Agriculture and the national economy
The importance of cotton to the economy
Invention of the cotton gin
Eli Whitney invented the cotton gin in 1793
Revolutionary impact of the gin
It made cotton producing much faster and more efficient
Impact on slavery
It made less work for the slaves, and it made the cotton much easier to work with Encouragement of westward migration
It was encouraged to grow cotton westward because there was more land and it
was more fertile. Cotton became a crucial component of the national economy. Cotton became an important export
From the mid 1830s - 1860, cotton accounted for more than half the value of all
exports in the nation. The westward movement
Changes in land laws
Land law of 1820
A national law that lowered the price of all land after the panic of 1819 Preemption Act of 1830
Squatters could stake out claims ahead of the land surveys and later get 160
acres for $1.25 per acre Graduation Act of 1854
An act that stated that all prices of unsold lands would be lowered in stages over
30 years 4.
Development of improved iron plows
Jethro Wood invented the iron plow in 1819, which would make plowing fields
much faster and more efficient
Cyrus McCormick's mechanical reaper
A device invented by Cyrus McCormick in 1831 that made the harvesting of
wheat much more efficient
Transportation and the national economy
Opening new roads
As settlers moved west, people demanded better roads for smoother traveling. Roads
were opened to stagecoaches and wagons.
In the early 1820s, people started to use water travel such as steamboats, flatboats, and
canal barges because it was a cheaper means of transportation.
Invented by Robert Fulton, this boat ran on the power of steam Flatboats
Flatboats could not go upstream, so when people went down the mississippi,
they would chop up the boats in New Orleans and use it as firewood. The Erie Canal
The canal brought major profits of gold to New York City, and turned towns such
as Rochester, Albany, and Buffalo into major commercial cities. It was the longest
canal in the world. Development of railroads
Early rail lines
In 1825, the first commercial rail line was opened in England. By1850, there was nearly
30,626 miles of railroads.
Advantages of rail service
The advantages of railroad travel were that it was a cheap, efficient way to transport
goods to be sold and shipped across the country.
Financing internal improvements
State and private funding of railroads
After the panic of 1837, the development and function of the railroads were left up to
private investors and state funding to keep the industry going.
Federal land grants to railroads
The federal government extended land grants to lands westward in the hopes that it
would become as successful as the Erie Canal.
Impact of new modes of transportation
The new modes of transportation created new jobs in this booming new industry, and
made it easier for other jobs, such as the postal service to function properly.
Delivery of mail
The new modes of transportation made it much easier for mail to be delivered to its
destination. Or the postal service offered an “express” service, where riders could mount
horses and take the package to its destination that way.
Advances in technology
Emphasis on practical application of science in the United States
The new developments of technology facilitated the growth of our country as a whole in
the 1800s. Without the advancement in technology, the morse code would have not
existed and we would still be riding horses to deliver messages from place to place.
Examples of the impact of inventions
The invention of the morse code made it so that somebody in New York City could
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