The Industrial Revolution

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Social Studies

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The Industrial Revolution

RailroadsThe first American railroad was the Baltimore and Ohio, and began in 1828. By 1840, 3,000 miles of railway track were placed in the U.S.

Samuel SlaterHe studied andmemorized the planes of Arkwright’s machines. Then he boarded a ship for New York. When in the U.S. he constructed a spinning machine based on Arkwright’s plans. His factory began producing cotton thread at a rate never before seen in the U.S.

Richard Arkwright He invented a water frame which was a spinning machine powered by running water rather than human energy. This started the factory system which brought workers and machinery together in one place. Instead of spinning at home people started to go to factories.He also built the first steam-powered textile plant which was a reliable source of power, and factories no longer had to build on riverbanks, they could now build in cities where young women and children provided cheap labor.

Factory ConditionsWorking conditions early factories were poorly lighted, had little fresh air, and machines were designed to preform a task but not to protect a worker. Because of this many were injured. If they lost a hand or foot they received no help. They needed to depend on family for support, business owners provided no payments for disabled workers, as they do by the law today. And workers work days laster from 12 to 14 hours.

Lowell MillsThis is when there were Lowell girls. They lived in boardinghouses under strict supervision, and they worked in the factories.

Francis Cabot Lowell He opened a mill and his machines brought spinning and weaving into one building in Waltham, Massachusetts. In 1817, Lowell died, and his partners wanted to care for their workers more, so they created a new town called Lowell.

Advances in AgricultureCyrus McCormick invented the reaper, It cut stalks of what many times faster than a human worker could. This let famers to harvest and have more land.He also invented the thresher. It separated the grains of wheat from their stalks. And he later combined the two, creating the combine.

Steamboat Robert Fulton invented a steam engine to power a boat, the first steamboat. This was 133 feet long and had wooden side paddles on both sides that pulled through the water.

TelegraphIt was a device created by Samuel Morse that used electrical signals to send messages quickly. His invention worked by sending electrical signals over a wire, which was called Morse Code. A code device used shorter and longer burst of electricity, with an alphabet of short signals (“dots”) and longer ones (“dashes”)

ImmigrantsIn the 1840s there were opportunities for cheap land and immigrants believed their skills would serve them well in America while some had little choice, because they could not survive at home. This was during the Great Hunger, when a fungus in Ireland that destroyed the potato crop, therefore leading to a famine. More than a million people starved to death and about a million left Ireland, and hundreds came to the U.S. For the Germans, many had taken revolutions against hard rulers. When the revolutions failed, they fled to the US. Unlike the Irish, the germans came form many different levels of society. Most Germans moved West, many others settled in the Ohio Valley, or the Great Lakes region. People who wanted to preserve the country for white, American-born Protestants, were called nativists, and they didn't want the Immigrants on there land.

The Industrial Revolution & The North Transformed


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