Industrial Revolution

The Industrial Revolution was a period from the 18th to the 19th century where
major changes in agriculture, manufacturing, mining, transport, and
technology had a profound effect on the socioeconomic and cultural
conditions starting in the United Kingdom, then subsequently spreading
throughout Europe, North America, and eventually the world.
The Industrial Revolution marks a major turning point in human history; almost
every aspect of daily life was eventually influenced in some way.
Beginning of 1750 the factory system gradually spread from Britain – “The
worlds workshop.” - to other lands. It took a generation or so to reach
Western Europe and then the United States.
Why was the youthful American Republic, eventually to become an industrial
giant, so slow to embrace to machine?
-land was cheap
-Land starved descendents of land-starved peasants weren't going to coop
themselves up in smelly factories.
-Labor was generally scarce
-Hard to find enough nimble hands to operate machinery.. Hard to find until
What was the conceptual breakthrough, used by Eli Whitney to
produce rifles and the cotton gin, was vital to the first Industrial
Revolution in the United States?
 Eli Whitney invented interchangeable parts.
 The principle of interchangeable parts was widely adopted by 1850,
and it ultimately became the basis of modern mass production and
assembly line methods.
 Basically if a part broke on a rifle, without interchangeable parts,
you would have to make a whole new part for the rifle. When Eli
Whitney invented Interchangeable parts it became a whole lot
easier and faster. If a part broke on a rifle you could easily get a
new part without making a new one and you could put it on the rifle
or any other weapon without any trouble.
 The American System is a pre-civil war set of measure
designed to unify the nation and strengthen its economy by
means of protective tariffs, national bank, and such
improvements as the development of transportation system.
Henry Clay championed this.
Examples of some of the roads, canals, and railroads that
were built during the First Industrial Revolution: Erie Canal,
Cumberland Road (connected to the Mississippi river through
the western states.)
The name of the first steamboat during the
industrial revolution is called the Clermont.
 The Clermont was invented in 1807 by
Robert Fulton.
 Some potential customers were reluctant to
travel on the steamboats because they
were considered a floating fire trap. (The
boilers would explode.)
The Lowell System was a series of mills in
Massachusetts that utilized women as workers
At first, they made better wages than they could in
other fields
Over time, work hours lengthened, work conditions
worsened, and wages were cut
Women striked for shorter hours and better wages.
Strikers were FIRED!
Irish immigrants contributed to a decline in the
Lowell Factory System because when the Irish
came they were in need of money. During this time
women had jobs at the Lowell Textile Mills. The
owners of the textile mill figured that the Irish would
work for less so the women lost their jobs.
Commonwealth vs. Hunt was a
Massachusetts supreme judicial court ruling
on the subject labor unions. Prior to Hunt the
legality of labor combinations in America
was uncertain. In March 1842, Chief Justice
Lemuel Shaw ruled that labor combinations
were legal provided that they were
organized for a legal purpose and used
legal means to achieve their goals (allowed
workers to strike)
James Watts – Steam Engine (1775)
 Eli Whitney – Cotton Gin (1793)
 Robert Fulton – Steamboat (1807)
 Samuel F. B. Morse – Telegraph (1836)
 Elias Howe – Sewing Machine (1844)
 Alexander Graham Bell – Telephone
 Thomas Edison- Phonograph (1877) Light
bulb (1879)
 Per
Capita income doubled
 Living conditions improved for
many in the US
 Living standards improved for
 Wealth became concentrated in
the hands of fewer people

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