In order to create regional, national and international markets, strong commerce, trade and transportation are necessary. During the 1800’s, social change became more prominent in different areas of the country such as the South and Midwest. As economic prosperity grew, the need for new and more efficient means of transportation grew as well. Through the development of new transportation technologies such as canals and railroads, America saw a large increase in the monetary flow and stability of the economy along with a changing social and political climate during the period of 1820-1860. The growth of the American economy began to boom in the first portion of the nineteenth century, when industry and agriculture called for the increase in transportation technology. Transportation alone did not improve the economy in America; a combination of industry and agriculture helped increased the movement of goods and decreased prices. In the early 1800’s, transportation systems such as canals grew in scale and profitability. Canal building increased jobs and set off a race for new thinkers to come up with better ways of transportation. The Erie Canal, in particular, opened in October 1825 and not only did it allow New York to compete with New Orleans in wheat trade, it was also a profitable venture. The canal, paid off in full through tolls, started bringing in profits in seven years time. The rapid improvement in steam technology during the 1820’s led to a faster way of transporting goods and people on canals through steamboats. Steamboats permitted the transport of goods throughout the year rather than just in the warm seasons. The lack of a keel on the boats allowed for further penetration into shallower waters and to more previously inaccessible regions of the waterways, and to move through muddy water much more easily. This new faster method of shipping goods led to a drop in the price of transporting goods while simultaneously increasing...
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