Industrialization of the Northeast: 1820-1860

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					            Industrialization of the Northeast: 1820-1860
Grade Level: Grades 7-9
United States History

Time Required: One-Two class periods [45-50 minute periods.

Lesson Summary:
        Students will be introduced to the content of the Industrial Revolution, with a specific focus on the
industrialization of the U.S. Northeast in the early nineteenth century.

      1. Students will be able to identify methods of improved industrialization in early nineteenth-century
      2. Students will be able to describe and explain the impact of railroad development on early
      3. Students will be able to locate key industrial centers in the Northeastern United States.
      4. Students will be able to analyze how improved industrialization in the Northeast exceeded other
          regions of the nation (i.e. the American South).

                                                                     BINARY PAIDEIA
                                          Society                       Time Period                  Society
                                 General American Society              Politeia/Regime       Northeastern section of
                                           1800s                                               the United States
                                 Agricultural Society with            Politeuma/Ruling         New wealthy and
                                   established nativists                    Class            middle class mercantile
                                Hard work and inherited              Paideia/What makes          Hard work and
                                   wealth and position              a society what it is        entrepreneurship
          Farm       Virtue/    New
       family life. The immigrants
        Growing highest with high
       generations moral aspiration
           of      excellence to find
       established           their place
       ownership               in New

Key Terms:
Standardization        n.        the concept of using interchangeable parts in machinery
                            (c) Copyright American Institute for History Education, L.L.C.
Industrial Revolution n.         the major economic change of the late 18th-early 19th centuries that involved,
                                 among other things, the movement from handmade goods to machine-made
Wage earner          n.          a worker who works for another at a predetermined rate
Labor specialization n.          the concept of building or constructing only one piece of a product, as opposed
                                 to a whole product, then sending it on to someone else for a next step in its
Artisan                n.        a skilled worker who builds or constructs an entire product

Historical Background for the Teachers:
         By the year 1790, the Industrial Revolution was in its infancy in the United States. It was in that year
that a small mill was open in Pawtucket, Rhode Island by Samuel Slater. Slater opened another mill three years
later (this one being much larger), and began in earnest what would be the industrialization of the northeast.
Over the next few decades, young farmers would begin to leave rural farming communities for work in larger
towns and cities as wage earners and day laborers. In 1800, the number of Americans classified as “employees”
(as opposed to independent artisans) who worked for wages was less than ten percent.
         A decade later the number of wage-earning employees had quadrupled. After 1820, the household
industries that had once employed many Northeastern women and children from small farming communities
had begun to decline. Products such as hats, shoes, furniture, and cloth were being made in city shops and
bought ready-made by northeastern American families.
         Thus, the first half of the 19th century saw the decline of the artisan system of labor. The entire concept
of labor began to change in this period of time. In the 18th century, day laborers lived in the home of the master
artisan, and were thus considered a part of an extended family. The master artisan looked after the laborer in a
paternalistic way. With the onset of industrialization, the laborer moved out of the artisan home into boarding
houses or hotels, and was looked upon as a commodity, to be used and disposed of according to the laws of
supply and demand. In 1820, just 350,000 Americans worked in factories. By 1860, the number had increased
to two million.

Anticipatory Set:
Students will answer the following: What is a Revolution? What things have revolutionized the way business
operates within the past 10-15 years? Teacher will explain that a variety of changes in business and industry
took place in the American northeast of 1800-1860.

Do Now Activity:
Students will read about Samuel Slater’s mill and answer questions; Source, “America’s Past and Promise”,
pp. 346-47 (various other sources or texts can be found with information regarding Slater’s mill).

Students complete Anticipatory Set and Do-now Activity described above. Students will then get a blank map
and label it with the following cities – Philadelphia, PA; New York, New York; Boston and Lowell,
Massachusetts; Pawtucket, Rhode Island; Albany, New York; Buffalo, New York; and Pittsburgh, PA. A blank
map can be found below. The purpose is to be able to locate major industrial centers of the northeast in the
early nineteenth century. Students will then study a bar graph of the amount of miles of railroad track laid in
the U.S. from 1831-1835 (source, “America’s Past and Promise”, p359, see also Historical Statistics of the
United States. They will answer questions based on the bar graph, and will discuss how the railroad may have
contributed to the increase of industrialization in the United States.

How do you think the birth of the railroad contributed positively to the nation’s economy? Explain your answer
with three valid reasons.

                            (c) Copyright American Institute for History Education, L.L.C.
Answers to homework question; Q+A on next day of class; place material on next quiz or test.

Research student local history to make a list of industries that were important to the local economy in the early
1800s. Than make a list of industries important to target community today. Compare the lists and write a
paragraph to explain the similarities and differences.

Author of Lesson:

Brian Wyzykiewicz
Evesham Township School District, Marlon, New Jersey
Alice Paul Liberty Fellowship

                           (c) Copyright American Institute for History Education, L.L.C.

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