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62 Cards in this Set

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  • Back
Why was the growth of the white population so rapid between 1820 and 1840?
1- Improvements in public health. The number and ferocity of epidemics decline, as did the mortality rate as a whole.

2- The birth rate remained high; women had about 6 children each.
Why did the black population grow more slowly than the white population?
Blacks had a comparatively high death rate, due to the enforced poverty in which nearly all blacks lived.
What contributed to the immigration boom?
Reduced transportation costs and increasing opportunities in American helped stimulate the immigration boom, as did deteriorating conditions in Europe.
How did the booming agricultural economy of the west produce significant urban growth?
Communities that had once been small villages or trading posts became major cities. They became centers of the growing carrying trade that connected the farmers of the Midwest with New Orleans and, through it, the cities of the NE.

The growing urban population was due to the flow of native NE farmers who had been forced off the land by farmers in the W. It was also due to immigrants from Europe, many of whom settled in the W.
Describe the Irish and German immigrants.
Most of the Irish stayed in the E cities where they landed, and became part of the unskilled labor force. The largest group of Irish immigrants were young single women who worked in factories or domestic service.

Germans usually arrived with at least some money, and generally moved to the NW, where they became farmers or went into business.
What caused the rise of nativism?
Many politicians argued that immigrants were racially inferior, or that they corrupted politics by selling their votes. Others complained that they were stealing jobs from the native work force.

Protestants worried that the growing Irish population would increase the power of the Catholic church.

Older Americans feared that immigrants would become a radical force in politics.

Nativism arose out of these fears and prejudices.
Native American Party
The Native American Association became the Native American Party in 1845. The Native American Party merged with other nativist groups in 1850 to form the Supreme Order of the Star-Spangled Banner.

The demands of the Supreme Order of the Star-Spangled Banner included banning Catholics or aliens from holding public office, enacting more restrictive naturalization laws, and establishing literacy tests for voting.

They adopted a strict code of secrecy, and their password was "I Know Nothing." They became known, therefore, as the Know-Nothings.
The Know-Nothings in Politics
After the 1852 elections, the Know-Nothings created a political organization that they called the American Party.
Why did interest in canals grow?
The costs of hauling goods overland by way of turnpikes was still too high for anything except for the most compact and valuable merchandise.
Describe the impact of the Erie canal?
By providing a route to the Great Lakes, the canal gave NY access to Chiacgo and the growing markets of the West.

It also contributed to the decline of agriculture in New England. Now that it was so much cheaper for western farmers to ship their crops E, people farming marginal land in the NE found themselves unable to compete.
Why were cities along the Atlantic seaboard alarmed by the Erie Canal, and how did they respond?
Rival cities were alarmed at the prospect of NY acquiring acess to and control over the vast western market through the Erie Canal.

They had limited success in catching up, but they tried. Philadelphia, Baltimore, Richmond, and Charleston tried to build water routes to the Ohio Valley, but never completed them.

Some cities saw opportunity in railroads. The era of the railroad began even before the canal age reached its height.
How did railroads emerge?
Railroads emerged from a combination of technological and entrepreneurial innovations: the invention of tracks, the creation of steam-powered locomotives, and the development of trains as public carriers of passengers and freight.
Baltimore and Ohio Railroad
The B&O Railroad was the first company to begin actual operations. It opened a 13-mile track in 1830.
How did the emergence of railroads weaken the connection between the N and the S?
Traffic was diverted from the main water routes of the Erie Canal and the Mississippi, so the Mississippi became less important.

The NE developed four times as much trackage as the S. The lack of tracks in the S isolated it in from the NE.
Importance of Government Funding in Railroads
Railroad construction required massive amounts of capital; some money came from private sources, but most came from government funding.

The federal government gave public land grants; state and local governments invested in the railroads.
Economic Effects of the Railroad
Towns, ranches, and farms grew up rapidly along the routes of the railroad.

Areas once cut off from markets during winter/bad weather found that the railroad could transport goods to and from them at any time of year.

Railroads cut the time of shipment and travel.
Morse Code
Developed by Samuel Morse. Alternating long and shurt bursts of electrical current represent individual letters.
Used Morse Code to transmit messages.

