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AP US History Chapter 11: Technology, Culture, and Everyday Life, 1840-1860


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Title: AP US History Chapter 11: Technology, Culture, and Everyday Life, 1840-1860

AP US HistoryChapter 11 Technology, Culture,
and Everyday Life,1840-1860
Eli Whitney
  • The Cotton Gin
  • Made it easier and faster to remove cotton seeds
  • Increased profitability caused plantation owners
    to plant more cotton and increase production
  • Stimulated the Souths economy
  • Stabilized the system of slavery by making it
    more profitable

John Deere
  • Steel-tipped Plow
  • Could cut through matted prairie sod and clay
    soil with half the labor
  • Sped up the planting of wheat in the Northwest

Cyrus McCormick
  • Mechanical Reaper
  • Harvested wheat and other grains 7 times faster
    with half the labor
  • Made wheat production the most prominent form of
    agriculture in the Midwest
  • McCormick produced his reapers with mass
    production and sold over 80,000 by 1860

Technology and Industrial Progress
  • American System of manufacture The production
    of goods with interchangeable parts.
  • Advantages of the American System
  • With the development of machine-made,
    standardized, interchangeable parts, replacement
    parts could be obtained.
  • With improved machine tools, entrepreneurs were
    able to push inventions into mass production,
    lowering prices for consumers.
  • Examples By the 1850s sewing machines and
    pistols were mass produced at dramatically lower
    prices to consumers.

Technology and Industrial Progress
  • Invention of the telegraph by Samuel F. B.. Soon
    extensive telegraph lines linked major cities, as
    well as rail lines, improving communication.
  • Telegraph lines usually transmitted political and
    commercial messages but were later used to report

The Railroad Boom
  • Vast improvements in railroad technology
    encouraged its popularity in the 1840s.
  • Kerosene lamps allowed night travel
  • More powerful engines
  • Communication through telegraph
  • More tracks led to more places to go

Westward Expansion
  • Separate rail lines were consolidated and
  • This allowed people to travel greater distances
  • Station towns
  • RR companies bought land for stations, and then
    resold the land around the station to encourage
  • Towns sprung up quickly, and population grew
  • Agricultural Boom
  • Lower transportation costs of wheat from western
    states, such as Wisconsin and Indiana, gave
    farmers larger markets
  • Industrial Boom and Urbanization
  • The growth of industrial cities such as Chicago,
    which linked rail and water lines, provided
    lumber for farms, and produced flour from the
    wheat the western farms produced.

Rising Prosperity
  • From the 1830s to the 1860s, wages increased

1830 1849 1859
163 176 201
Annual wages of cotton textile workers
  • Technological advancements improved the lives of
    ordinary consumers by reducing the price of many
    commodities e.g., clocks that cost 50 to make
    by hand in 1800 cost 50 cents to make by machine
    in 1850.
  • The steam engine eliminated the need for
    factories to be near sources of running water and
    also the inconvenience of the wheels stopping
    when the source of water froze. The steam engine
    allowed factories to stay open longer and produce
    more goods. It also contributed to a 25 increase
    in the average workers real income between 1840
    and 1860.

Urban Growth andthe Labor Force
  • The growth of cities increased explosively in the
    mid-19th century. The seasonal fluctuations of
    agricultural labor, as well as erratic grain
    prices, caused many farm workers to seek the
    expanding opportunities for year-round labor
    available in the industrial cities.
  • The cost living for working-class families in
    cities like NYC and Philadelphia in the early
    1850s was more than what the average male laborer
    could earn. As a result, female and child labor
    became an integral part of the 19th century
    American labor force.

Distribution of Wealth
  • The middle class became more prosperous, but the
    gap between the rich and the poor widened
  • Urban middle class homes became lavish, but the
    urban poor lived in crowded tenements.

