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Know Nothings

created a new political organization that they called the American Party. Scored an immediate success in the elections of 1854. Adopted a strict code of secrecy, secret password "I know nothing."

Turnpike Era

1790-1820s, the US relied largely on roads for internal transportation

Riverboat Trade flows

steamboats replaced the slow barges that had previously dominated. Carried the corn and wheat of northwestern farmers and the cotton and tobacco of southwestern planters to New Orleans. Led to the interest of building canals

Erie Canal

greatest construction project Americans had ever undertaken. Canal itself was simple but its construction involved hundreds of tedious tasks. Opened in October 1825, and provided a route to the Great Lakes, gave NY access to Chicago (and the growing markets in the West)

Peter Cooper

designed and built the first steam-powered locomotives in AMerica in 1830 for the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad. Raced his locomotive (the "Tom Thumb") against a horse-drawn railroad car

John Stevens

ran a locomotive and cars around a circular track on his New Jersey estate

Baltimore and Ohio

first railroad company to begin actual operations, opened a 13 mile stretch of track in 1830

Economic Effects of the railroads

railroads = towns, ranches, and farms grew up rapidly. Railroads cut the time of shipment and travel. (3 week trip took less than 2 days)

Samuel F.B. Morse

a professor of art with an interest in science, experimented and succeeded in the field of electricity

New York Sun

the most widely circulated paper in the nation


had the advantage of combining the resources of a large number of shareholders, developed rapidly in the 1830's

Limited liability

individual stockholders risked losing only the value of their own investment (not the corporation's larger losses) is the enterprise failed

Factory System

water-powered machines that allowed them to bring their operations together under a single roof. Soon penetrated the shoe industry as well as many others

Machine tools

tools used to make machinery parts
1) the turret lathe- used for cutting screws and other metal parts
2) universal milling machine- replaced the hand chiseling of complicated parts and dies
3) precision grinder- crucial to the sewing machine

Interchangeable parts

revolutionized clock and watch making, the manufacturing of locomotives, the creation of steam engines, the making of many farm tools, bikes, sewing machines, typewriters, cash registers, and eventually the automobile

Charles Goodyear

discovered a method of vulcanized rubber (gives it more strength and elasticity) created a huge rubber market in America.

Elias Howe

constructed a sewing machine to manufacture ready-to-wear clothing.

Lowell System

enlisted teen farmer's daughters to come and work in the mill for a couple of years so they could save wages and return home to marry and raise children.

Duncan Phyfe

He became known as one of America's leading cabinetmakers by selling furniture at relatively low prices.

Commonwealth v. Hunt

the Supreme Court declared that unions were lawful organizations and that strike was a lawful weapon.

"Cult of Domesticity"

a distinctive female culture for the middle class woman in 19th century, placed value on "female virtues"

P T Barnum

Opened the American Museum in New York, which housed the original circus freaks such as midgets, Siamese twins, magicians and ventriloquists.

Truck Farming

some farmers who had the task of supplying food such as fruit and vegetables for the nearby towns, and growing cities.

John Deere

established in 1857 a factory for producing steel plows, which were more durable than those made of iron.

Cyrus McCormick

invented the automatic reaper, which was pulled by a team of horses, and a crew of six men who could harvest a field in a day as opposed to 15 men using the old method of the scythe.


a machine that separated the grain from the wheat stalks.

Northeastern Agriculture

used to be the primary wheat suppliers, corn growers, and cattle herders, but could not compete with richer soils of other parts.

Northwestern Agriculture

by 1860, the dominant wheat supplier and corn growers

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