Telegraph wires often ran along railroad tracks with telegraph offices located in railroad stations.

The telegraph allowed railroad operators to communicate directly with stations, in order to alert them to schedule changes, warn them about delays and breakdowns, and convey other information about the movement of trains. It also helped prevent accidents by alerting stations to problems that in the past engineers had to discover for themselves.
Western Union Telegraph Company
A company that organized almost all the independent telegraph lines in the country. It laid the first transatlantic cable in 1866.
Describe the changes in journalism that took place.
Telegraphs were used to get news from around the country and the world very quickly. It became possible for papers to share their reporting: in 1846, newspaper publishers nationwide founded the Associated Press, in order to promote cooperative newsgathering by telegraph.

The invention of the steam cylinder rotary press made it possible to print newspapers rapidly and cheaply. This spurred the dramatic growth of mass-circulation newspapers.
Describe corporations.
Corporations had the advantage of combining the resources of a large number of shareholders.

They developed rapidly in the 1830s, when states began passing general incorporations laws. These allowed a group to secure a charter by paying a fee.

These laws also permitted limited liability, in which individual stockholders risked losing only the value of a their own investment if a corporation should fail; they were not liable for the corporation's larger losses.
Explain machine tools and their importance.
Machine tools are tools used to make machinery parts. The government supported much the research and development of machine tools, often in connection with supplying the military.

The creation of better machine tools allowed the principle of interchangeability to enter many industries.
New Sources of Energy
Coal began replacing wood and water power. Coal power made it possible for factories/mills to be located away from running streams; industry was thus able to expand even more widely.
The Rise of the Industrial Ruling Class
There were greater opportunities for profit in manufacturing than in trade. The emerging industrial capitalists soon became the new ruling class of the NE.
Lowell System
Young women, usually farmers' daughters in their late teens or early twenties, were enlisted to work in factories.

Many of these women worked for several years in the factories, saved their wages, and then returned home to marry and raise children. Otheres married men they met in the factories or in town. Most eventually stopped working in the mills and took up domestic roles instead.
Labor Conditions of Early Factories
Lowell workers lived in clean boardinghouses and dormitories, which the factory owners maintained. They were well fed and carefully supervised. Wages were relatively generous by the standards of the time.
Changes in Labor Conditions
The competitive factory system made it difficult for manufacturers to maintain high living standards and attractive working conditions.

Wages declined, hours of work lengthened, and the conditions of the boardinghouses deteriorated.
Factory Girls Association
1834, mill workers in Lowell organized a union. They staged a strike to protest a 25% wage cut. Two years later, they had another strike, this one against a rent increase in the boardinghouses.

Both strikes failed, and a recession in 1837 destroyed the organization.
Female Labor Reform Association
Organized by Sarah Bagley. They agitated for a ten-hour workday and for improvements in conditions in the mills.

The association turned to state governments and asked for legislative investigation of conditions in the mills.

At this point, however, many mill girls were gradually moving into other occupations, and textile manufacturers were turning to a less demanding labor supply: immigrants.
Describe immigrant labor.
Because of their growing numbers and their unfamiliarity with the country, immigrants had even less leverage than women; thus, they usually encountered worse working conditions.

Poorly paid construction gangs, made up of Irish immigrants, performed heavy, unskilled work on turnpikes, canals, and railroads.

Employers began paying piece rates rather than a daily wage, and used other devices to speed production and exploit the labor force more efficiently.

The factories were becoming large, noisy, unsanitary, and dangerous places to work. The average workday extended to 14hrs, and wages declined.
Some artisans made successful transitions into small-scale industry, but others found themselves unable to compete with the new factory-made goods.

Skilled workers began to form societies for mutual aid. During the 1820s and 1830s, these craft societies began to combine on a citywide basis and set up central organizations known as trade unions.

1834, delegates from six cities founded the National Trades' Union.
Commonwealth v. Hunt
1842; Mass. supreme court declared that unions were lawful organizations and that a strike was a lawful weapon. Other state courts gradually accepted the principle of this decision, but employers continued to resist.
Females' Protective Unions
Since almost all early craft unions excluded women, women began establishing their own unions by the 1850s.

