TOWARD A NATIONAL ECONOMY Gentility and the Consumer

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TOWARD A NATIONAL ECONOMY • Gentility and the Consumer Revolution – new attitudes toward

TOWARD A NATIONAL ECONOMY • Gentility and the Consumer Revolution – new attitudes toward material goods and new ways of producing them brought a major economic readjustment; the industrial revolution would change America – ironically, widespread emulation of aristocratic behavior followed America’s democratic revolution

– in Europe, gentility was the product of ancestry and cultivated style; in America,

– in Europe, gentility was the product of ancestry and cultivated style; in America, possession of material goods largely defined gentility – Americans were demanding more goods than traditional craftsmen could produce – producers expanded their workshops, trained more artisans, laid in large stocks of materials, and acquire labor-saving machines – these developments constituted the market revolution of the early 19 th century – the industrial revolution came on its heels

 • America’s Industrial Revolution – technology fueled the revolution in manufacturing; spinning machines,

• America’s Industrial Revolution – technology fueled the revolution in manufacturing; spinning machines, cotton gin, and the steamboat wrought profound changes – artisans still produced vast bulk of goods used by Americans – skilled craftsmen performed every stage of fabrication – virtually all of these producers supplied only local needs

 • Birth of the Factory – Britain began mechanizing in 1770 s, bringing

• Birth of the Factory – Britain began mechanizing in 1770 s, bringing workers together in buildings called factories and using power from water and later steam – America depended on Britain for manufactured goods until Revolution – first American factory began production in 1790

– not long after, Boston Associates, a group of merchants headed by Francis Cabot

– not long after, Boston Associates, a group of merchants headed by Francis Cabot Lowell, established Boston Manufacturing Company at Waltham – Lowell revolutionized textile production – his operation combined machine production, large-scale operation, efficient management, and centralized marketing

 • An Industrial Proletariat? – the changing structure of work widened gap between

• An Industrial Proletariat? – the changing structure of work widened gap between owners and workers and blurred distinctions between skilled and unskilled workers – as the importance of skilled labor declined, so did the ability of workers to influence working conditions – some historians argue that the frontier siphoned off displaced or dissatisfied workers

– America’s expanding economy provided opportunities for workers to rise out of working class

– America’s expanding economy provided opportunities for workers to rise out of working class and therefore prevented the formation of strong working class identities – conditions in early shops and factories represented an improvement for people who worked in them – Most factory workers were drawn from outside regular labor market – textile mills in particular relied on the employment of women and children

 • Lowell’s Waltham System: Women as Factory Workers – the Boston Associates developed

• Lowell’s Waltham System: Women as Factory Workers – the Boston Associates developed the “Waltham System” of employing young, unmarried women in their new textile mills – women came from farms all over New England to work for a year or two in mills and lived in strictly supervised company boardinghouses – discontent manifested in two strikes in 1830 s – declining prices in 1840 s led to the

– by then young women had begun to find work as schoolteachers and clerks

– by then young women had begun to find work as schoolteachers and clerks – Millowners turned to Irish immigrants to operate the machines

 • Irish and German Immigrants – population of U. S. more than doubled

• Irish and German Immigrants – population of U. S. more than doubled in the period from 1790 to 1820; growth resulted almost entirely from natural increase – 1815, immigration began to pick up; most immigrants came from Germany, Ireland, Britain, and Scandinavia – immigrants were drawn by the prospect of abundant land, good wages, and economic opportunity

– others sought religious or political freedom – immigration stimulated the American economy –

– others sought religious or political freedom – immigration stimulated the American economy – however, the influx of the 1830 s and 1840 s depressed living standards – native-born workers resented immigrants for their willingness to accept low wages and, in the case of the Irish, for their Catholicism

 • The Persistence of the Household System – technological advances alone did not

• The Persistence of the Household System – technological advances alone did not mean the immediate advance of the industrial system – seemingly minor advances in water wheels, transmission belts and metal gears enabled larger technological advances – After the War of 1812, imporovements in paper, glass and pottery manufactureing slowly changed the American household

