A Turning Point is a society takes a new historically significant trajectory creating a new historical reality. It may be marked by the emergence of a new technology and the establishment of a new ideal. The impact may be immediate or develop of time. Editor's Note: These very brief written do little justice to the fascinating lectures available through The Great Courses. Consider using them for an Internet research/writing assignment.
Part 3 Growing a Nation
1862 Go West, Young Man! The Homestead Act
1872 Open Spaces—The National Parks
1903 Transportation Revolution 2 Expanding Government
1909 The Scourge of the South—Hookworm Expands Government
A Nation Divided
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The late eighteenth century was an economy made up of skilled artisans called master craftsmen. They made products like shoes, bread, wagons...and often sold them in a shop attached to their home. They were helped by apprentices who began at about age twelve. Successful apprentices took a test at 21 and passing made them a journeyman and able to work for others. Successful journeymen who saved enough of their earnings could join an association as a master craftsman. It was a simple existence with working based on demand and setting your own hours. This system had not changed much in about two hundred years.
Samuel Slater had apprenticed in England's textile manufacturing industry using the modern spinning frame. Good at mechanics, he learned to build the machines and became a manager. Too much competition in England resulted in the twenty-one year old immigrating g to Philadelphia. Textiles Machinery and design plan were banned by Britan so Sam committed the plans to memory.
He answers a 1789 ad from textile manufacturer Moses Brown who thought textile manufacturing was the next big thing. But he was failing. The arrangement could not have been more successful and in 1790 the result was a water powered textile mill. Machinery improvements followed. Expansion followed with a new 1793 factory because sales had become regional and over 20 years seven more factories were built. By 1816 there were 165 factories in Southern New England.
Eli Whitney's 1794 cotton gin added to the process and created a north-south connection.
Wealthy Bostonian Francis Cabot Lowell went to England and learned all the latest milling technique. He returned and formed a corporation which set up the soon to be world renown Waltham-Lowell system. Many young country girls [shown here, click to enlarge] as they were called went for the cultured city life. They could also increase marriage prospects by growing a diary. Factory owners took a paternalistic approach to mill operations. Girls lived in well chaperoned dormitories, attended church regularly... Owners hoped to create the opposite of the intolerable conditions of coal dependent soot laden English factories. This positive envirnment added to cost. In early 19th century capitalism competition did not allow having higher cost so the attempt for to create an ideal work experience failed completely until early in the 20th century when government involvement began reforms.
Some trades didn't wait for technology to make the necessary machines to modernize their business. They copied the new process. For example master craftsmen making shoes added price competition to their quality competition. How? Expensive journeyman were replaced by apprentices who did just one part of the process. Cheaper than journeymen they were paid a low market wage and not a just wage. Capitalism now required new rules. Price competition meant lower cost which meant lower wages and more technology which meant innovation which meant broader markets. For most producers this would all centered on profit maximization. Editor's Note: Today outsourcing and free trade agreements perform the these same functions that are needed to maintain profit.
Industrial Revolution Changed the Direction of
2 Health improved with more food, better medicine which extended life expectancy.
3) Family farms began to disappear as agriculture become technologically dependent.
4) Gender Spheres changed as work moved from the home to town creating different work spaces.
5) Education was reshaped along factory lines with ordered classes, set schedules and BELLS.
6) Printed materials for politics, books, sheet music all got cheaper.
7) Pianos and later the phonograph became inexpensive home entertainment.
8) Rapid urbanization as those living in cities rose from 5% to over fifty percent.
Transportation Revolution for a Growing Nation
early America was expensive. An 1810 Boston stagecoach company advertized
that in only 12 hours their uncomfortable 57 mile buggy ride to Cape
Cod cost only $50.
Robert Fulton's remarkable steamboat of 1807 went 150 miles up the Hudson River
from NYC to Albany in just 32 hours. Robert had concurred nature and ignited the Transportation Revolution as he built the world's first thriving steamboat company. In 1811 Fulton added a steamboat to the Mississippi starting a steam boat boom as shippers could easily move goods up river creating a cost saving balanced two-way transportation system. Soon great cities like St. Louise and Cincinnati were built as part of the transportation system.
Short canals were soon built between to connect rivers. Industry expansion in Great Britan had built 100 major cannels between 1760 and 1820. In 1817 cannel enthusiastic NY Governor Dewitt Clinton convinced skeptics to build the 363 mile Erie Canal.
The cannel connected Lake Erie with the Hudson River where goods would travel to NY City. It would be the largest U.S. public works project until the 1950's never ending Interstate Highway System. Travel time between Buffalo and NYC was reduced from 20 days to 6 days and cost reduced from $100 per ton to $15 per ton. A resulting national cannel building craze by1840 had created 3,300 canal miles with more than half the funding coming from governments.
Canal were water related, expensive, slow to build, froze in winter, were affected by drought and soon would be relatively slow. In what Joseph Schumpeter calls creative destruction, a national RR system soon cover twice that of cannels. Again governments participated as they contributed about 1/3 of the needed capital.