These protective unions had little power in dealing with employers; they did, however, serve an important role as mutual aid societies for women workers.
What factors inhibited the growth of effective labor resistance?
The immigrant laborers were willing to work for lower wages than native workers. Because they were so numerous, it was easy to replace striking or disgruntled native workers with eager immigrants.

Ethnic divisions led workers to channel their resentments into internal bickering rather than into their shared grievances against employers.

The sheer strength of the industrial capitalists, who had not only economic but political and social power, was another obstacle.
Describe the unequal distribution of wealth.
The commercial and industrial growth of the US greatly elevated the average income of Americans. However, slaves, Indians, landless farmers, and many unskilled workers hardly shared in the increased wealth at all.

Among the rest of the population, disparities of wealth were increasingly marked. Merchants and industrialists were accumulating enormous fortunes.
Describe the distinctive culture of wealth that began to emerge in cities.
Wealthy people gathered together in neighborhoods of astonishing decadence. They founded clubs and developed elaborate social rituals.

They looked for ways to display their wealth: in the great mansions they built, the showy carriages in which they rode, and the elegant social establishments they frequented.
Describe the urban poor.
A significant population of genuinely destitute people emerged in the urban centers. These people were not merely poor, but almost entirely without resources. They were homeless and dependent on charity or crime for surival. Many people died of starvation or exposure.
Describe the conditions endured by free blacks.
Free blacks in urban areas were descendants of blacks who had lived in the N for generations; others were former slaves who had escaped or been freed.

Most blacks had, at best, access to menial jobs. They couldn't vote, couldn't attend public school, and couldn't use any public serviecs available to whites.
Describe the social mobility that occurred in the US.
A few workers managed to move from poverty to riches by the dint of work, ingenuity, and luck. It didn't often often, but it was enough to support the dreams of those who watched them.

Most people managed to move at least one notch up the laddar--such as becoming a skilled, rather than an unskilled, laborer.
Describe the geographical mobility that occurred in the US.
Some workers saved money, bought land, and moved west. Few could afford to make such a move, however.

It was very common for laborers to move from one industrial town to another. These migratory workers were often the victims of layoffs who were looking for better opportunities elsewhere.

Their search rarely led to a large improvement in their circumstances. The rootlessness made effective organization and protest more difficult.
Describe the rapidly expanding middle-class.
Middle-class life in the years prior to the Civil War established itself as the most influential cultural form in urban US.

Middle-class families lived in solid and substantial homes. Their houses were larger in size and extravagance than cramped rowhouses of the working-class, but they were far less lavish than the wealthy.

Middle-class people tended to own their homes, while workers and artisans typically rented.
New Household Inventions
Cast-Iron Stove: replaced fireplaces as the principal vehicle for cooking in the 1840s. They gave cooks more control over the preparation of food and allowed them to cook several things at once.
Describe the diets of the middle-class.
The expansion and diversification of US agriculture and the ability of farmers to ship goods to urban markets by rail from distant regions grealty increased the variety of available food.

Fruits and vegetables were difficult to ship, but most families had access to a variety of meats, grains, and dairy products.

Most people didn't have iceboxes, so preserving food meant curing meat with salt and preserving fruits in sugar.

Diets were generally much heavier and starchier than they are today.
Declining Patriarchy
The pattern where powerful fathers controlled their children's futures by controlling the distribution of land to them, couldn't surive the move to a city or a town.

Sons and daughters in urban households were much more likely to leave the family in search of work than they had been in the rural world. Because of this, the power of fathers declined.
Emergence of the Public and Private Spheres
Income earners left home each day to work somewhere else. Because of this, a sharp distinction began to emerge between the public world of the workplace and the private world of the family.

The world of the family was now dominated not by production but by housekeeping, child rearing, and other primarily domestic concerns.
Roles of Women in the Household
The wife was expected to remain in the home and to engage in largely domestic activities. The image of women changed from one of contributors to the family economy to one of guardians of the "domestic virtues."

Middle class women learned to place a higher value on keeping a clean, comfortable, and well-appointed home, on entertaining, and on dressing elegantly and stylishly.
Women's Separate Sphere
Middle-class women began to develop their own distinctive culture.

