How the Industrial Revolution Affects Us Today

5039 Words Apr 30th, 2011 21 Pages
Danielle Velazquez
Mr. Teacher
Course Number
3 May 2011
How the Industrial Revolution Affects Today
The Industrial Revolution that rocked America's economic and social structure was a magnificent tool of change. The massive influx of industry that it brought with it changed the lives of millions of people. The Industrial Revolution marked a turning point in American history. Almost every aspect of daily life was influenced in some way. “For the first time in history, the living standards of the masses of ordinary people have begun to undergo sustained growth…Nothing remotely like this economic behavior has happened before” (Robert E. Lucas, 1997). Steam power, machine-based manufacturing, water power, improved communication, and
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The way of life differed from place to place, depending on the climate, the soil, and the distance from towns and trade routes. For most people, life revolved around the agricultural seasons--planting, cultivating, harvesting, and processing the harvest. The demand for manual labor created strong incentives to mechanize labor intensive tasks such as plowing and harvesting.
The eastern seaboard of the United States, with a great number of rivers and streams along the Atlantic seaboard, provided many potential sites for constructing mills and infrastructure necessary for early industrialization. A vast supply of natural resources along with a large labor supply consisting of surplus domestic rural workers and massive immigration from European nations enabled industrialization. The ready supply of labor was an advantage American industrialism had over European.

1.1 Factories and Mills In the mid 1780’s, Oliver Evans invented the grain elevator and hopper boy that would eventually replace traditional gristmills. By the turn of the century, Evans also developed one of the first high pressure steam engines and began establishing a network of machine workshops to manufacture and repair these popular inventions. In 1789, the widow of Nathanael Greene recruited Eli Whitney to develop a machine to separate the seeds of short fibered cotton from the fibers. The resulting cotton gin could be made with
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