Inventions of the Market Revolution

Societal changes, as well as an influx of immigrants following the revolution, forced American to seek new lands for expansion and cultivation. On the one hand, the South who were led by Jefferson believed in the primacy of agriculture while the Northern States were reassessing the place of agriculture in the society and favored commercial and industrial expansion.The market revolution in America was fueled by the development of infrastructure and a shift into a capitalistic world that resulted in dramatic changes in politics, the economy and the society. This essay seeks to give an overview of major scientific inventions that were made during this period and their impact on trade, labor, social organizations, and the economy.
Farming was initially the idealism that propagated the purchase of more lands and states. The invention of the cotton gin by Eli Whitney saw the growth of large scale manufacturing of cotton which decreased the country’s dependence on imports (Scientific American, 1846). The southern States produced surplus cotton which was also partly facilitated by slave labor. In the North, John Deere, invented a horse pulled the steel plow that replaced oxen driven plows that were in use. This invention allowed the farmers to till their lands with greater efficiency. Around 1830s Cyrus McCormick invented the mechanical mower-reaper that increased efficiency in the production of wheat. America was producing wheat, cotton, and tobacco in surplus which resulted in commercial trade within the states and outside the States.
On the other hand, the textile industry underwent radical revolution. The textile industry adopted technological innovations such as the spinning mule, spinning jenny and water frame that significantly improved textile manufacturing (Findling, 1997). With surplus production of cotton, Walter Hunt invented the lockstitch machine which allowed for mass production of clothes. Alongside these inventions, the Northern States abolished slave trade while the southern States depended on slaves as the trade boomed this culminated into the civil war.
Meanwhile, great economic opportunities were opened. Admission of more States in the West necessitated the development of transportation for mobility. The steamboat which was invented in 1807 by Robert Fulton enabled transportation in the waterways including major rivers, canals, and even the seas. Mariners and planters could travel easily without relying on currents and winds (Zinn, 1995). The Erie Canal which was opened in 1825 was key to increased domestic trade and exports. Other canals were also built in Ohio, Indiana, Pennsylvania, and the Southern states. The railroads which were later constructed set a precedent more trade as well as to anti-slavery movements and acquisition of more lands which saw the removal of Native Americans (Findling, 1999).
Communication also changed dramatically in this period. The shift from handcraft printing to steam-powered printing enabled press houses to make mass publication of inexpensive newspapers. The invention of the telegraph by Samuel F. B. Morse in 1835 also allowed long distance communication. Communication took a higher notch when the Transatlantic Cable was laid in 1858 (Zinn, 1995). This enabled domestic communication within the USA and even to far lands such as Europe. Other major transformations involved invention of the internal combustion engine and durable casting iron plates for roofing. A new system of making the streets was also invented. These pavements were very durable and would last ten times more than granites along requiring minimal costs in maintenance Scientific American, 1846). A way of making shingles more durable was also invented at this time. This method involved dipping them into hot linseed oil to enhance durability and protection from fires.
In the wake of significant inventions and societal changes, the demand for commercial products skyrocketed as farming was dying. Commercial centers sprung up as merchants increased in numbers. Industries were also developing, and inventions such as engines developed to improve efficiency. Labor movements and unions also sprang up with demands for better pay and working conditions. Altogether, inventions in this era were driven by many factors the most important being government policies and support as well as the concept of manifest destiny that sought to propel America to greatness.
Findling, John E.Events that changed America in the nineteenth-century Publisher:Greenwood Press, 1997.
Houston Reeve. The early American Republic, A history in document. New York; NY Oxford Press, 2011.
Scientific American. (1846). New Inventions. The Advocate of Scientific and other improvements, 2(1)
Zinn, H. A people’s history of the United States, 1492-present. New York: Harper Perennial, 1995.