HOW INDUSTRY AND MECHANIZATION OF AGRICULTURE
CHANGED THE AMERICAN WAY OF LIFE
Mechanization of agriculture increased production and lowered costs
*McCormick’s reaper decreased the amount of labor needed to harvest crops, cutting the number of farm workers needed to bring in the crop. The decreased need for labor in rural areas led to people moving from rural to urban areas looking for employment.
*John Deere’s steel plow allowed westward expansion of productive farming endeavors. The prairie soil would stick to the wooden plows used before, making it difficult and extremely time consuming to plow fields for crops. The prairie soil did not stick to Deere’s steel plow, thereby easing the process of plowing so larger fields could be developed, increasing productivity, and opening the prairie to further expansion.
*The cotton gin (interchangeable parts) increased cotton production so that cotton became America’s leading crop. Slavery also spread. Since the cotton gin allowed more cotton to be cleaned for sale, more land could be used for cotton production, and slaves were needed to grow and pick the cotton.
Industry, especially the expansion of use of machines to produce goods, led to the mass production of goods and the growth of factories. This, in turn, led to the growth of cities (urbanization)
*Industries such as the textile industry (cloth production)
*American life was changed in many ways. People moved from rural to urban areas in search for jobs. Mass production of goods made things more affordable and accessible.
*The increase for job opportunities lured many immigrants to urban areas, making cities multicultural.