The Industrial Revolution was
one of the largest changes that occurred in the United States. New inventions, railroads, canals, and roads brought America
together in economics and transportation. Innovations and new ideas created by famous inventors all over the nation brought
a new lifestyle and further aided our nation. As many of these events united our nation, they also separated our nation greatly
as well; which ultimately led up to the Civil War.
An example of one of the
new inventions created was the Cotton Gin. This simple machine revolutionized how cottonseeds were separated from its fibers.
It enabled 1 worker to take the place of 50, in the task of sorting the cottonseeds. As this process continued however, farmers
began to demand more cotton plants because cotton could be processed at an accelerated rate via Cotton Gin. Since America
could produce cotton so quickly they didn’t need British imported cloth. Because of this, America had to rely on itself
and became more independent. America became more unified and less depending on outer trade and commerce.
The railroads united the country in several different ways. Since railroads went all around the nation, people went
with them. People living in the East could settle in the West and people in the North could settle in the South. It also led
to faster transportation and easier communication between states and cities. News could travel faster and goods could be transported
across the nation much quicker with lower costs. As the railroads unified the country greatly, it also separated the country
by causing disputes between regions of the nation. For example, some of the Southerners did not agree with the railroads,
because some states would have to pay for the tax of the railroads, even if it did not travel to their area. As the transcontinental
railroad was being planned, the South, who wanted the railroad to travel through the South, were at a disagreement with the
North, who wanted it going through the North.
As river travel was beginning to be introduced with inventions such as the steamboat, the need for canals arose. Canals
would provide a water-like road for boats and ships. They would be built around the nation, link cities and regions together,
and provide more options of travel for ships. The nation became more open and broad to traveling and became more familiarized
with each other. Like river travel, roads also connected and brought together the nation, but it also separated the people
living in different regions. One example is when the national road was being
built. People living in the west wanted the national road but people living in
the east did not want the national road because they didn’t want their tax money to pay for a road that would lead into
As disputes such as slavery rose throughout the country including the proceedings of the Industrial Revolution, states
including Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Arkansas broke away from the Union and formed the Confederacy. The Cotton
Gin dramatically increased the amount of slaves during the 1800’s. The need for more slaves increased the number of
slaves and the dispute level. The North wanted the abolishment of slavery as the South continued to have the need for them.
The Nation had been divided into two groups, each disagreeing on many concepts, ideas, and laws. Many states were forced with
the decision whether to reside with the Union or join the Confederacy. A bloody war followed as the Union and the Confederacy
fought for their ideals. Finally, the North won and slavery would then be banned from the states.