but the biggest industry was without a doubt

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Unformatted text preview: the steel plow. South – after 1800, the South shifted from a more diverse agriculture to one based almost entirely on cotton. This was due to Eli Whitney’s invention of the cotton gin in 1793, which separated short-staple [the easy to grow kind] cotton from its seeds efficiently. Although the South was in internat’l markets, it remained a rural society, w/most of the wealth in land and slaves, and couldn’t shift to manufacturing or commerce [business decisions made in North]. - Overall, specialization benefited many, but also made it more difficult for farmers to start up [high land prices] and therefore increased the # of tenant farmers. *Sectors of the Market Economy: The Rise of Manufacturing and Commerce* - American production began with copies of British or other European designs, but before long Americans were creating their own machines [ex. Matthew Baldwin, steam locomotives, by 1840 exported internat’lly]. - The American System of Manufacturing was created, which involved using precision machinery to produce interchangeable parts that didn’t require adjustment to fit. Eli Whitney promoted the system in 1798 w/respect to rifles, and by the 1820s the US had contracts w/firms to produce machine made firearms. The system soon spread to mainstream manufactures, leading to an outpouring of consumer goods. - But the biggest industry was without a doubt textiles, which had been helped by the embargo, war, and the 88 expansion of cotton cultivation. The big innovation was machine-spun textiles in mills, a system that especially took hold in NE [Lowell, Massachusetts]. - Mass produced textiles led to the ready-made clothing industry [by 1820s/1830s most clothing was mass produced], either via factories or by the putting-out system, and retail clothing stores appeared in the 1820s. - The expansion of manufacturing directly encouraged a rise in commerce – agents began to specialize in finance alone [cotton brokers, corn brokers, etc.] and general merchants declined, remaining more in rural areas than in cities. - Esp. in large northeastern commercial cities, merch...
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