Essay about The Effect of the Iron Industry on Alabama’s Economy

Essay about The Effect of the Iron Industry on Alabama’s Economy

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The boom of mining iron ore, coal, and limestone and producing iron in north Alabama during the 1800s had a tremendous impact on Alabama’s economy of the time. It provided opportunity for the expansion of the railroad and work. Cities were born around this industrial boom. All of these things encouraged economic growth in Alabama during this time.
Alabama: A Documentary History to 1900 states “it is a truism that the Civil War altered the economic life of the south” (Griffith, Alabama: A Documentary History to 1900). Before the Civil War Alabama’s economy many depended on agriculture and a work force of slaves. A new south had been created that brought “free labor and greater diversification” (Griffith, Alabama: A Documentary History to 1900). This is in part due to the boom in the iron industry. Mills and mines had existed before the war, although not as influential as they became after the war. Even though cotton was still the dominant export of Alabama, coal iron and steel were becoming an increasing source of income (Griffith, Alabama: A Documentary History to 1900).
One of the reasons for this increase was the fact that three of the main ingredients used to make iron; coal, iron ore, and limestone, are found in abundance in north Alabama, according to a report made by John Gilmore, an experienced surveyor (Duncan). “This lucky geological arrangement resulted in the lowest raw-material assembly costs in the United States and allowed the district to grow as rapidly, in the last two decades of the nineteenth century, as Pittsburgh and Chicago” (Bergstresser).
Elyton land company, formed by a group of men from Montgomery, Alabama, sold lots in the middle of this area that had been found to be rich in these precious resources ...


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...e Strode Publishers, 1962.
Duncan, Julie Coley. Alabama. Portland, OR: Graphic Arts Center Publishing Company, 1983.
Fundaburk, Ema Lila. Parade of Alabama. Montgomery, AL: Paragon Press, 1959.
Griffith, Lucille. Alabama: A Documentary History to 1900. Tuscaloosa, Al: The University of Alabama Press, 1968.
—. History of Alabama 1540-1900. Northport, AL: Colonial Press, 1962.
Haagen, Victoria B. Alabama: Portrait of a State. Huntsville, Al: The Press of Birmingham Publishing Company, 1968.
Lee, J. Lawrence. "Alabama Railroads." http://www.encyclopediaofalabama.org/face/Article.jsp?id=h-2390. 2009.
Lewis, W. David. "Birmingham Iron and Steel Companies." http://www.encyclopediaofalabama.org/face/Article.jsp?id=h-1111 . 2008.
White, Langdon. "The Iron and Steel Industry of the Birmingham, Alabama, District." Economic Geography (Vol. 4, No. 4 (Oct., 1928)): pp. 349-365.


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