In 1787 United States was born and in 1861 the Civil War took a terrible toll on young men’s lives in America, and it left a heavy burden of debt. But the country was young and full of energy and its growth continued. Because it had tremendous natural resources and was especially rich in minerals.
The three articles which form the basis of modern industry and civilisation were there in abundance- coal, iron and petroleum. So, there was plenty of water-power like great lakes, Superior, Michigan, Huron, Erie, Ontario etc. from which hydro-electric power could be produced.
It was a huge country with a relatively small population, and there was plenty of elbow-room for everybody. Thus it had every advantage to develop as a great manufacturing and industrial country. It began to do so at a rapid pace.
Industrialisation of United States of America
Internal crisis in Europe
In 1787 United states was born and was still facing the threat of a conquest from European Nations. Before European Nations would take any action against the United States, a fire broke out in Europe in 1789 i.e. French Revolution. As this revolution talked about liberty, fraternity and equality creating fear in the existing political order in Europe.
The emergence of Napoleon in 1799, who acted as a carrier of the ideal of French Revolution to the different part of Europe. Although Napoleon was defeated in 1815 and was brought out of power. But then he ignited the fire of change in Europe. So, from 1815-1915, Europe saw the internal crisis which proved beneficial for infant America because:
It gave isolation of almost 100 years to the United States of America. America turned into a safe destination for investment for European Capitalists and Industrialists. In such circumstances, a new development in the United States of America strengthened the ground for Industrial Revolution.
Assimilation of various races
Immigrants poured into the nation. They were all kinds of people from Europe: Germans, Scandinavians, Irish, Italians, Jews, Poles. Many were driven by political terrorism at home, and many in search of better living conditions. Overcrowded Europe poured out its surplus population to America. It was an extraordinary jumble of races, nationalities, languages, religions.
In Europe, they had all lived apart, each in its own little world. A uniform system of compulsory education soon rubbed off their national corners. So, the American type began to grow out of this hotch-potch of races. The races were gradually assimilated into a common stock. There is no other instance in history of assimilation on such a large scale.
The United States tried to keep away from European entanglements and the intrigues of European Powers. So, they wanted Europe to keep away from America, both North and South. Monroe Doctrine, the rule which President Monroe of United States laid down when some European Powers–the “Holy Alliance”– wanted to interfere in South America to preserve Spain’s empire.
Monroe declared that the United States could not tolerate any armed intervention in the whole of America by any European Power. So, America has successfully stuck to this policy for more than 100 years.
Industrialisation of America: New Developments
Any economy can only thrive in the stable political order. America witnessed a huge period of political stability without any external and internal disturbances. This gave birth to a prosperous economy.
Constructions of metallic roads with the objective to connect cities and urban centres.
Beginning of Canal age, in 1812 America went for the interlinking of rivers and lakes through canals to connect urban centres in the United States:
- Erie canal
- Philadephia canal etc.
Continental Railway System, under it, till 1850s Railway network covered the large part of America in which important networks were:
- North Pacific Railways
- South Pacific Railways
- Grand Continental Railways
Improvement in the shipping industry in which the important achievement was steam-boat. In the second half of 19th century, American Cargo Ships were mechanically ahead of Cargo Vessels of Britain and France. So, in this way within 50 years of independence United States developed a very strong infrastructural system.
New Inventions and Discoveries
New inventions and discoveries in the United States of America strengthened the cause of Industrial Revolution.
- In 1793, Elis Whitney invented cotton gin.
- Later on in 1812, Waltham System was a revolution in Textile Industry. Waltham System comprised of spinning, weaving, dyeing and printing machines in a single unit.
- In 1833 Fredrick developed the art of melting iron with the burning of coal, which gave promotion to Steel Industry.
So, in this way invention and discoveries strengthen textile, the iron and steel industry in the United States of America.
Napoleon’s Continental Policy
Napoleon’s Continental Policy proved to be of great help in Industrial Revolution in the United States. Under it, France and its allies like Russia, Austria, Spain closed their doors for British goods. So, this proved to be an opportunity for the United States to fill the gap of emerging demand in the European market. So, this gave promotion to the cotton chain reaction in America.
Cotton chain reaction
The United States of America was having abundance resources for the cotton industry like cotton, iron and coal. When the continental Policy created the demand in Europe, this gave promotion to the cotton textile industry. So, it gave promotion to iron and steel industry. Plantation and Industries required finance and this gave birth to Stock Exchange in the United States of America. This entire development is called as the cotton chain reaction.
The United States of America went on growing stronger and wealthier and producing, among other things, millionaires and sky-scrapers. So, they caught up to Europe in many ways and passed it. So, industrially the United States of America became the leading nation of the world.
The standard of life of their workers became higher than anywhere else. American labour, with some exceptions, was most moderate and conservative. In this way, at the end of 19th century, America was the industrial power.
Thank you so much. 🙂 Stay connected. 🙂