"Lady's" literature began to emerge: romantic novels focused on the private sphere that middle-class women now inhabited, and women's magazines focused on fashion, shopping, and homemaking.
The Cult of Domesticity
Women had greater material comfort than they had enjoyed in the past. A greater value was placed on "female virtues."

Women were left increasingly detached from the public world, with few outlets for their interests and energies. Expect for teaching and nursing, work by women outside the household became a lower-class preserve.
Importance of Holidays
For most people, Sunday was the only respite from work, and it was to be reserved for religion. Holidays, then, took on a special importance because of their scarcity. This is one reason for the elaborate 4th of July celebrations.
Describe the culture of public leisure.
Theatres became popular, and while some catered to particular social groups, most attracted audiences that crossed class lines.

Much of the popular theatre of the time consisted of melodrama based on popular novels or American myths. Much of it also reflected the great love of Shakespeare that extended through all levels of society.
Minstrel Shows
White actors wearing blackface mimicked and ridiculed black culture.
P.T. Barnum
He opened the American Museum in NY in 1842. It was a freak show populated by midgets, Siamese twins, magicians, and ventriloquists.

He publicized his ventures with garish posters and elaborate newspaper announcements.

1870s, he launched his famous circus.
How did Barnum try to draw visitors to his museum?
By engaing lecturers. He understood that lecture was one of the most popular forms of entertainment. People flocked to hear lecturers explain the latest advances in science, describe their visits to exotic places, provide vivid historical narrative, or rail against the evils of alcohol or slavery.

Messages of social uplift and reform attracted women especially.
Industrial Growth in the NW
There was some industry in this region, and it experienced steady growth in the two decades prior to the Civil War.

There were flourishing industrial and commercial areas in and around Cleveland and Cincinnati, the center of meatpacking. Chicago emerged as the national center of agricultural machinery and meatpacking. Most of the major industrial activities of the W either served agriculture of relied on agricultural products.
Why did farming expand so rapidly?
The rich and plentiful lands of the NW made farming a lucrative activity there. The typical citizen of the NW was the owner of a reasonably prosperous family farm.

Industrialization gave a boost to agriculture. The growth of factories and cities in the NE caused an increase in the domestic market for farm goods. The growing national and worldwide demand for farm products resulted in steadily rising farm prices.
New Agricultural Techniques
Farmers began to cultivate new varieties of seed, especially Mediterranean wheat.

They imported better breeds of animals, especially hogs and sheep, from England and Spain.

The cast-iron plow became popular because its parts could be replaced when broken. 1847, John Deere established a factory to manufacture steel plows, which were even more durable than iron plows.
McCormick Reaper
It replaced the sickle, cradle, and hand labor. It was pulled by a team of horses and had a row of horizontal knives on one side for cutting wheat.

It enabled a crew of six or seven men to harvest in a day as much wheat as fifteen men could harvest using older methods.
A machine that separated the grain from the wheat stalks. They appeared in larage numbers after 1840. Before that, farmers generally flailed grain by hand of used farm animals to tread it.
Describe rural life in the Appalachians and the east.
Farmers were usually part of relatively vibrant communities and made extensive use of the institutions of those communities (churches, schools, stores, taverns).
What drew farm communities together?

Town or village churches were popular meeting places, both for services and for social events, most of them dominated by women.

Even in areas with no organized churches, farm families and especially women gathered in each other's homes for prayer meetings, Bible readings, and other religious activities.

Weddings, funerals, and baptisms also brought communities together.
Describe rural social interaction.
Farm people joined together frequently to share such tasks as barn-raisings. Families would gather and create a festive atmosphere. Women prepared large suppers while the men worked on the barn and children player.

Large numbers of families gathered together at harvest time to help bring in crops, thresh wheat, or husk corn.

Women came together to share domestic tasks, holding "bees" in which groups of women joined together to make quilts, preserves, or other products.
Why did so many rural Americans look back nostalgically on country life?
Once they moved to the city, they sensed that in the urban world they didn't have as much control over patterns of their daily lives as they had once known.