Essay on Industrialization in America

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In the 17th Century there was a high level of competition for land and power between the European countries because the more land a country colonized the more money it could make off of that land. Britain colonized America in order to provide themselves with raw materials and in effect made agriculture dominant in America’s economy rather than industry. Without industry, the colonists were forced to import the majority of their goods from Britain instead of from domestic production (Reef 1). After the American Revolution, America was independent from Britain both politically and economically and Americans began to feel the pressure to industrialize in order to keep up with the demands of Americans and to compete with Britain (Peskin 1;…show more content…
As the economy began to shift to larger-scale manufacturing, Britain began to fear that their technology would be replicated in America. Therefore Britain set laws in place to prohibit the exportation of any textile machinery and to prohibit textile factory workers from leaving the country. Nevertheless, technology escaped from Britain to America due to the cash bonuses offered by Americans for information about these machines (Reef 3). One such invention was Samuel Slater’s power loom which was introduced for the first time in America in 1789. Slater traveled to Pawtucket, Rhode Island, where he was able to recreate the loom from memory of his apprenticeship with Richard Arkwright, a British inventor. Slater went on to launch the country’s mechanized cotton-spinning factory. His “Slater mills” were built along New England Rivers and they were wildly successful due to the inexpensiveness and speed of the production of cotton they made. The mills were very efficient and required many employees which gave jobs to thousands of Americans which fueled the American economy and introduced an entirely new social class. Samuel Slater was named the “founder of the American Industrial Revolution” and went on to introduce the first large-scale textile mills, which would transform the nation’s economy from agriculture to industry (“Slater, Samuel” 1).
As cotton mills were sweeping America, the demand for large quantities of cotton was increasing rapidly.
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