The Impact of the Industrial Revolution


This exhibit demonstrates that industrialization proved to be a turning point for the US because it left an impact on society in many positive ways as well as shaping the future for the United States.

Before the Industrial Revolution, Americans were living in small towns and getting around in horse-drawn carriages. Before the development of machinery, manufacturing was mostly done in their own homes using their hands. Food was produced locally by farms which were located everywhere and were self-produced by families.

Section 1: Population Growth

Sources: 1 (Maps) and 2 (Numbers)

Without the Industrial Revolution, the US wouldn’t have become as populated as it is today.  Comparing the two maps, one from 1870 and the other from 1890, you can see the substantial difference between the two maps. While the Industrial Revolution was happening, a mass immigration occurred in 1880 which affected the population. When the immigration happened the amount of workers in the United States more than doubled starting from 18.1 million workers to 40.5 million workers. Overall between the years of 1800 and 1890, the population was at around 5 million people but by the time it was 1890, the population was at around 62 million people in the United States mostly living in the eastern part of the US in major cities. That is around twelve times more people than there was in 1800. The reason for people to come to the US was to seek out better economic growth, a place to explore new opportunities, and to be able to start a new life.


Population of US in 1870


Population of US in 1890


Section 2: Advancements in Technology

Sources 3 (Time) and 4 (Words)

Throughout the time of the Industrial Revolution many new inventions and voyantadvancements in technology and medicine had arisen which had an impact on society. On October 16, 1846 America had discovered its first major medical advancement which was surgical anesthesia. The reasoning behind creating anesthesia was that some surgeries weren’t possible without causing too much pain which limited surgery to only a few types of procedures. Amputation was a major surgical procedure, especially during wars, which inflicted great amounts of pain and the patient only had a fifty-fifty chance of living. With the anesthesia, the pain will go down and they would have a higher chance of living. Many of the popular inventions that were created included the steam engine, the cotton gin, the telegraph/telephone, the car, and numerous others. The telegraph, created by Samuel F. B. Morse, evolved into the telephone, invented by Alexander Graham Bell, improved communications which led to our modern forms of communication like the cell phone.


Section 3: Machines and Modern Business

Sources 5 (Social Media) and 6 (Image)

Prior to the Industrial Revolution, the only “business” there ever really was, included farming and trading. Everything was also done by people which required them to hand-make clothing, harvesting and planting crops one by one, manufacture products by hand, along with countless


First Successful Textile Factory

others. The steam engine was the start of powering machines in various factories, mills, and mines. Besides powering machinery, the steam engine powered ships, steamboats, railway locomotives, and road vehicles. The cotton gin was a lifesaver for farmers and for those who worked on farms. Instead of having to handpick and separate cotton for hours, Eli Whitney created the cotton gin which created greater productivity by separating the cotton and its seeds much easier. With the production of cotton increasing, the production of clothing also increases. In the 1850’s a gun was created by Samuel Colt which had interchangeable parts which would lead to the making of the sewing machine. This machine revolutionized the making of clothing. Clothing was starting to be made in factories instead of at home which led to women having job opportunities in the textile industry.

With that being said, due to all of the hard work of those who have lived here in the past, those positive changes that were created during the Industrial Revolution shaped what the United States is what it is today.


Works Cited

Source 1 (Maps): Census History Staff. “History.” Population Distribution Over Time – History – U.S. Census Bureau. U.S. Census Bureau, n.d. Web. 7 May 2017.

Source 2 (Numbers): Hirschman, Charles, and Elizabeth Mogford. “Immigration and the American Industrial Revolution From 1880 to 1920.” Social Science Research. U.S. National Library of Medicine, 01 Dec. 2009. Web. 6 May 2017.

Source 3 (Time): “Industrial Revolution Inventions Timeline – 1712-1942.” The Story of America RSS. Stories of USA, n.d. Web. 2
6 Apr. 2017.

Source 4 (Words): “Industrial Revolution.” Dictionary of American History., 2003. Web. 6 May 2017.

Link to Voyant:

Source 5 (Social Media): Kelly, Martin. “Significant Events of the American Industrial Revolution.” ThoughtCo. ThoughtCo, 3 Apr. 2017. Web. 7 May 2017.

Link to Social Media Post:

Source 6 (Image): Corrick, James A. The Industrial Revolution. San Diego, CA: Lucent, 1998. Print.

Other Sources Used:

Hansen, Bert. “Medical Advances in Nineteenth-Century America.” The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History. The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, 21 June 2012. Web. 7 May 2017.



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