American Economic Development

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Questions on Ross Thomson Ch. 2 “Paths of Initial Mechanization, 1790 – 1835

1. What does Thomson mean when he says technological advancements in the US spread through technological development from abroad, from below and from above?

2. The textile industry was the first nexus of industrialization in the US, led by Samuel Slater who introduced card making and spinning machinery. How did technological development emerge in Slater’s factory?

Explain how both processes contributed to the success of Slater’s factory.

3. Prior to the War of 1812, US textile production was very slow to progress. Why? What changed, with the onset of the War of 1812 that led to a surge in textile activity?

4. Textile production up to 1835 was mainly located in a few cities including Providence Rhode Island and others located throughout New England. Why was the factory system located within a very specific region or regions, and only began to spread to the middle states (NY and NJ) later?

5. Why was it so difficult for the US to utilize steam engine technology, compared with Great Britain?

Last Updated on October 7, 2021