Gap Increases BetweenRich and Poor
  • Rich and middle class houses became increasingly
  • Machine-made furniture transformed interiors of
  • Stoves revolutionized heating and cooking
  • The urban poor lived in cramped tenements

Coal Heating and Cooking Conveniences
The Quality of LifeConveniences and
  • Coal burns longer and hotter than wood, reducing
    the time and expense previously devoted to
    acquiring fuel.
  • Stoves provided a safer, more convenient way to
    cook and could also handle more dishes at once.
  • Pennsylvania had a superior variety of coal,
    called anthracite, and guaranteed a steady
  • Fresh fruits and vegetables available due to the
    railroad revolution meant the potential for
    healthier diets for Americans

Coal Heating and Cooking Inconveniences
The Quality of LifeConveniences and
  • An improperly working coal burning stove could
    fill a room with poisonous carbon monoxide.
  • Coal left a sooty residue that polluted the air
    and blackened the snow.
  • The lack of widespread refrigeration and good
    preservatives meant that the dietary gap between
    rich and poor increased, as only the wealthy
    could afford fresh fruits and vegetables out of

Urban Waterworks and Sanitation
The Quality of LifeConveniences and
  • In 1823 Philadelphia created the first system
    that brought fresh water along aqueducts through
    pipes to street hydrants
  • Most incoming water ended at street hydrants -
    indoor plumbing was still rare
  • Bathing was infrequent, because of the lack of
    indoor plumbing and the lack of water heaters
  • City waste removal was so rare that many cities
    relied on free-roaming hogs to eat discarded
  • Flush toilets and sewer systems were rare and
    confined to only the largest cities

Medical AdvancesCholera and Yellow Fever
  • 1832-1833 Cholera and Yellow fever killed
    one-fifth of the population of New Orleans
  • The transportation revolution quickened spread of
    infectious diseases
  • Cholera traveled along the newly made routes of
    transportation, becoming Americas first national
  • The inability of physicians to come up with an
    explanation or cure created widespread mistrust
    of the medical profession.
  • Disease outbreaks encouraged the establishment of
    municipal health boards, but public health
    remained a relatively low priority during the
    19th century

  • Ether introduced in 1890s as the first safe and
    reliable anesthetic
  • This made longer operations possible and
    encouraged surgeons to take greater care and work
    with better precision
  • Doctors still did not understand the importance
    of antiseptic hands and disinfecting instruments,
    which partially offset the benefits of anesthesia
  • Operations remained as dangerous as the diseases
    and wounds that they were meant to heal.

Mass Media Newspapers
  • Before this era, newspapers were supported by
    political parties wanting their news circulated.
    They did not have to be popular in order to make
    money, so they were very short and boring to many
    common people.
  • Improvements in printing technology made it much
    cheaper to produce newspapers and the penny press
    was born. The stories in the penny press changed
    from a boring bulletin board style to gripping
    stories about rape, murder, political scandal,
    and more as papers fought for circulation.
  • This revolutionized the news to a style more in
    common with modern journalism - reporting in a
    human interest style designed to capture
    peoples attention rather than just stating the
    facts straight.

Early newspapers were heavy on advertisements -
the revenue source -rather than popular
The NY Sun - one of Americas 1st mass
circulation newspapers
Theater, baby!
  • The 19th century saw a significant increase in
    the popularity of theater, attracting all classes
    and ages
  • Theater audiences were notoriously rowdy, showing
    their feelings by whistling, hooting, and
    throwing potatoes and garbage at the stage
  • The public displayed as much interest in the
    actors as they did in the plays, in fact, feuds
    between characters led to fights among fans
  • A feud between leading American actor Edwin
    Forrest (above left) and popular British actor
    William Macready (below left) ended in a riot at
    New York Citys Astor Place and left 20 people

Minstrel Shows
  • Originated in the 1840s in Northern cities
  • The shows were performed by white men in
  • Blackface, or black makeup, and costume
  • Shows included dancing, songs, comic skits,
  • and variety acts

The Effects of Minstrel Shows
  • The shows encouraged stereotypes and prejudice
    against blacks
  • Demonstrated blacks as stupid, clumsy, and overly
    enthusiastic in their music

The Effects of Minstrel Shows
  • The shows depicted blacks in several different
  • Docile slaves
  • Free urban blacks who ruined society
  • Provocative mulatto wenches
  • Black soldiers
  • These characters increased hatred toward blacks
    and soon whites saw real African-Americans only
    in these roles

Roots of the American Renaissance Development of
an American style of art
  • Two major causes
  • Economic Transportation Revolution and advances
    in printing technology reduced prices and
    increased market for books, especially fiction.
  • Philosophical Romanticism, a focus on revealing
    the longings of ones soul through works of

Popular Fiction Price Changes, and the Effect on
the Masses
  • Before the 1830s, books could cost upwards of 30
    or more.
  • New printing technologies dropped the average
    cost of a novel to 7 cents, allowing the working
    class people to read and become better educated.

