America’s Economic Revolution
Theme: The market revolution, Industrial Revolution, and large-scale immigration created tremendous changes within the United States during the early and mid- 19th century. During this time span the same forces behind America’s great industrial growth that created a sense of national unity for some, also contributed to the rising sectionalism that peaked in the latter half of the 19th century with the Civil War. I. the American population
A. Reasons for population increase:
1. Improvements in public health: the number of diseases decreased along with the mortality rate; the birth rate also increased: women on average had 6 children which all were expected to grow of age to bore children themselves. 2. Immigration: European immigration contributed little to the enormous population growth because of the wars in Europe in the early 19th century, but the numbers soon increased by around 80,000 by 1837. This was greatly due to lowered transportation costs and increased economic opportunities. 3. Migration into the industrializing areas created the rapid urbanization within existing cities. Also migration westward spread industrialization into new parts of the country. Compared to in 1790 when one in every thirty people lived in cities by 1840 one in twelve did.
B. Immigration and urban growth
1. Major city’s population growth:
- New York: rose from 312,000 to 805,000.
- Philadelphia: from 220,000 to 565,000.
- Boston: from 93,000 to 177,000
2. Western cities also grew due to the booming agricultural economy; Cincinnati, Pittsburg, St. Louis, Louisville all benefited from trading posts along the Mississippi river. 3. European immigration:
-1840 to 1850- 1.5 million
-By 1850 there were 23 million people in the US and 2.2 million were foreign born. -In the 1850’s over 2.5 million arrived.
-In St. Louis, Chicago, and Milwaukee foreigners outnumbered natives -Few immigrants settled in the south, most moved to New England Industrialized areas.
C. German immigrants came to America mainly because of widespread poverty due to the economic upset caused by the industrial revolution, and collapse of the liberal revolution in 1848 there. They were mostly Protestant and Catholic, educated, and wealthy, and moved to the Northwest US, and became farmers. The potato famine in Ireland greatly contributed to Irish emigration to America in the 1850s. It caused nearly one million people to die of starvation and disease. Most Irish were Catholic which clashed with the overwhelming Protestant faith in the northeast. Many moved to eastern cities and worked in domestic factories. They were greatly appreciated by factory owners because they came over in numbers and were a source of cheap labor.
D. Rise of nativism: this occurred when some Americans saw the growing foreign population as alarming and natives eventually developed hostile attitudes towards the immigrants. Racism emerged because of this fear. Many Americans viewed natives as inferior to themselves. Americans also feared that the immigrants would take jobs from the native labor force. Politicians feared that the increase in foreigners would bring new, radical ideas to the political system. Many secret societies formed because of the growing “alien menace.” These included the Native American Association (1837) and the Native American Party (1845).
-xenophobia: fear of foreigners
- Maria Monk’s Awful Disclosure: a collection of lies about the catholic church; became a best seller.
- “know nothings”: a political party that arose from the growing feelings of nativism. II. Transportation, Communication, and Technology
1. Promoted the speedy transportation of goods up and down water ways which sparked an economic interest in expanding waterways westward.
2. The Erie Canal was the greatest canal in the US. It extended from the Hudson River and Lake Erie. It was a...