List the five most important inventions of the early nineteenth century. Rank them in order of importance. Justify your ranking.
The early nineteenth century was an important period in the development of the United States. It saw a huge increase in population—through both higher birthrates and immigration—and the growth of a more stable and profitable economy. It also brought huge innovations in technology. The Industrial Revolution of the early nineteenth century produced some of the most important inventions in American history. The five most important inventions among these were the reaper, the cotton gin, the steam boat, trains and railroads, and the telegraph.
The first important invention of the early nineteenth century was the reaper. Invented in the 1830s by Cyrus McCormick, the reaper gave farmers the ability to do the work of five men with sickles and scythes. His new machine combined many of the steps involved in harvesting crops, greatly increased crop yields, decreased the number of field hands needed for the harvest, lowered costs, and revolutionized farming. This greatly opened the frontier to pioneers and immigrants hoping to make a living off farming in the fertile fields of the trans-Allegheny West.
The second important invention was the cotton gin. Invented in 1793 by Eli Whitney, the cotton gin was to the South what the reaper was to the West. It turned cotton farming from a tedious and expensive process to a quick and profitable one. It brought about the growth of American made clothes. The southern economy became completely tied to King Cotton. This invention was more important than reaper for one main reason. At the time, slavery had been dying out. Eli Whitney assumed that if he made a machine that required much less work, it would decrease the number of slaves. Unfortunately, white farmers acquired even more slaves to work the cotton gins to make as much profit as possible. This revival in slavery eventually became a contributing...
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