first half of the nineteenth century America was full of growth and development
that really had the economy thriving. People were using their knowledge and
even common sense to create things that would make life easier and would better
the life they, as well as the rest of America, had. New and or improved forms
of technology, especially in transportation, manufacturing, and agriculture
were all factors that equally led to this economic boom within America.
Two forms of transportation that really made
America’s pockets feel nicer were canals and railroads. Canals made it much
more efficient for farmers to sell and transport their goods, which in turn
helped build relationships and trade. They became so popular that even those in
the North began to use them, which helped market and spread good quicker and
easier. Canals were so useful towards America’s economy as it increased trade,
made it much faster, resulting in money coming in quicker. One very famous
canal, The Erie Canal, was so beneficial, that seven years after it was
created, the debt America had was paid off, something many countries at that time
had yet to accomplish, let alone a fairly new country. Railroads were also very
advantageous to the economic growth in America. Similar to the canals, they led
to an increase of connections between traders as far as the East and West.
Additionally, it aided in the transportation of goods from one end of the
country to another. Railroads essentially connected everywhere in America to
each other, which as mentioned previously, benefitted trade and started trade
in places they weren’t as common before.
Developments in manufacturing were also one of
the factors in sparking America’s economic growth. Factories, for example, was
a huge aspect of this “economic breakthrough.” The Lowell factories started in
Lowell, Massachusetts introduced a new system of manufacturing to America.
Employment for women and children grew, and this concept of factories and
factory working spread. Soon many factories began to be created, which resulted
in many more job opportunities. Resulting from all this work was about 2 billion
dollars’ worth of manufactured goods. Enough goods were made for America to get
involved with international trade, and the economy of America skyrocketed.
Like manufacturing and transportation,
agricultural developments further sparked this financial growth within America.
With the invention of the cotton gin by Eli Whitney, a staple piece in the
South’s economy became much easier to produce, resulting in the production of
cotton far greater than any of the slaves would have produced with their bare
hands. Along with the cotton gin, inventions such as the steel plow and the
mechanic reaper led to faster agricultural production, which led to more income
coming in for America.
All in all, the use of improved
transportation, manufacturing, and agriculture all parked American growth in
the first half of the 19th century. Those three factors led to America
enhancing greater than it ever had before. This new country was on the right
track and became very rich, powerful, and influential very quickly.