On October 23rd, 2014, we updated our
By continuing to use LinkedIn’s SlideShare service, you agree to the revised terms, so please take a few minutes to review them.
Not all changes were good changes, however. The revolution also brought many problems.
There was a new demand for sources of energy and fuel. Factories and new forms of transportation brought pollution and some new dangers.
A revolution in transportation took place during the 19th century on land and waterways. The building of the Erie Canal had improved transportation and growth in New York State. It was not long however, before the canal barges were replaced.
In 1807, Robert Fulton launched the world's first steamboat. It could move a boat against the current in a river by a large paddle wheel that turned in the water. The paddle wheel attached to the back of the boat was powered by a steam engine aboard the boat.
Fulton's first steamboat, the Clermont, traveled at a speed of 5 miles an hour. Soon Fulton was providing regular passenger service on the Hudson River, from New York City to Albany.
As steamboats became faster and more powerful they became more and more popular. Soon they were replacing the horse and mule-powered barges on the canals.
Steamboat businesses sprang up all along the waterways of New York State. By 1830, steamboats were the most popular way to travel on the rivers and waterways throughout the United States.
The invention of the steam locomotive again changed the way goods and people traveled. Products could be moved more cheaply and much faster by this new method of transportation. Train cars could also haul heavier loads than boats or wagons.
Railroads for steam powered trains were introduced in the United States in the 1830's. Within five years many small local railroads were operating, most only going a short distance of only a few miles.
By 1840, railroads crisscrossed the state of New York. Many small railroads joined together to connect their tracks and form larger companies.
In the early 1800's communication , the sending and receiving of messages or information, was difficult and very slow.
People depended on hearing news from each other. Many adults did not know how to read or write well. People who could read and write wrote letters or messages that were delivered by messengers, usually on horseback.
Mail was sometimes lost or stolen. A revolution in communication came during the middle of the 1800's. The invention of the telegraph made communication easier and faster.
The telegraph was invented by Samuel F. B. Morse in 1844. With this new method of communication messages could travel over telegraph lines and be received in seconds.
Telegraphs made sending and receiving messages much quicker, but there were also problems.
Telegraphs needed to be sent and received by trained people in telegraph offices. Not every town had its own office, and sending messages was expensive.
Telegraphs improved communication, but it was not easy for everyone to use.
The Cotton Gin
The invention of the cotton gin ("gin" is short for engine) in 1793 by Eli Whitney, had a great effect on life in the United States.
The Cotton Gin was a simple device that, in effect, worked like a "comb". The Cotton was forced through the comb which allowed the cotton fibers to pass through but not the seeds.
The Cotton Gin instantly lowered the labor costs of growing cotton and resulted in huge efficiencies.
A Profitable Process
One year before the cotton gin came along, the United States produced only 140,000 pounds of cotton. In only eight years, that increased to 35 MILLION pounds annually .
By 1850, most of the world's cotton was grown in the southern United States. It was a huge money crop, most of it being sold to factories in the north where it was made into cloth.
By 1860, 90% of Slaves were engaged in the production of Cotton.
Large plantation owners in the south, and factory owners in the north became wealthy, while the factory workers and field laborers made very little money.
Enslaved Africans and African Americans labored in the cotton fields of the south, growing and harvesting the cotton.
Conditions were also harsh in many of the textile factories in the northern states where workers turned the cotton into cloth.
Children worked long hours, along side men and women on dangerous machines for low wages.