The Industrialists and Growth
Settled in a vast country with abundant natural resources, Americans soon developed a sense for industry which was characteristic of the 19th century. Unlike Europe where the craftsmen guilds long opposed progress in manufacturing, America was eager to use new technologies that would save labor, which was scarce. Thus the young nation, once freed from Colonial restrictions, progressed faster than its former mother country and eventually emerged as the foremost industrialized country in the World, just a century after its Independence.
England had given its American colonies a purely agricultural vocation, discouraging any form of industry that could once challenge the mother country's preeminence in the field. In the same way as commerce was regulated, industry was banished from the colonies, to ensure their dependence on the Empire and its prosperity. Despite these impediments, vital industries such as iron foundries were started by the leading families of the Colonies, as witnessed by the Philip Livingston's Ancram or the Morrises' Tinton Falls properties. Leading Southern aristocrats, like Councillor Robert Carter III of Nominy Hall and the Carrolls of Carrolton drew large profits from their Baltimore Iron Works. David Ross, Virginia's leading ironmaster, owned 100'000 acres and exploited his 450 slaves in several iron foundries, notably the Oxford Iron Works. All these developments would prove vital during the Independence War for the supply of much needed arms and fortifications.
Thus it was no surprise that when the bounds were lifted, the founding fathers of America favored industrial development as an act of emancipation from England. The Federalists, Alexander Hamilton, Peter Schuyler and George Cabot were among the mighty backers of industrialization, whereas the Southern planters were more concerned to maintain agriculture prosperous and secure markets for their crops. It would take another war with England though...
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