The American Republic to 1877 Video

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North and south


Why It Matters

At the same time that national spirit and pride were growing throughout the country, a strong sectional rivalry was also developing. Both North and South wanted to further their Own economic and political interests.

The Impact Today

Differences still exist between the regions of the nation but are no longer as sharp. Mass communication and the migration of people from one region to another have lessened the differences.

The American Republic to 1877 Video The chapter 13 video, "Young People of the South," describes what life was like for children in the South.

1820 • U.S. population reaches 10 million

1820 • Antarctica discovered

1825 • World's first public railroad opens in England

1826 • The Last of the Mohicans published

1834 • McCormick reaper patented

1837 • Steel-tipped plow invented


1845 • Alexander Cartwright sets rules for baseball

1845 • Beginning of Irish potato famine

1848 • Revolution in Austrian Empire

1849 • Thoreau writes "Civil Disobedience"

1857 • Sepoy Rebellion begins in India

1859 • Darwin's On the Origin of Species published

1860 • U.S. population climbs to over 30 million

The Oliver Plantation by unknown artist During the mid-1800s, plantations in southern Louisiana were entire communities in themselves.


Study Organizer

Compare-and-Contrast Study Foldable Make this foldable to help you analyze the similarities and differences between the development of the North and the South.

Step 1 Mark the midpoint of the side edge of a sheet of paper.

---Draw a mark at the midpoint.

Step 2 Turn the paper and fold the outside edge in to touch at the midpoint.

Step 3 Turn and label your foldable as shown.

Reading and Writing As you read the chapter, collect and write information under the appropriate tab that will help you compare and contrast the people and economics of the Northern and Southern states.


Chapter Overview

Visit and click on Chapter 13—Chapter Overviews to pre­view chapter information.



The North's Economy

Guide to Reading

Main Idea

During the 1800s, advances in tech­nology and transportation shaped the North's economy.

Key Terms

clipper ship, telegraph, Morse code

Reading Strategy

Organizing Information As you read the section, re-create the diagram below and list examples of advances in transportation and technology.

Read to Learn

• how advances in technology shaped the economy of the North.

• how new kinds of transportation and communication spurred economic growth.

Section Theme

Economic Factors Advances in tech­nology and transportation shaped the North's economy.

Preview of Events

1834 Cyrus McCormick patents reaper

1844 Samuel Morse sends first telegraph message

1846 Elias Howe patents a sewing machine

1860 About 3,000 steamboats are operating

AN American Story

In the 1840s, telegraph wires and railroads began to cross the nation. But traveling by rail had its discomforts, as writer Charles Dickens describes: "Mhere is a great deal of jolting, a great deal of noise, a great deal of wall, not much window, a locomotive engine, a shriek, and a bell.... In the center of the carriage there is usually a stove ... which is for the most part red-hot. It is insufferably close; and you see the hot air flut­tering between yourself and any other object you may happen to look at, like the ghost of smoke...."

Technology and Industry

In 1800 most Americans worked on farms. Items that could not be made at home were manufactured—by hand, one at a time—by local blacksmiths, shoe­makers, and tailors. By the early 1800s, changes took place in the Northern states. Power-driven machinery performed many tasks that were once done by hand. Industrialization and technology were changing the way Americans worked, traveled, and communicated.



The industrialization of the North developed in three phases. In the first, manufacturers made products by dividing the tasks involved among the workers. One worker would spin thread all day and another would weave cloth—instead of having one person spin and then weave. During the second phase, manufacturers built factories to bring specialized workers together. This allowed products to be made more quickly than before.

In the third phase, factory workers used machinery to perform some of their work. Many of the new machines ran on waterpower or steam power. For example, power-driven looms took over the task of weaving. The worker's job changed from weaving to tending the machine, which produced more fabric in less time.

Mass production of cotton textiles began in New England in the early 1800s. After Elias Howe invented the sewing machine in 1846, machine operators could produce clothing on a large scale from fabrics made by machine. Other types of industries developed during the same period. By 1860 the Northeast's factories pro­duced at least two-thirds of the country's manu­factured goods.

Improved Transportation

Improvements in transportation contributed to the success of many of America's new indus­tries. Between 1800 and 1850, construction crews built thousands of miles of roads and canals. The canals opened new shipping routes by connect­ing many lakes and rivers. The growth of the railroads in the 1840s and 1850s also helped to speed the flow of goods. Inventor Robert Fulton demonstrated a reliable steamboat in 1807. Steamboats carried goods and passengers more cheaply and quickly along inland waterways than could flatboats or sail-powered vessels.

