Technological and Economic Growth during 1840-1860

Technological and Economic Growth during 1840-1860Student’s Name


The United States Technological and Economic Growth during 1840-1860

During this duration, the economic and technological advancement led to significant changes to the United States development from old and rural like a limit to industrial power bloc. The society incurred various significant effects which were inevitable with consideration of development in the transportation industry, agriculture and the improvement in the nation’s economy in general. The railroads and telegraph emerged to be the most advanced projects that influenced the economic sector as well as industrialization in the society. Considering that a large number of Americans worked on farms and it the required tools could not be made by hands leading to the invention of a power-driven the machine which carried out a wide variety of work instead. In this paper, the economic and technological growth in the United States is discussed into an in-depth extent with regards to how they affected the communication, transportation as well as the industrial sectors.

At this period the United States experienced economic fluctuations due to the effects of various factors such as the civil war which took place during the 1840s and 1850s. However, it was a decade of overall economic growth where significant changes in the structures and scale of business not only industrial development but also banking, transportation as well as financial services. Its impacts were effectively experienced in the nation where the business and labor sector significantly developed. The growth of science and technology in this era was inevitable due to the scientific inventions in various fields resulting in an overall change in the market economy as well as enhancing urbanization (Boyer, et al’ 2013). North America portrayed higher industrial growth than the southern part where people extensively carried out agricultural production. Therefore, the construction of railroads improved the interaction between the two parts where industrial goods, as well as labor, could easily be transported from one region to the other at a cheaper cost.

The industrialization in North America developed in three faces which made the production of textile and cloth easy. The manufacturers could divide the work among the laborers where at the first phase one worker would spin the machine and the other person weave the cloth. At the second stage, the skilled workers were brought together where the factories were built enhancing quick production process. During the third phase, machinery was applied by the workers in the factory to perform some duties. For instance, the power-driven loom had to carry out the weaving work. In 1846, Elias Howe invented the sewing machine which became essential in mass production where the operators could produce clothes on large scale from the enormous fabrics made by the machine. A wide variety of industries developed at this period where the factories in the Northeast produced around two-thirds of the nation’s manufactured goods (Boyer, et al. 2013).

Technological modernization leads to vast improvement in the transportation sector during this era. It is the same time when the railroads were constructed all over the country. Even though rail transportation was tedious and disgusting due to the act of standing and lots noise from the locomotive, it facilitated transportation of agricultural products, manufactured goods as well as well as labor across the nation. Up to 1850 immense roads and canal has been constructed in the United States where the construction crew had put in place thousand miles of the transportation networks. The canals opened new harbors where ships could connect through the routes between the lakes and rivers thus getting access to different parts of the country. Among the evident transportation advancement during this period include the introduction of Transoceanic Steamships in the year 1840 and the establishment of Cumberland road in 1852. Furthermore, there were thirty thousand miles of railroads that were constructed as it turned 1860 as well as a thousand steamships that were established in 1860 on Mississippi. These inventions made the decade memorable in the nation regarding the significant changes that were experienced greatly boosting the economic growth.

The communication on the other side was not left behind as various techniques were put in place to enhance its speed and efficiency. It was as a result of the new pace of transport created as well as industrial growth, thus the urge of having faster communication networks. Among the significant improvements seen in the communication sector at this era include the invention of the telegraph by Samuel Morse in 1844, the first transatlantic cable established in 1858 as well as the establishment of pony express in the year 1860. Morse invention becomes much significant as the Americans could now send messages faster through the wires. The telegraph lines were promptly established and the civilians immediately adopted the method of communication where messages could be received faster. The advancement in communication strategies improved industrial production leading to economic growth as people could communicate from a distance without wasting time to physically deliver the messages.

The other sector that greatly developed during this period is Agriculture. With cheaper means of transport, the farmers could receive inputs such as fertilizers and seeds which are vital to plant growth from the industries at lower and affordable cost. Also, the farmers had the means of transporting the agricultural products from the farms to the industries as well as other marketplaces that improved production and lessened wastage due to delays during the transportation process. The overall growth in the industrial, transportation, communication and agricultural sector led to the improvement of nation increasing the gross domestic product resulting to a stable economy.

From the above discussion, between 1840 and 1860 vast economic and technological growth took place in the United States boost the country’s economy. The advancement of transportation facilities made it easier to move goods and labor across the nation. The scientific inventions made communication process easier as well as enhancing industrial efficiency where products could be produced faster. The overall combination of these advancements lead to economic stability in the nation and it significantly set the pace for the country’s economic status an impact which is experienced in the United States history up to today.


Boyer, P. S., Clark, C. E., Halttunen, K., Kett, J. F., & Salisbury, N. (2013). The Enduring Vision: A History of the American People, Volume II: Since 1865. Cengage Learning.

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