American History: The Development of the Ironwork Industry in Alabama

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The perspective of many historians and textbooks usually consist of the same general understanding of specific issues in American history. For example, key events or battles such as _____, or common trends that aid in the understanding of how society operated at that point in history. However, many American history textbooks avoid the topic of widespread manufacturing industries in the south, and their simultaneous development with the much more powerful agricultural industry. Set in the Deep South, the state of Alabama cultured an ever growing ironworks industry that manufactured items spanning from farming tools to railroad tracks. In addition, Georgia, which is still famed for their agricultural industry though their famous peaches, supported and developed a textile industry that processed cotton and manufactured fabrics from the cotton. These industries’ influence encompassed a large portion of southern culture and proved that agriculture was not the only export from the south. Therefore textbook publishers should include this information as to halt the illusion that the south solely relies on slavery and did not have any developing manifesting industry. Although manufacturing was the primary industry in the north, industries such as the ironwork industries in Alabama and the textile industries in Georgia aided the southern economy in their respective areas, albeit this aid was not as potent as the agricultural industry.

In Alabama, the development of the ironworks industry proved to play an important role in the diversity of industries in the south as well as an important prerequisite to the south’s economy during the civil war when the confederacy had to rely on their own resources to create weaponry, and creating new i...

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