 • Rise of Corporations – corporations provided a means to gather capital –

• Rise of Corporations – corporations provided a means to gather capital – in early days of nation, states chartered only a few corporations, and very few of these engaged in manufacturing – most people believed only quasi-public projects deserved privilege of incorporation – during the War of 1812, considerable capital was transferred from commerce to industry – manufacturing gave rise to more and larger

 • Cotton Revolutionizes the South – South began to produce cotton to supply

• Cotton Revolutionizes the South – South began to produce cotton to supply textile factories of New England – a high quality, long staple “sea island” cotton could be grown only in limited areas, and the lint of heartier “green seed, ” or upland, cotton could not easily be separated from the seed – Eli Whitney’s invention of the cotton gin led to an enormous expansion of cotton production – Cotton stimulated economy of the entire nation – most of it was exported, which paid for

 • Revival of Slavery – slavery declined in decade of Revolution, but racial

• Revival of Slavery – slavery declined in decade of Revolution, but racial prejudice blunted logic of Revolution’s libertarian beliefs – revolutionary generation had a great respect for property rights – forced abolition therefore had few proponents – the bloody uprising in Saint Domingue led many whites to reconsider ending slavery – the Revolution had led to manumission of many slaves; as number of free blacks rose, tighter restrictions were imposed on

– some opponents of slavery hoped to solve the “problem” of free blacks by

– some opponents of slavery hoped to solve the “problem” of free blacks by establishing colonies of freed slaves (usually in Africa) – colonization movement did establish a settlement in Liberia; few American blacks had any desire to migrate to an alien land – cotton boom of early 19 th century virtually halted colonization movement – boom also gave rise to an interstate slave trade – in the northern states, blacks faced legal liabilities, denial of suffrage, and segregation or exclusion

 • Roads to Market – advances in transportation played a crucial role in

• Roads to Market – advances in transportation played a crucial role in settlement of West – barges could bring goods downstream, but transportation upstream was prohibitive; importance of roads linking Mississippi Valley to eastern seaboard

 • Transportation and the Government – most of improved highways and bridges were

• Transportation and the Government – most of improved highways and bridges were built by private developers, who charged tolls for the use of their roads – local, state, and national governments contributed heavily to internal improvements – the obvious need for roads linking the trans -Appalachian west with eastern seaboard called for action by national government, but sectional rivalries in Congress prevented such action – until the coming of railroads, overland shipping remained uneconomical, so inventors concentrated on improving water

 • Development of Steamboats – rafts and flatboats could move downstream only; the

• Development of Steamboats – rafts and flatboats could move downstream only; the steamboat answered the problem of moving upstream – with advent of the steamboat, freight charges plummeted, and Northwest became part of the national market

 • The Canal Boom – Canals improved the network of transportation – although

• The Canal Boom – Canals improved the network of transportation – although canals cost more to build than roads, they were more efficient for moving goods than overland transportation until advent of railroad

 • New York City: Emporium of the Western World – New York had

• New York City: Emporium of the Western World – New York had already become the nation’s largest city – Erie Canal solidified its position as the national metropolis – Pennsylvania, desperate to keep up with New York, began constructing canals at a feverish pace – States beyond the mountains displayed an even greater zeal for the construction of canals; this proved excessive and many states overextended themselves resulting

 • The Marshall Court – Chief Justice John Marshall believed in a powerful

• The Marshall Court – Chief Justice John Marshall believed in a powerful central government – he also regarded business community as an agent of progress – in a series of cases between 1819 and 1824, Marshall upheld the “sanctity” of contracts and the supremacy of the federal government – Dartmouth College v. Woodward gave a wide interpretation to the “contract” clause of the Constitution

– in Mc. Culloch v. Maryland, Marshall endorsed the constitutionality of Second Bank of

– in Mc. Culloch v. Maryland, Marshall endorsed the constitutionality of Second Bank of the U. S. and struck down attempts by states to tax it – the decision adopted the Hamiltonian, or “loose, ” interpretation of the Constitution and strengthened the implied powers of Congress – Gibbons v. Ogden established federal supremacy by broadly construing the “commerce” clause