Shift to an Industrial Economy

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American Industrial Revolution

During the late 1700's the New World was being legitimatized as an integral part of the world economy. No longer was America simply a piece to Britain's mercantile puzzle, instead it was a market for industrial goods and the source of much of the world's cotton, tobacco, and other agricultural resources. During the early 1800's however the United States of America started to move away from the agriculture driven economy and shifted instead to an industrial based market system. Throughout the early 1800's a labor revolution began to happen in the United States. Between 1820 and 1855, immigration increased from 2,000 annually to about 420,000. They were forced to take manual jobs in the North, mainly in cities like Boston. The American dream was to purchase a farm and live independently; however for first generation immigrants purchasing enough land and livestock to compete economically was impossible. Many families attempted to supplement their meager small farm incomes by sending women and children to the factories to work. This large influx in populations of immigrants and domestic workers increased productions and created a increasing trend towards a greater number of factories. (Wallace, 71-77) Commercial farming also contributed to the American Industrial Revolution. Commercial farming was based mainly in the South, mainly driven not by immigration but by slavery. Slavery in America came to a dramatic low in the late 1700's, but with the introduction of new technologies such as the cotton gin, and the Louisiana Purchase, which provided new fertile land along the Gulf of Mexico, the slave population increased from about 900 thousand in 1800 to numbers exceeding 4 million in 1860. The growing number of slaves contributed to greater production capacity. This production was only possible however thanks to the superior processing power of the new cotton gin, and other harvesting equipment over simple manual labor....
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