Farmers taking pride in their new labor-saving device, a tractor
[audio] Inventions

  • Two inventions that helped build the textile industry in the Northeast:
    a. the power loom
    b. the cotton gin
  • One solution to the growing transportation problem was to build turnpikes, which are privately owned roads that a person has to pay a fee to use.
  • Canals helped solve the transportation problem. They connected waterways so that barges could carry products from the Great Lakes all the way to New York City.
  • Some of the problems with canals were:
    a. They were too expensive to build.
    b. They had to be built on flat land.
    c. Sometimes during the winter they would freeze.
  • The development of the steam engine led to the steamboat and the steam train.
  • The advantage steamboats had that canals did not have was that they could go all the way up rivers.
  • The advantages steam trains had that steamboats and canals did not have:
    a. They could go anywhere there were tracks.
    b. They didn't have to have level ground.
    c. They didn't have to travel where there was water.
  • American-made products were better for the economy than imported products because imported products only made money for American businesses that transported and resold the products.
  • American made products made money for the manufacturers, and many other businesses thus creating more profit and more jobs.
  • The inventions that helped agriculture in the West were:
    a. the mechanical reaper
    b. the steel plow
  • The one invention that was the most useful for the economy of the South: the cotton gin. The invention helped the Southern economy by increasing cotton production.


  • Transportataion was a problem for farmers in the West because there weren't many roads, and the roads that were there were rough.
  • The problem with river flatboats was that they were only good for sending things down river.
  • Steamboats helped with transportation in the West because they could go up river and so they lowered the cost of transportation.
  • Farmers were allowed to specialize because of the better and less expensive transportation.
  • Merchants: People who transported farmers' crops across the country and then sold them.


  • Farmers specialized because they could make a good profit growing only one thing.
  • Farmers needed credit because they had to buy land, hire workers, buy seeds and tools, and pay for their products to be shipped to market. All of this required a lot of money.
  • People in the West solved their money and credit problems by starting their own banks.
  • Too much credit can cause problems when banks loan out more money than they have and then the loans aren't repaid.
  • The people in the South who owned the large plantations could get all the credit they needed and thus made the biggest profits.