Growth of Popular Literature
  • Romanticism a new philosophical system, stated
    that literature should reflect the inner longings
    of the authors soul (subjective and
  • Romanticism challenged the earlier 18th century
    school known as classicism, which proposed that
    standards of beauty were objective and universal.

Democratization of Literature
  • Classical literature was elitist
  • written for the educated, upper-class minority.
  • Written to share ideas, not for profit.
  • Romanticism turned literature into a mass market
  • Romantic fiction did not require knowledge of
    ancient Greek or Roman History
  • Appeal to emotion widened popular audience
  • Women were a new audience, as well as,
    increasingly, predominant authors
  • E.g., Uncle Toms Cabin, written by Harriet
    Beecher Stowe

The New American LiteratureJames Fenimore
  • James Fenimore Cooper With the use of his
    popular character Natty Bumppo, Cooper was one of
    the first American authors to develop a
    distinctly American literature as a model for
    future writers.

The New American LiteratureRalph Waldo Emerson
Transcendentalism a new school of thought which influenced literature, religion, culture, and philosophy. It claimed that Truth could be directly perceived through emotion.
  • Ralph Waldo Emerson Leader of the
    transcendentalist movement.
  • Emerson rejected the primacy of education and
    reason in seeking truth.
  • Asserted that every individual is capable of
    knowing God, truth, and beauty by following his
  • Asserted that America could produce its own
    uniquely American art and literature without
    European influence.

The New American LiteratureHenry David Thoreau
  • His philosophy of nonviolent resistance
    influenced many future political leaders.
  • He refused unfair government policies and chose
    to go to jail instead.

I became convinced that noncooperation with evil
is as much a moral obligation as is cooperation
with good. No other person has been more eloquent
and passionate in getting this idea across than
Henry David Thoreau. As a result of his writings
and personal witness, we are the heirs of a
legacy of creative protest. Martin Luther
King, Jr.
The New American LiteratureMargaret Fuller
  • One of the leaders of the transcendentalism
  • Combined transcendentalism with feminism in her
    book Women and the Nineteenth Century

The New American LiteratureWalt Whitman
  • Celebrated the common man of America in his bold
    free verse poetry collection Leaves of Grass.

Hawthorne, Melville, and Poevs.
  • Transcendentalists had an optimistic view of
    human nature conflicts could be resolved if
    individuals followed the promptings of their
    better selves
  • In contrast, Hawthorne, Melville, and Poe had a
    pessimistic view of human nature they saw
    individuals as bundles of conflicting forces
    that, even with good intentions, they might never
  • Their stories featured characters obsessed by
    pride, guilt, revenge, and moral conflict

Nathaniel Hawthorne
Herman Melville
Edgar Allan Poe
American Landscape Painting
  • The Hudson River school
  • Based around the Hudson, but their paintings
    depicted many different beautiful sights from the
    West as well
  • Sought to develop a national identity in art
  • Wanted to promote nature due to wide-spread fear
    that its beauty would soon be destroyed.
  • Recognized that the American landscape differed
    immensely from the European landscape. Depicted
    lush, fresh, and relatively untouched landscapes

Schroon Mountain, Adirondacks, Thomas Cole, 1838
Fur Traders Descending the Missouri, George
Cabel Bingham, 1848
Kindred Spirits, Asher Durand, 1849
The Course of Empire, The Savage State, Thomas
Cole, 1834
The Course of Empire, The Arcadian or Pastoral
State, Thomas Cole, 1834
The Course of Empire, The Consummation of
Empire, Thomas Cole, 1835-36
The Course of Empire, Destruction, Thomas Cole,
The Course of Empire, Desolation, Thomas Cole,
George Catlin
  • Like Hudson River School, Catlin wanted to
    preserve a vanishing America
  • His goal was to paint as many Native Americans as
    possible - to capture their images in their
    pure and savage state

George Catlin
  • Catlins paintings depicted a highly romanticized
    view of Indians
  • Catlin and his admirers shared the belief that,
    although a dignified and noble population, Native
    Americans were doomed to extinction
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