What forces and events affected national unity and growth? The nation was both strengthened and weakened by different forces. Some of the forces that strengthened the nation were the Industrial Revolution fueling economic growth, the American System encouraging economic self-sufficiency, improving transportation and communication by linking cities and regions, and the United States expanding and defining borders. Some of the forces that weakened the nation were new industry and inventions leading to reliance on manufacturing in the North and increasing dependence on cotton and slavery in the South, slavery dividing the nation, and regional differences dividing the nation among Northerners, Southerners, and Westerners.
After the War of 1812 Americans began to manufacture more of their own goods. This was called the Industrial Revolution. As more people began to invent new products and sell them it began fueling economic growth. Some inventions even made work more productive and profitable. This helped the nation a lot because they learned that they did not need to have everything shipped from Europe, and it saved them money. New industry and inventions lead to reliance on manufacturing in the North and increasing dependence on cotton and slavery in the South. In the North, first children, then families began to work in the mills and move away from the farms and into the cities. At first wages were high, but once more mills were opened and improvements were made in machinery and process, the need for skilled labor was reduced and the wages and conditions for the remaining factory workers declined. The cotton gin greatly increased the production of cotton, making it more profitable, but also requiring an increased number of slaves to keep up with the workload. Regional differences dividing the nation among Northerners, Southerners, and Westerners was also a problem. In the North, they focused on manufacturing and trade, the South relied on plantations and...
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