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American Problems And Innovations During The Industrial Revolution

1022 words - 4 pages

The industrial cities that spawned during and after the birth of the Industrial Revolution were very different from the cities that existed before to the revolution. Prior to the Industrial Revolution, cities were a market where trade goods could be bought and sold. Trappers and hunters would come into towns to sell their goods to shoppers who were eager to obtain these items. Blacksmiths and barbershops, saloons and banks, farmers and stable masters were typically the primary typical businesspersons within a typical pre-industrial revolution city. The traditional American city went through many drastic changes in a short period of time during the Industrial Revolution, and would never be the same. Some may claim that American cities during the Industrial Revolution were suffering due to the sudden growth that they were experiencing. Although American cities were in fact riddled with problems during the Industrial Revolution, the innovations to solve these problems would change the shape of America forever, for the better.
Both many successes and problems arose within these new industrial cities. One of these problems was that of the transportation issue. To some, the densely populated cities were difficult to navigate. Often having populations in the hundreds of thousands, these cities were only a few square miles in size. One of the first inventions created to tackle this problem was the omnibus. The omnibus was similar to a horse drawn carriage, except that it was much longer. "Putting the car on iron tracks then enabled the horses to pull more passengers at a faster clip through crowded city streets" (Henretta, 2009). An improvement over the omnibus came later in the form of the electric trolley. The trolley was a carriage that ran on rails, and was powered by electricity, which was provided by a power line that was suspended above the rails.
The invention of the omnibus and the electric trolley bred more innovations. The omnibus and the electric trolley both were designed to solve the transportation problem, but in reality caused more problems by congesting the streets. "Congestion led to demands that transit lines be moved off the streets" (Henretta, 2009). The next major change in transportation came in the form of elevated railways. These ominous structures were built above the city streets, and allowed for a more efficient transportation system. Some cities decided to put their railways underground, and created the first subways. By building the railways above and below the city streets, the actual streets were now clear of obstruction, and allowed for more traffic flow. This paved the way for streets as they are known today, packed with automobiles. These advances were only a few in the vast multitude that contributed to the growth and expansion of America.
The persistent increase in population density in American cities was quickly becoming a major problem. Buildings that were previously considered very large were now small. There...

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