Chapter 14 13 Themes
Forging the National Economy
Big ideas matter. Here are the most important themes for this chapter.
The over-arching theme of chapter 14 is that American began to “grow up” economically in the early 1800s.
- A wave of immigration came over starting in the 1840s, headed up by hungry Irish and Germans seeking a better life. Both of these groups were looked upon with suspicion, but they were hard workers and did well for themselves.
- The factory system was in its infancy, led by Eli Whitney’s “interchangeable parts” Cyrus McCormick’s mechanical reaping machine paved the way for modern agriculture.
- Changes were foreshadowed including women beginning to work outside the home.
- The nation became “smaller” and tied together more closely thanks to (a) railroads being built, (b) canals such as the Erie, (c) steamships, and (d) the Pony Express.