Transportation Revolution Changed Society's Speed
became cheaper as movement of raw materials and
goods lowered their price.
as amusement parks sprouted at the end of the
RR lines plus many took day trips and vacations. Click to enlarge.
| 20. Western
Expansion With Mexican War Becomes Manifest
20. Mexican War and Western Expansion Becomes Manifest Destiny
Many of our early leaders wanted to expand the country and make its geographic greatness equal to her political greatness. Many citizens agreed. Federalist Hamilton wanted an army to control the states and expand the country's boundaries. Republican Jefferson bought Louisiana from France. Republican Andrew Jackson took his army into Florida to fight Indians and the Spanish cut their loses and sold Republican President Monroe both Florida and New Orleans.
Manifest Destiny was a term coined in 1845 as some saw our expansion manifest i.e. obvious and our destiny i.e. blessed by God. Many wanted an empire though later in the century staying close to home became politically correct.
Trouble began in 1835 as mostly American settlers in Northern Mexico were tired of Mexican rule and declared their independence. One of their concerns was over slavery. Mexico would not allow slavery. The settles won a six month fight best remember for their loss at the Alamo . The republic of Texas soon was lobbing to join the union even though Mexico considered it still a territory.
President Polk had campaigned for Texas being a state in 1846 and shortly after his election sent troops to southern Texas looking for trouble. He also sent an emissary to Mexico with a $25 million offer for Texas at Rio Grand plus much of the North West Mexico. Mexico wasn't going to sell half her country and Polk became very aggressive militarily causing incidents and soon he asked Congress to declare war. A vigorous debate followed mostly over the question of slavery in the new territories. Many opposed slavery because it was out of step with the times and was inefficient compared to capitalism. They saw it as an embarrassment to the land of liberty, some thought it was immoral. Most didn't want immediate abolition; they wanted it bottled up in the South where it would eventually whither away. A young congressman named Abe Lincoln was in this group and he challenged the need for war with Mexico. Southern democrats pushed for the war so they could expand the number of slave sates and gain congressional power. The1846-48 Mexican American War ended. Polk got his land.
Imperialism often called Colonialism is controlling another nation through territorial acquired or economic/political dominance. US had been isolationist since the time of Washington who in his farewell address warned the new nation to keep out of European entanglements. Why the turn from isolationism to internationalism and with it some imperialism. Six reasons are given.
Frontier Thesis resulted when the Census Bureau publish that the Frontier was closed; we had settled it. Frederick Jackson Turner lamented with concerns that the frontier had provided the country with the core values of individualism, entrepreneurship, democracy, equality and freedom. Were we doomed with the lose of these traits. Internationalist said no, US power can establish new world-wide frontiers.
Security European powers were seizing key military points around the globe. Most US leaders agreed that at the least we needed a large Navy. Soon we had the world's 3rd largest Navy. Think 2015 China.
Need to expand markets. The Economic Panic of 1893 began a decade of mostly recession and leaders said markets were needed because of our increased productive ability. Control of foreign markets would supply resources and provide markets for our goods.
Marshal spirit and militarism was needed to maintain masculine vigor, so as not to become soft. TR strongly believed this idea.
White mans burden was borrowed from Great Britan who believed dark races live as savages and Imperial Powers must take up the white man's burden to civilize them because as primitives they couldn't govern themselves and were wasted resources provide by God.
Crusader Nation meant we could no longer just lead by example. As a powerful nation we had a moral obligation to protect human rights. Think Bush 2 in Iraq.
This human rights needs arose in Cuba beginning with an 1868 rebellion which lasted 10 years. It was brutally put down by Spain. A second 1895 rebellion resulted in President Cleveland receiving pressured from business wanting investment protection. Cuba had substantial economic potential and American investment dollars were significant and growing. New President McKinley tried to get Spain to lighten up but they wouldn't and then news of Spain's brutal reconcentration camps where civilians were cut off from rebels hit the U.S. newspapers. Publisher Hearst and Pulitzer knew a good story and their yellow press really dramatized the camp brutality against civilians.
Then an explosion of the US Maine
was assumed to be Spanish terrorism enraged the public. It didn't
trigger a war but the pressure was
on. Eventually ultimatums were given. Spain
agreed to close the camps and provide
more independence but McKinley wanted war a
congress gave it to him.
The first battle was in the Philippines where that valuable Spanish colony was easily taken. TR resigned his assistant secretary of the navy and his Rough Riders' entered the fight. The famous picture of his regiment taking San Wan hill was really his taking the less important Kettle hill. A black regiment took the key San Wan hill but the press wanted to glorify TR. Soon key points fell and US also took Puerto Rico and was awarded Quam.
Click picture for a slid show.
Cuba and Puerto wanted independence but US decided going slow was best. Cuba got some home rule but US would run the show for a few decades. In the Philippines this go slow attitude led to the bloody 1899-1902 Filipino insurrection with about approximately 100,000 Filipinos killed.
Many imperialist forays followed. In 1904 US fostered a Columbian rebellion with the US getting control of newly formed Panama and soon we were building a cannel. In 1909, 1912 and 1926 US troops occupied Nicaragua. Think 2015 Russia in the
The U.S. would be in and out of isolationism until the cold war.
|1909 The Scourge of the South—Hookworm Expanding gov||1862 Go West, Young Man! The Homestead Act
|1903 The Second Transportation Revolution expanding gov|
1872 Open Spaces—The National Parks expanding gov
In the 1870s, amid the wave of American industrialization, a movement emerged to preserve for all time large sections of wilderness as national parks—the first time this
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