From Farms to Factories

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Author: Julia Garstecki
Date: 2015
Life During the Industrial Revolution
Publisher: ABDO Publishing Group
Series: Daily Life in US History
Document Type: Topic overview
Pages: 8
Content Level: (Level 3)
ATOS: 5.9
GRL: T
Lexile Measure: 920L

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From Farms to Factories


Many children in the Industrial Revolution found work in factories.

Many children in the Industrial Revolution found work in factories.

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The thought of moving your body from this crowded bed is more than you can handle. Your roommates are getting dressed. They whisper that you will get in trouble if you miss the next bell. A girl, not much older than your 14 years, hands you a wad of cotton to put in your ears.

“Here,” she tells you. “It will dull the sound. You won't get a headache if you wear them.”

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New inventions such as the Bessemer steel converter spurred economic change.

New inventions such as the Bessemer steel converter spurred economic change.

Every part of your body screams with pain as you sit up. But your family needs every penny it can get. This factory pays more than the others, and you are grateful for the work.

The Rise of Industry

Can you imagine working in a factory 12 hours a day? During the period in US history known as the Industrial Revolution, many children began doing just that. When people think of a revolution, they usually think of bloody soldiers and smoky battlefields.

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However, the Industrial Revolution didn't involve any battle plans. The Industrial Revolution was the transition from an agricultural economy to one based on manufacturing. The Industrial Revolution began in Great Britain in the late 1700s. During this time, many British citizens immigrated to the United States. They brought their knowledge and experience of the technological innovations in Britain. Soon the United States was experiencing its own Industrial

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PERSPECTIVES: Native Americans and the Industrial Revolution

European settlement in North America devastated Native American populations. Millions of Native Americans lost their lives to disease and warfare. More Native Americans were forced off lands they had lived on for thousands of years as European colonists expanded west. The newcomers hunted bison, which many Native Americans depended on for survival, nearly to extinction. The US government forced Native Americans off western land so white settlers could use the land to grow crops. For Native Americans, the Industrial Revolution caused even more of their customs to be lost.

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Cyrus McCormick's reaper revolutionized agriculture and allowed food to be grown more cheaply.

Cyrus McCormick's reaper revolutionized agriculture and allowed food to be grown more cheaply.

Revolution. All aspects of life in the United States transformed starting around 1820. New technology during this time created a demand for even more mass production and industry. The transformation continued until approximately the start of World War I (1914–1918).

Before the Industrial Revolution, economics in the United States had not changed much for hundreds of years. Most Americans grew their own food and made their own tools and clothes. During the Industrial Revolution, technology improved at a rapid rate.

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Machines took over much of the work people had done before. People across the United States went from working in the fields to working in factories. They earned a wage instead of growing and selling food. They bought what they needed in stores instead of making it themselves or trading for it. In just one century, manufacturing, communication, and transportation changed around the world.

Sparks of Revolution

Inventors set off the sparks of the Industrial Revolution by imagining new methods of doing work. The first textile factory in the

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The World's Fair

The first World's Fair took place in London, England, in 1851. It was a chance for the countries of the world to show off their new machines and inventions to the rest of the world. It was organized by Great Britain's Prince Albert, who wanted to showcase Great Britain to an international audience. The exhibits included technological advances from all over the world. More than 6 million people visited the exhibition, ensuring it would become a tradition for years to come.

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Textile mills used spinning mules, big machines that spun cotton and other fabrics.

Textile mills used spinning mules, big machines that spun cotton and other fabrics.

United States was created in 1790. These factories created cotton for clothes. Some machines, such as the telegraph, made communication easier. Improvements in transportation, such as the railroad, meant that products could reach people outside the city much more quickly and easily.

Growing populations, especially in cities, created demand for the new products. There were more Page 11  |  Top of Articleconsumers than ever before. Workers were needed to produce the products.

By the 1850s, machines and factories were everywhere. Better clothing, kitchenware, and tools were now widely available. The United States had transformed from an agricultural-based economy to an industrial economy. Two out of three people now worked in manufacturing or service jobs.

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EXPLORE ONLINE

Chapter One focuses on the beginning of the Industrial Revolution and some of its causes. The website below gives another take on the beginning of the Industrial Revolution in the United States. As you know, every source is different. How is the information given in the website different from the information in this chapter? What information is the same? How do the two sources present information differently? What can you learn from this website?

History Times: The Industrial Revolution
www.mycorelibrary.com/industrial-revolution

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Source Citation   

Gale Document Number: GALE|CX6207800005