In the 1840s canal builders began to widen and deepen canals to accommodate steamboats. By 1860 about 3,000 steamboats traveled the major rivers and canals of the country as well as the Great Lakes. Steamboats spurred the growth of cities such as Cincinnati, Buffalo, and Chicago.

In the 1840s sailing ships were improved. The clipper ships—with sleek hulls and tall sails—were the pride of the open seas. They could sail 300 miles per day, as fast as most steamships of the day. The ships got their name because they "clipped" time from long journeys. Before the clippers, the voyage from New York to Great Britain took about 21 to 28 days. A clipper ship could usually make that trip in half the time.

Picturing History

A clipper ship, the Flying Cloud, set a new record by sailing from New York to California in less than 90 days. How did clipper ships get their name?



The development of railroads in the United States began with short stretches of tracks that connected mines with nearby rivers. Early trains were pulled by horses rather than by locomotives. The first steam-powered passenger locomotive, the Rocket, began operating in Britain in 1829.

Peter Cooper designed and built the first American steam locomotive in 1830. Called the Tom Thumb, it got off to a bad start. In a race against a horse-drawn train in Baltimore, the Tom Thumb's engine failed. Engineers soon improved the engine, and within 10 years steam locomo­tives were pulling trains in the United States.

Geography Skills

Shippers could send large quantities of goods faster over railroads than they could over earlier canal, river, and wagon routes.

1. Location. To what westernmost city did the railroads extend by 1860?

2. Location. What cities might a train traveler pass through on a trip from Chicago to New Orleans?

A Railway Network

In 1840 the United States had almost 3,000 miles of railroad track. By 1860 it had almost 31,000 miles, mostly in the North and the Midwest. One railway linked New York City and Buffalo. Another connected Philadelphia and Pittsburgh. Yet another linked Baltimore with Wheeling, Virginia (now West Virginia).


Railway builders connected these eastern lines to lines being built farther west in Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois. By 1860 a network of rail­road track united the Midwest and the East.

Moving Goods and People

Along with canals, the railways transformed trade in the nation's interior. The changes began with the opening of the Erie Canal in 1825 and the first railroads of the 1830s. Before this time agricultural goods were carried down the Mis­sissippi River to New Orleans and then shipped to other countries or to the East Coast of the United States.

The development of the east-west canal and the rail network allowed grain, livestock, and dairy products to move directly from the Mid­west to the East. Because goods now traveled faster and more cheaply, manufacturers in the East could offer them at lower prices.

The railroads also played an important role in the settlement and industrialization of the Midwest. Fast, affordable train travel brought people into Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois. As the populations of these states grew, new towns and industries developed.

Picturing History

The defeat of the train Tom Thumb in 1830 did not mean the end of the steam engine. The first successful use of a steam locomotive in the United States took place in South Carolina in 1831. In 1860 which regions of the United States had the most Miles of railroad track?

Faster Communication

The growth of industry and the new pace of travel created a need for faster methods of com­munication. The telegraph—an apparatus that used electric signals to transmit messages—filled that need.

Samuel Morse, an American inventor, had been seeking support for a system of telegraph lines. On May 24, 1844, Morse got the chance to demonstrate that he could send messages instantly along wires. As a crowd in the U.S. cap­ital watched, Morse tapped in the words, "What hath God wrought!" A few moments later, the telegraph operator in Baltimore sent the same message back in reply. The telegraph worked! Soon telegraph messages were flashing back and forth between Washington and Baltimore.

Morse transmitted his message in Morse code, a series of dots and dashes representing the letters of the alphabet. A skilled Morse code operator could rapidly tap out words in the dot-­and-dash alphabet. Americans adopted the tele­graph eagerly. A British visitor marveled at the speed with which Americans formed telegraph companies and erected telegraph lines. Ameri­cans, he wrote, were driven to "annihilate [wipe out] distance" in their vast country. By 1852 the United States was operating about 23,000 miles of telegraph lines.

Reading Check Explaining How did canals and rail­ways change transportation?



The railroads gave farmers access to new markets to sell their products. Advances in tech­nology allowed farmers to greatly increase the size of the harvest they produced.

In the early 1800s, few farmers had ventured into the treeless Great Plains west of Missouri, Iowa, and Minnesota. Even areas of mixed forest and prairie west of Ohio and Kentucky seemed too difficult for farming. Settlers worried that their wooden plows could not break the prairie's matted sod and that the soil was not fertile.

