Chapter 14 13 Themes

Chapter 14

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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Changes were foreshadowed including women beginning to work outside the home.
  4. 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.

Back to the themes index.

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