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Lecture 2--The American Industrial Revolutions.doc

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York University
MGMT 1030
Frank Miller

The Development of American Capitalism MGMT 1030 Schulich School of Business The First Industrial Revolution in America (1790s to 1850s) 1) Agricultural Improvements and the National Economy  The importance of Southern cotton  Eli Whitney and invention of cotton gin (1793); expanded production 50 folds  Spurred westward migration and growth of slavery  Cotton exports accounted for more than 50% of all American exports from 1835 to 1860  Westward movement from Northern states  Incentives  Soil exhaustion  Improved farming technology  Government sold land at low prices (When British became infertile, they made a westerly push, taking the natives’ homes away from them)  In the north, great wheat and other cash crops  As agriculture is pushed out, its replaced with craft industry  In Britain, “Luddites” do not believe in machinery; believe that machines take jobs away; resistance to technological change; USA had opposite effect  In USA, despite ways of immigrations, not enough people to work the land are present; agricultural frontier expands 2) Transportation and Improvements: need to be able to get great access to communication if economy expands - Erie Canal: cheaper and faster means of transportation  Roads  4,000 miles of turnpike roads by 1821  Canals  Erie Canal completed in 1825  Railroads  3,400 miles of track in 1830  30,600 miles of track in 1860  Great Western Railway, specifically designed to ship from Buffalo to Chicago 3) Growth of Industry -  Textile manufacturing  Domestic handicraft system  Mechanized factories widespread in New England by 1815  Technological improvements  McCormick reaper (1841); prepares crops for threshing very quickly  Vulcanizing rubber; Charles Goodyear wanted to stabilize rubber by exposing it to acids; replaces leather  Telegraph; allows transmission of information at speed of light 4) Immigration - One eighth of U.S. population foreign born in 1860  Irish  1840s famine resulted in one million Irish coming to U.S.  Concentrated in urban areas of the Northeast  Comprised more than half of New York and Boston by 1860  German  1.2 million German-born Americans in 1860  Mixed populations in terms of religion, occupation and gender  Population hugely diverse  Chinese  36,000 Chinese-born immigrants in America in 1860  Concentrated in California  Immigration viewed by suspicion; brought in to do difficult job; rail construction and mining; dangerous jobs; people would work for less money; European counterparts distrust the Chinese workers  Chinese immigrants not allowed to vote  Nativist response: politicians don’t want people who were different from them The Second Industrial Revolution in America (1860s to 1940s) 1) Railroad Development  53,000 miles of track in 1870  199,000 miles of track in 1900  Machine shops create lots of jobs, wildly expensive to build  First trans-continental railroad completed in 1869  Financing  Widespread corruption in government financing of railways  Jay Gould and the “Robber Barons”; early success was in developing railways (corrupted New York politicians, ensured that only his railways had access to Manhattan Island)  1869 wanted to buy all of the gold in the world  First guy of using government and private investment to finance huge operations 2) Technological Advances  235,000 patents registered during the 1890s  Alexander Graham Bell  Patented the telephone in 1876  Thomas Edison  Patented hundreds of inventions involving electricity 3) The Role of Entrepreneurs  John D. Rockefeller  Standard Oil Company incorporated in 1870
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