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Industrialization In America Essay

1316 words - 5 pages

As America was rapidly industrializing, the products that were being mass-produced were in demand all over the nation. In order to get food, supplies and raw materials to the industrial centers that needed them, it was crucial that the speed of transportation was increased. Multiple types of transportation came forth in early 1800’s including roads, canals, steamboats and railroads which would all contribute to the industrialization of America. This time period would come to be known as the “Transportation Revolution” of America. (Ochoa 2). In 1815, farmers were struggling to keep up with the high cost of transportation of their goods. Near the end of the Transportation Revolution in 1850, transportation cuts had been cut by ninety-five percent and farmers were given much more opportunity to make a profit (Clark 1). Roadways started developing across America and played a major role in delivering raw materials to where they would be produced and then from that site to markets. However the financing of these roads quickly became an issue between the federal government and the states. In 1808, the federal government built the National Road, which was a major route that started in Virginia and extended from the Appalachian Mountains to Illinois. The National Road became the most significant road for Western settlers to travel on. Unlike most roads that were muddy and hard to drive on and muddy, the National Road was solid and made of gravel and stone. States generally built and financed their own roads around the older transportation routes and where the marketplaces were in the state. Roads gave new ways to transport goods and people across the nation, further supporting industrialization in America (Holtkamp 1).
By 1807, advances in steamboats were also being made. Robert Fulton showed the steamboats capabilities that were previously disregarded as useless and how the steamboat could revolutionize America’s transportation and economy (Holtkamp 1). Fulton introduced the Clermont, which was the first commercially practical steamboat. In 1815, the steamboat service started on the Mississippi River and before long they expanded across the nation (Ochoa 2). Steamboats could go upriver as well as downriver, which was not possible prior to the invention of steam power and boats could only go with the current downriver with no way to return North. Steamboats allowed transportation to be a two-way process and goods could be moved to the North and the South easily. Steamboats became increasingly important for the transportation of goods, and in effect the river cities were economically significant and powerful due to the money, goods and people moving through them every day. River cities such as Cincinnati, New Orleans, and St. Louis became very influential in American politics and economy. Steamboats were improved throughout the years and became one of the leading contributions of the Transportation Revolution. However, steamboats also had negative...

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