Transportation Revolution Essay

1451 Words 6 Pages
Transportation Revolution In the years following the War of 1812 congress began to see a growing necessity for a stronger federal government. Efforts to incorporate this new belief began to unfold as Henry Clay proposed his three-step American System. Aimed towards the nation’s economy, the system included a national bank to foster commerce, a protective tariff to promote the industrial North, and finally a system of transportation intertwined throughout the nation. This American System was put into play and soon the nation took the idea and ran with it. Transportation flourished beginning with the improvements of current roads, continuing with the introduction of canals, and finally steam engines and railroads. Occurring in this same time …show more content…
Before the Transportation Revolution, in 1815, most Americans lived on a farm and made or bartered for everything their family would need. At the time transporting goods was very expensive and made selling crops unprofitable and also a harsh way to make a living. Through the use of railroads and canals this problem dissipated. By the time it was 1850 these modes of transportation had reduced the cost of transportation by 95 percent (Clark). With transport expenses no longer an issue farmers were free to grow as many crops as they could sell, shipping them to markets everywhere. Farmers no longer were self-sufficient, because instead they could buy the things they used to make themselves, using the money they saved on transportation. Even exceeding the benefit that famers received from the revolution, was the benefit that manufactures received from using railroads. They truly depended on trains for all stages of a factories development: constructing the factory with imported steel and concrete, powering the factory with imported coal, exporting products from the factory, bringing employees to work, and taking waste to dump sites. It all required railroads and without the railroads there would’ve been no factories or industrial north. Trains carrying such a vast amount not only completed all these tasks but they did them with …show more content…
This being one of the goals of the American System, it is the effects of the system that reflect this unity the most. In giving a speech to the Senate on February 2, 3, and 6, 1832, Henry Clay proclaims the success of the American System, “On a general survey, we behold cultivation extended, the arts flourishing, the face of the country improved, our people fully and profitably employed, and the public countenance exhibiting tranquility, contentment, and happiness” (United States). It is through the transportation step of the system that makes this “tranquility, contentment, and happiness” evident throughout the nation. Using the many available means of transportation the North and South must work together to make use of their resources and maximize their economy. With the flow of raw materials being sent from agricultural South to industrial North, the North is able to use these materials to mass produce a vast array of products. In return the North is able to create machinery to be used on the farm boosting the production and efficiency of the South and in turn, resulting in more materials being sent to the North, an endless cycle ("transportation revolution"). This sense of unity and motivation for a common goal, between the formerly separated regions, binds them together and strengthens them and their shared

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