Grand Canyon University
The Birth of the Industrial Age
Industrialization changed the daily lives of citizens in the United States in the late 19th Century. The economic changes were due in large part from the nature of the extent of the visions of the inventors and the revolutionary ideas they discovered and set into motion. Throughout the 19th century the United States was the role model regardless of the idea or the invention being displayed. Canada was also affected as being linked to the United States in many endeavors and geography tied together with the connecting borders. The US also was a more modernized country compared to Canada, making it seem that Canadians followed on the heels and the path of the Americans. In all fairness they did exactly this, because of the Canadian economy being well behind the Americans was always slower. All things changed for the future in the 19th century as things were modernized.
America during the 19th century was industrialized in a sense never before seen in history. The American industrial light and power base exceeded anything Great Britain, France, and Germany combined could muster. The natural resources being abundant gave America endless raw materials needed in industrialization. This fact combined with the large population of immigrants exiting each arriving ship guaranteed a solid never ending supply of strong eager labor. The spinning Jenny in 1798 by James Hargraeave along with Edward Cartwright’s loom in 1787 change to output and manufacturing and weaving of yarn . The James Watt steam engine further increased the production capabilities of the loom and production of linen and cotton for clothes. The cotton industry was not the only industry to benefit and advance production 100% the invention of the cotton gin by Eli Whitney in 1793 completely revolutionized the South. This single invention also reduced the hand consuming task previously done by slaves. The gin enabled fifty times more cotton could be produced in a single day. The need for more slaves was immediately apparent with the world demanding as much cotton as could be produced and it took more slaves to plant grow and pick more cotton. The cotton gin gave the slave industry a new life. The slave states grew exponentially from 1800 to 1860 to (15) fifteen slave states. Cotton was now king in the South.
In 1860 with the advances in technology, politics were impacted, economic interests were paramount and society was racing to the gate to gain every advantage possible. The railroad was undoubtedly one of the most significant and radical invention as it gave the transportation industry a means of transporting goods and services almost anywhere a track could be laid. The more goods shipped and cheaper meant more need for more machinery to supply more factories to keep up with the increased demand for these manufactured goods. In the 1870’s the railroad construction boom was on, the patent system badly needed was put in place in the late 19th century and inventions were being created many times in chain reactions; i.e. electricity, chemical industry, and the internal combustion engine to name a few. In 1878, Thomas Edison put his incandescent light bulb to work on the streets of New York City and set a course that would change American history basically overnight. This led to George Westinghouse being inspired to develop a high-voltage power system to power all the light bulbs Edison could create. This production of power in the late 1880’s piqued the interest of money men J.P. Morgan and Henry Villard to purchase his patent and form General Electric Company.
Henry Ford, intrigued by invention of the internal combustion gasoline engine by two German’s put his own idea to work using an assembly line idea to produce his Model T Ford automobile. It would not only spawn future production, but would...