American Industrial Revolution

By: EconomyWatch   Date: 29 June 2010

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American Industrial Revolution took place between the 1820s and 1870. It left a far-reaching effect on the economy of America.

'Industrial Revolution' generally refers to the first Industrial Revolution which took place in Europe, especially in England, during the late years of 18th century. But, there was a second Industrial Revolution which took place in America and Germany.

Though the Industrial Revolution came to America a bit late, its importance in the economic development of the country is enormous. The Industrial Revolution brought about some spectacular changes. There was transition from hand-made products to machine-made products. Home-based productions were transformed in to Factory Productions. The innovations of the first Industrial Revolution like water-power/steam-power driven spinning machines and weaving machines helped America attain huge industrial growth. But the second Industrial Revolution was the one which brought revolutionary changes in economy of America. It gave birth to a much more urbanized modern American Society.

American Industrial Revolution was mainly carried out by 3 major steps.

  • Firstly, transportation systems improved drastically. The war of 1812 with Great Britain made America aware of the importance of an improved transport system. After the war, America also felt the urge for more economic independence. So there was an effort to develop the manufacturing sector and expand trade.
  • The second step was the proper controlling and effective use of electricity.
  • The industrial processes were modified so that they can generate more output.

American Industrial Revolution also led to an enhanced communication system. Feeling the need of the better communication network, Samuel F.B.Morse invented the telegraph system in 1844. But other than these revolutionary changes in the transport and communication system, some other changes were also experienced by the American economy. As the manufacturing sector moved to the factory system and number of industries increased, more and more people continued to move from rural farms to urban cities. This led to overcrowding of the cities and some related social problems.

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