Changes In American Life In The 1800's

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Throughout history, people have been inventing things to make their lives easier. That drive has produced huge changes in the American life several times over. In the 1700’s, life in America was very difficult. Transportation infrastructure was lacking, which pushed the delivery of goods to be almost exclusively down rivers. Military technology was roughly unchanged since America began, leaving the country open to attack from other nations. And industry was totally undeveloped, forcing households to act as miniature factories, producing almost everything they would need. In the 1800’s though, the lives of nearly all Americans was changed. Transportation has revolutionized trade and the connections between different places. In early America, roads were in such bad shape traveling any significant distance was dangerous. Commerce was driven by rivers. Gradually, that changed. In the 1790’s, a private company created a hard-surfaced road that went from Lancaster to Philadelphia. That started a road building craze that vastly increased…show more content…
The cotton gin was one such invention. In the 1780’s, there was some cotton production. But harvesting the actual cotton from the seeds was so time-consuming, it wasn’t very profitable. By the time the cotton gin was invented in 1793, slavery was decreasing. With one simple invention, everything changed. Slavery increased by 70%. Cotton farming exploded. By 1860, New England was importing over 400 million pounds of cotton. The effect of the cotton gin wasn’t just limited to cotton farmers though. With the South focusing all of their energy on cotton, someone had to feed them. That job fell on the West, where several inventions, such as the Reaper, changed farming. And someone also had to provide the materials, a job perfectly suited for the environment of the North. Both areas had to ramp up production to keep up with the new demand, a problem that only drove more innovation and
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