Chapter 14: Forging the National Economy 1790-1860

Chapter 14: Forging the National Economy 1790-1860
PART II- pages 304-318 *Be sure the put info. into your own words!*
You may use complete sentences, bullets, charts, pictures, etc.
1. Explain how the benefits early factory system were unequally distributed among
Owners thrived and collected profits while workers suffered long hours, low wages,
scant meals, dirty, dangerous buildings, and were forbidden to form unions; children
were exploited and abused
2. Describe how workers responded to the inequalities of the factory system. Then,
evaluate the level of success of each response.
- Workers supported the Democratic Party and pushed for protection in the 1820s and
- Wanted a 10 hour work day, better working conditions, public education, and an end
to imprisonment for debt
- 1840- President Van Buren signed the bill for the 10 hour workday for federal
employees; many states followed
- Many strikes in the 1830s and 1840s, though illegal; workers lost more than they
won; 300,000 trade union members by 1830; union membership declined though after
the Panic of 1837
- 1842 Massachusetts Supreme Court ruled in Commonwealth v. Hunt that labor
unions were not illegal
- trade unions struggled for another century
3. Summarize the role of women in the new economy.
- worked in factories
- enjoyed greater economic independence from working outside the home
- able to buy goods with wages
- six-day workweek, 12-13 hour days, carefully supervised
- overall, still unusual for women to work outside of the home (Catharine Beecher
advocated for more job opportunities for women, esp. teaching)
- most working women were young and single; left jobs to marry and manage home
and children
4. Describe the impact of the new economy on American families.
- Love was increasingly the reason for marriage (rather than family arrangement)
families closer knit and affectionate
- Families grew smaller; some form of “family limitation” took place even though birth
control was taboo; “domestic feminism”- growing power and independence of women
despite a “cult of domesticity”
- Smaller families= child-centered families, less use of corporal punishment, milder
punishment overall; raised “independent” individuals
5. Describe the “Revolution in the Fields” and its effects.
- Trans-Allegheny region began to focus on grain cultivation, responsible for feeding
the rest of the country; corn was grown to be fed to hogs and distilled into liquor
- Inventors responded to demand with machines that boosted crop yields:
John Deere- steel plow
Cyrus McCormick- mechanical mower-reaper
6. Briefly describe each of the following improvements in transportation/
communication and explain the effects of each:
(A) roads 1790s Lancaster Turnpike in PA; paid toll turnpike ; led to a turnpike
building boom to around 1810; Western road building was expensive and who should
fund it was controversial- states or federal gov’t? 1811, national gov’t began builing the
National Road AKA Cumberland Road from MD to IL, completed by 1852 (B)
steamboats touched off by Robert Fulton, whose boat the Clermont used a steam
engine to travel upstream; a huge success, making rivers two-way arteries; expands
Mississippi & western NY trade; help to open up the South and West by providing
better, faster shipping routes for their goods
(C) canals NY state financed the Erie Canal (map 312); value of land in western NY
skyrocketed and new cities sprung up along the canal; NY industry boomed; farming
was newly profitable in the Old NW; bustling Great Lakes trade led new cities to spring
up (present day Midwest); farming became less lucrative in New England, some NEers
sought jobs in factories
(D) railroads early challenges were eventually overcome; could be built almost
anywhere; most were built in the North; most important transportation development
that helped create a new economy in which each region specialized in one area
(E) telegraph 1858 Cyrus Field laid a cable from Newfoundland to Ireland; 1866 a
permanent link was laid linking US to Europe
(F) clippers long, narrow, fast ships that sacrificed space for speed, help to usher in
golden age of US shipping
(G) pony riders est. 1860 to carry mail from Missouri to CA; fast but short-lived
7. Which of the above (A-G) do you think was most significant and why?
Answers will vary
8. Summarize the economic and political effects of the transportation revolution.
A new Continental Economy emerged- New transportation developments allow each
region to specialize in one area- the South grew cotton for export, the West grew grains
and livestock to feed eastern factory workers, the East/North made machines and
textiles for the other two regions; The South felt the rest of the country relied on them
for their cotton and King Cotton made them invincible
9. Describe the causes and effects of the market revolution
Causes: Revolution in industry, transportation and communication
Effects: Self sufficient households decline as the market economy expands and people
are increasingly binded to other regions of the country by economic ties; store bought
materials replace handmade goods; women’s work devalued; home becomes a refuge
from work; increased prosperity; widened gap bet. rich and poor; cities exhibit
inequality; mobility possible but over exaggerated in American myths, though more
opportunities were available in the U.S. than in Europe )reflected by large numbers of
immigrants flocking to the US); gradual rise in workers’ wages over time