class/bourgeoisie
Consisted of entrepreneurs, businessmen,
law and medical professionals
Inventions and Technologies
of the Industrial Revolution
in America
Cotton Gin, invented by Eli Whitney in 1793
McCormick Reaper, invented by Cyrus
McCormick in 1831
Steel plow, invented by a blacksmith named
John Deere in 1837
Telegraph, invented by Samuel Morse in
Vulcanized rubber, invented by Charles
Goodyear in 1844
Sewing machine, invented by Elias Howe in
Safety break for elevators, invented by
Elisah Otis in 1853
Bessemer process, invented by Henry
Bessemer in 1856
First telephone, patented by Alexander
Graham Bell in 1876
First roller coaster, patented by Edwin
Prescott in 1898
First airplane, Orville and Wilber Wright
invented the first plane that was not
powered by wind in 1903
Model T, Henry Ford invented the Ford
Model T automobile in 1908
War of 1812
The War of 1812 led to a British blockade of
the United States eastern coastline
Cut off from the sea, Americans began
focuses more heavily on manufacturing in
order to make money and create the goods
they couldn’t get through trade.
The causes of the second
industrial revolution in America
Natural Resources
The United States had a number of natural
resources, such as timber, water, coal, iron,
copper, silver and gold.
Industries took advantage of these natural
resources to manufacture a number of
goods to put on the market.
Railroad networks in the U.S. promoted the
growth of industries like coal and steel and
sped up the transportation of goods to
Encouraging mass production, mass
consumption and economic specialization
Abundant Labor Supply
Railroad work also attracted a large number
of immigrant workers to the United States
Provided an abundant labor supply for
growing businesses
The immigrants who migrated to America
were young
Hard workers who were not afraid of risk
and arrived determined to make something
of themselves
Laizze-Fair Politics
The lack of government regulation allowed
businesses to flourish and grow at a rapid
Business owners had full control of their
companies without government
It created widespread environmental
problems and poor working conditions
New Inventions
In the second half of the 19th century, new
inventions brought about even more
The invention of electricity and the light
bulb allowed factories to stay open longer
which vastly increased production volumes.
Textile mill working all night in New
Bedford, Massachusetts, photo by Jack
Delano, circa 1941
Electricity led to the invention of the
electric motor.
Which greatly improved transportation and
led the electric trolley and the electric
subway train.
Henry Ford’s assembly line and the rise of
mass production after the turn of the 20th
century also spurred industrialization.
The total manufacturing output of the
United States was 28 times higher in 1929
than it was in 1859.
The causes of the first industrial
revolution in America
Embargo Act of 1807
Prohibited American merchant ships from
leaving for foreign ports and prohibited
foreign vessels from carrying American
goods out of American ports.
Of the Napoleonic Wars between France
and England
To cut both England and France off from
the American market
The hope was that England and France
would suffer economically
Then cease to attack American merchant
ships and stop blocking each other from
trading with the Americans.
The act had no effect on the British or
French economy
Completely devastated the American
But the lack of access to foreign goods
forced the Americans to begin producing
more of their own goods.
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