Chapter 12 - Roark Chapter 12 The Free North and West...

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Roark Chapter 12: The Free North and West, 1840-1860 Notes and Questions for HIS1043 by Rex H. Ball, Senior Lecturer During this period, the United States underwent a remarkable change, with the most dramatic, and with regard to the outcome of the Civil War, most significant change coming in the northern states. The importance of the changes will become apparent as we proceed to the Civil War. The authors propose four areas of fundamental change: 1) The population grew remarkably, from two million at the Revolution to thirty-one million by 1860, and much of the increase was moving into cities and towns. Still, eighty percent of the population lived on farms in 1860, down from the high nineties in colonial America. 2) Factories employed growing numbers of people, twenty percent of the labor force by 1860. Most occurred in the North, greatly enhancing the North’s economic output and power. 3) Power went from water to steam, giving flexible and reliable power to factories, not to mention faster transportation in steamboats and railroads. 4) Lastly, agricultural productivity doubled during the period, contributing a huge growth in the output of the U.S. economy by the Civil War. 5) To the authors’ four, I add a fifth. There occurred a remarkable outburst of creativity and risk taking in the United States during the period. Being fortunate that England blazed the way in industrialization, the U.S. followed, changing and improving British machines and organizational techniques.
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