Revolution in Agriculture

Three revolutionary inventions of the 1830s changed farming methods and encouraged set­tlers to cultivate larger areas of the West. One was the steel-tipped plow that John Deere invented in 1837. Far sturdier than the wooden plow, Deere's plow easily cut through the hard-packed sod of the prairies. Equally important was the mechanical reaper, which sped up the harvesting of wheat, and the thresher, which quickly separated the grain from the stalk.

McCormick's Reaper

Born on a Virginia farm, Cyrus McCormick became interested in machines that would ease the burden of farmwork. After years of tinkering, McCormick designed and con­structed the mechanical reaper and made a fortune manufacturing and selling it.

For hundreds of years, farmers had harvested grain with handheld sickles. McCormick's reaper could harvest grain much faster than a hand-operated sickle. Because farmers could harvest wheat so quickly, they began planting more of it. Growing wheat became profitable.

McCormick's reaper ensured that raising wheat would remain the main economic activity in the Midwestern prairies. New machines and railroads helped farmers plant more acres in "cash" crops—crops planted strictly for sale. Midwestern farmers began growing more wheat and shipping it east by train and canal barge. Farmers in the Northeast and Middle Atlantic states increased their production of fruits and vegetables that grew well in Eastern soils.

Despite improvements in agriculture, how­ever, the North turned away from farming and increasingly toward industry. It was difficult making a living farming the rocky soil of New England, but industry flourished in the area. The number of people who worked in factories continued to rise—and so did problems con­nected with factory labor.

Reading Check Identifying What innovation sped the harvesting of wheat?


Checking for Understanding

1. Key Terms Use each of these terms in a sentence that will help explain its meaning: clipper ship, telegraph, Morse code.

2. Reviewing Facts Identify and describe the three phases of industri­alization in the North.

Reviewing Themes

3. Economic Factors How did improve­ments in transportation affect the price of goods?

Critical Thinking

4. Determining Cause and Effect How did the steel-tipped plow aid settlers on the Great Plains?

5. Analyzing Consequences How might failure to improve transporta­tion have affected the economic and social development of the nation? Re-create the diagram below and list the possible effects.

Analyzing Visuals

6. Geography Skills Study the map on page 388, then answer this question: Through what two cities in Missis­sippi did major rail lines pass?

Interdisciplinary Activity

Math Research the number of acres of wheat harvested in the United States before and after McCormick introduced his reaper. Then create a chart or graph to illustrate your findings.



The North's People

Main Idea

Many cities grew tremendously during this period.

Key Terms

trade union, strike, prejudice, discrimination, famine, nativist

Reading Strategy

Determining Cause and Effect As you read the section, re-create the diagram below and list two reasons for the growth of cities.

Read to Learn

• how working conditions in indus­tries changed.

• how immigration affected American economic, political, and cultural life.

Section Theme

Geography and History Growth of industry and an increase in immigra­tion changed the North.

Preview of Events

1827 Freedom's Journal, first African American newspaper, is published

1833 The General Trades Union of New York is formed

1854 American Party (Know-Nothings) forms

1860 Population of New York City passes 800,000

AN American Story

"At first the hours seemed very long, but I was so interested in learning that I endured it very well; when I went out at night the sound of the mill was in my ears," a Northern mill worker wrote in 1844. The worker compared the noise of the cotton mill to the ceaseless, deafening roar of Niagara Falls. The roar of machinery was only one feature of factory life workers had to adjust to. Industrialization created new challenges for the men, women, and children who worked in the nation's factories.

Northern Factories

Between 1820 and 1860, more and more of America's manufacturing shifted to mills and factories. Machines took over many of the production tasks.

In the early 1800s, in the mills established in Lowell, Massachusetts, the entire production process was brought together under one roof—setting up the factory system. In addition to textiles and clothing, factories now produced such items as shoes, watches, guns, sewing machines, and agricultural machinery.


Working Conditions

As the factory system developed, working conditions worsened. Factory owners wanted their employees to work longer hours in order to produce more goods. By 1840 factory work­ers averaged 11.4 hours a day. As the workday grew longer, on-the-job accidents became more and more common.

Factory work involved many dangerous con­ditions. For example, the long leather belts that connected the machines to the factory's water-powered driveshaft had no protective shields. Workers often suffered injuries such as lost fin­gers and broken bones from the rapidly spin­ning belts. Young children working on machines with powerful moving parts were especially at risk.

Workers often labored under unpleasant con­ditions. In the summer, factories were miserably hot and stifling. The machines gave off heat, and air-conditioning had not yet been invented. In the winter, workers suffered because most facto­ries had no heating.

Factory owners often showed more concern for profits than for the comfort and safety of their employees. Employers knew they could easily replace an unhappy worker with someone else eager for a job. No laws existed to regulate working conditions or to protect workers.

