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Chapter 15 - Forging the National Economy

Cotton Gin
The cotton gin is a machine that would separate the seed from the short-staple cotton fiber that was fifty times more effective than the handpicking process. It was constructed by Eli Whitney. It was developed in 1793 in Georgia. It was used all over the South. The cotton gin brought a miraculous change to the U.S. and the world. Practically overnight the production of the cotton was very profitable. Not only the South prospered, but the North as well. Many acres were cleared westward to make more room for cotton.

Boston Associates
They were a group of Boston families who joined to form one of the earliest and most powerful joint-capital ventures. They eventually came to dominate the textile industry, the railroad, insurance, and banking business' in all of Massachusetts. With Pride the Boston Associates considered their textile mill in Lowell, Massachusetts a showplace factory. The labor there was mostly New England farm girls who were supervised on and off the job and worked from "dark to dark." (Ch 17, pgs 293-295)

Clipper ships
American boats, built during the 1840's in Boston, that were sleek and fast but inefficient in carrying a lot of cargo or passengers. British steamers were more efficient than these ships and so Britain remained the #1 naval power.

General Incorporation Law
This was a law created to greatly help in "building" capitalism. It stated that businesspeople could create a corporation if they complied with the terms of the law. It was a great boost to capitalism. It was signed in New York in 1848 to save businesspeople the need to apply for characters form the legislature.

Pony Express
A Mail carrying service; ran from 1860-1861; was established to carry mail speedily along the 2000 miles from St. Joseph, Missouri, to Sacramento, California; they could make the trek in 10 days.

Industrial Revolution
Began in the 1750's in Britain with a group of inventors perfecting textile machines. These British developments eventually found their way into American Industry. Factories were made to work with the South's raw textiles Industrialization started in the North because of its dense population, reliance of shipping, and its number of seaports The rapid rivers of the North also provided power for turning the cogs of machines The majority of the industrialization occurred between the 1790's and the 1860's

Limited Liability
This is a term that applies to the principles of the corporation. This started in a big way in the early 1800's for most Americans. It basically refers to the fact that a business with public stock can fail without any one person losing all of their money. It lowers the risk of new business ventures.

Cyrus McCormick
Born in Rockbridge County, Virginia on 1809, he was very interested in helping out the fellow farmer. In 1831, he revolutionized the farming industry by inventing the mechanical reaper. He later improved upon it and patented it in 1834. He then started a company that manufactured this reaper and sold it on the market. He became tremendously rich doing this and later married. He was very generous to his nearby churches and schools.

Eli Whitney
Eli Whitney was born in Massachusetts. He was a mechanical genius that graduated from Yale. After college he traveled to Georgia to be a tutor while preparing for the law. While in Georgia he was told that the South would make a lot of money if someone could invent a machine to separate the seed from cotton. In 1793, within ten days of being told this, Whitney had constructed a rough machine fifty times more effective than the handpicking process.

Robert Fulton
A painter/ engineer who got financial backing to build a powerful steam engine (Clermont). Skeptics called it ''Fulton's Folly''. But in 1807 the boat made the 150 mile run from New York City up the Hudson River to Albany in 32 hours. Within a few years Fulton changed all of America's navigable streams into two-way arteries and forever changed the way the West and the South could transport their goods.

Samuel Slater
He was a British mechanic that moved to America and in 1791 invented the first American machine for spinning cotton. He is known as "the Father of the Factory System" and he started the idea of child labor in America's factories.

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