C14 - Forging the National Economy 1790-1860 Flashcards Preview

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Flashcards in C14 - Forging the National Economy 1790-1860 Deck (30):

Ancient Order of Hibernians

Irish secret society that helped poor people. Many Irish immigrants were desperately poor and had hard jobs and lives in America because they came with no money.


limited liability

Business principle that meant that an investor in a business would risk no more than his share of the corporation's stock.

Also in 1848, free incorporation laws made it easier to start a company.


Samuel Slater

Father of America's factory system. Skilled British mechanic. Memorized plans for machines made in Britain and escaped in disguise to America.

1791 Moses Brown, a Rhode Island capitalist backed Slater, and he made the first spinning machine in America.


transportation revolution

Stimulated by the East's desire to get raw materials and finished products back and forth between East and West. Helped to form the national economy.

New highways (called turnpikes because travelers had to pay a toll and then large pikes in the road would be turned to allow the vehicle through).

Also the steamboat.

These advances caused huge economic growth because producers (farmers, factories, etc.) could get their goods to consumers more easily.

Railroads started to be built in 1828 and there were many by 1860. Faster than canals and didn't freeze over. Also went further west.



1807: Robert Fulton's first steam boat.


Carl Schurz

German immigrant. Political thinker. Anti slavery and anti-public corruption (corruption=illegal or immoral acts of public officials).


DeWitt Clinton

Governor of New York. pushed for construction of the Erie Canal, started in 1817. The canal connected the Great Lakes with the Hudson River in NY. Some called it Clinton's Big Ditch, making fun of it.


Commonwealth v. Hunt

1842 supreme court case. Ruled that labor unions were legal.

Big victory for the Labor Movement which was pushing for reduced hourse (10-hour work days), cleaner conditions, better wages in factories.


sewing machine

Invented in 1846 by Elias Howe, perfected by Isaac Singer.

Drove many women from home to factories where they ran sewing machines (especially during Civil war).


cult of domesticity

Name given to the idea in the mid 1800s that when a woman got married, she quit any factory job she might have to stay home, run the household, take care of children.

Families started to become smaller with fewer children than in the past. More time to focus on children within the family.

Ideas started to shift from "breaking a child's will" by being overly harsh to shaping a child so they could become strong independent thinkers.


cotton gin

Eli Whitney's invention. 1793. Separated seed from fiber in cotton plants. Before the cotton gin, this could only be done by hand (mostly by slaves in the south).

The cotton gin changed the course of America and the World.

Cotton and Textile markets boomed.


industrial revolution and agricultural revolution

Rise of machines and factories, especially on the East Coast (where soil was rocky/farming was hard). Some were very dirty/polluting.

During this time there were advances in agriculture too, and IL, IN and OH became the nation's "breadbasket".

Also shipped food along rivers to the South (and its booming Cotton Kingdom, spurred by the invention of the cotton gin).

Invention helped Agricultural expansion too. In 1837, John Deere produced a steel plow to make the job of clearing land much easier. In 1830 Cyrus McCormick invented the mower-reaper. This sparked farmers to gobble up and clear more and more land to plant more crops. Subsistence farming turned to production farming where there were crops left for sale after the farmer's family was fed.


"Molly Maguires"

Shadowy Irish miners union that caused problems in 1860s and 1870s in PA coal mines.


Samuel F.B. Morse

Invented the telegraph - 1844. Profoundly changed America by allowing instant communications across telephone wires.



Anti-foreign feelings by some Americans. They wanted to stop/slow down immigration as they were seeing large numbers of Irish and German immigrants coming to America and bringing their customs. Nativists did not want America changed.


Cyrus McCormick

Invented the reaper mower used to expand agriculture in the 1830s. Took the place of much manual work.


Catharine Beecher

Sister of Harriott Beecher Stowe and daughter of a preacher. Pushed for women to become teachers.


clipper ships

Created in 1840s. Long, narrow sailing ships. A new invention in shipping. Fast boats.


Order of the Star - Spangled Banner

1849: secretive society formed to fight against more immigration. These American "nativists" were afraid that more German and Irish and other immigrants being allowed to come to the US, would change their society (make it more Catholic for one thing).


Boston Associates

1848: One of the first investment capital companies (15 families formed this. They all had money to put together to "invest" in starting companies).

One business was a Textile Mill in MA. "factory girls" or farm girls from the area worked 6 days per week, 12-13 hour days making fabric/textiles.


Tammany Hall

New York political organization. Influential in Democratic party. Had power to help nominate politicians for office. Strongly backed by Irish Americans, and they were interested in pushing policies that helped Irish Americans.

There were large numbers of Irish Americans, so politicians tried to please them to get their votes.


Robert Fulton

1807: Invented the steam boat. Revolutionized water travel because the boat could go faster and against the current.

Helped economic growth by allowing producers to ship their products to consumers in other parts of the country.


Eli Whitney

Born in Massachusetts. Invented the cotton gin in

Also invented the "principle of interchangeable parts". Idea to produce guns in a factory so all parts were the same and interchangeable. Easier to fix a broken gun, then, if all parts fit.


Pony Express

1860: Mail was carried on horseback between Missouri and California. took ten days. Riders would pick up a new horse every 10 miles.

Eventually replaced by the invention of the telegraph.


National Park system started

1872: Yellowstone was first National Park. George Catlin, a painter and conservationist had the idea.


Westward movement & population growth - both frontier and large cities

Americans and Europeans moved in great numbers west. Pioneer and Frontier life could be hard.

Fur trappers went to the Rocky Mountains every summer to trade manufactured goods for firs, with the Indians.

The American Wilderness was beautiful and people were starting to notice, some wanting to start a conservation movement, including forming National Parks.

Large cities (urban areas) started to form. in 1790 only 2 large cities: Philadelphia and New York. By 1860 there were 43 cities, including Chicago. Cities grew too fast in some cases, bringing problems of crime, smelly slums, sewage problems, rats, dirty water.

Population grew fast due to: High birth rate in America. Also in 1840s and 1850s large numbers of Irish and German immigrants came to America.

Reason for high immigration numbers: Europe becoming overcrowded, new steamships that could move people across the ocean faster, freedom from a state church, low taxes. America was known as land of "freedom and opportunity".


German immigrants

Large numbers from 1830-1860. Left Germany due to crop failures and hardships. Some left for political reasons - seeking more democracy in America. Some left due to wars in Europe.

Carl Schurz was one.

Germans who came to America tended to have more money than the Irish immigrants who were very poor. So Germans tended to move west (Wisconsin was a big target). They started farms. They also had some political power (politicians tried to woo them to get their support).

They were better educated than most and started Kindergartens (schools).

They were outspoken champions of freedom and were strongly anti-slavery.

Introduced beer to America.


Irish immigrants

Came to America in the 1840s due to starvation (bad years for their potato crop).

Desperately poor, they mostly stayed near the Eastern seaboard (New York had many Irish) and worked very hard labor jobs.


Religious denominations

Irish and German immigrants added many Roman Catholics to the American population. Catholics started many schools (partly to avoid having their children learning Protestant beliefs in public schools).

By 1850 Catholics had the most members, followed by Baptists, Methodists, Presbyterians and Congregationalists.


Market revolution

Move from a subsistence economy of scattered farms where families just fed themselves to a national economy where goods and raw materials were bought, sold and transported widely throughout the country (made possible by transportation revolution).

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