Attempts to Organize

By the 1830s workers began organizing to improve working conditions. Fearing the growth of the factory system, skilled workers had formed trade unions—organizations of workers with the same trade, or skill. Steadily deteriorating working conditions led unskilled workers to organize as well.

In the mid-1830s skilled workers in New York City staged a series of strikes, refusing to work in order to put pressure on employers. Workers wanted higher wages and to limit their workday to 10 hours. Groups of skilled workers formed the General Trades Union of New York.

In the early 1800s going on strike was illegal. Striking workers could be punished by the law, or they could be fired from their jobs. In 1842 a Massachusetts court ruled that workers did have the right to strike. It would be many years, how­ever, before workers received other legal rights.

African American Workers

Slavery had largely disappeared from the North by the 1830s. However, racial prejudice—an unfair opinion not based on facts—and discrimination—unfair treatment of a group—remained in Northern states. For example, in 1821 New York eliminated the requirement that white men had to own prop­erty in order to vote—yet few African Ameri­cans were allowed to vote. Both Rhode Island and Pennsylvania passed laws prohibiting free African Americans from voting.

Most communities would not allow free African Americans to attend public schools and barred them from public facilities as well. Often African Americans were forced into segregated, or separate, schools and hospitals.

History Through Art

Young Man in White Apron by John Mackie Falconer The artist of this painting was known for his watercolors depicting New York City workers such as this African American clerk. How did prejudice affect the lives of African Americans in the North?


A few African Americans rose in the business world. Henry Boyd owned a furniture manufac­turing company in Cincinnati, Ohio. In 1827 Samuel Cornish and John B. Russwurm founded Freedom's Journal, the first African American newspaper, in New York City. In 1845 Macon B. Allen became the first African Ameri­can licensed to practice law in the United States. The overwhelming majority of African Ameri­cans, however, were extremely poor.

Women Workers

Women had played a major role in the devel­oping mill and factory systems. However, employers discriminated against women, pay­ing them less than male workers. When men began to form unions, they excluded women. Male workers wanted women kept out of the workplace so that more jobs would be available for men.

Some female workers attempted to organize in the 1830s and 1840s. In Massachusetts the Lowell Female Labor Reform Organization, founded by a weaver named Sarah G. Bagley, petitioned the state legislature for a 10-hour workday in 1845. Because most of the petition's signers were women, the legislature did not con­sider the petition.

Most of the early efforts by women to achieve equality and justice in the workplace failed. They paved the way, however, for later movements to correct the injustices against female workers.

Reading Check Describing How did conditions for workers change as the factory system developed?

The Rise of Cities

The growth of factories went hand in hand with the growth of Northern cities. People look­ing for work flocked to the cities, where most of the factories were located. The population of New York City, the nation's largest city, passed 800,000, and Philadelphia, more than 500,000 in 1860.

Between 1820 and 1840, communities that had been small villages became major cities, including St. Louis, Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, and Louisville. All of them profited from their location on the Mississippi River or one of the river's branches. These cities became centers of the growing trade that connected the farmers of the Midwest with the cities of the Northeast. After 1830 the Great Lakes became a center for shipping, creating major new urban centers. These centers included Buffalo, Detroit, Milwaukee, and Chicago.

Fact Fiction Folklore

Cities grow along fall lines A "fall line" is the boundary between an upland region and a lower region where rivers and streams move down over rapids or waterfalls to the lower region. Cities sprang up along fall lines for a number of reasons. Boats could not travel beyond the fall line, so travelers and merchants had to transfer their goods to other forms of transportation there. Early man­ufacturers also took advantage of the falls to power their mills. Fall-line cities include Richmond, Virginia; Trenton, New Jersey; and Augusta, Georgia.


Immigration—the movement of people into a country—to the United States increased dramat­ically between 1840 and 1860. American manu­facturers welcomed the tide of immigrants, many of whom were willing to work for long hours and for low pay.

The largest group of immigrants to the United States at this time traveled across the Atlantic from Ireland. Between 1846 and 1860 more than 1.5 million Irish immigrants arrived in the coun­try, settling mostly in the Northeast.

The Irish migration to the United States was brought on by a terrible potato famine. A famine is an extreme shortage of food. Potatoes were the main part of the Irish diet. When a dev­astating blight, or disease, destroyed Irish potato crops in the 1840s, starvation struck the country. More than one million people died.

Although most of the immigrants had been farmers in Ireland, they were too poor to buy land in the United States. For this reason many Irish immigrants took low-paying factory jobs in



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