The Start of America's Industrial Revolution

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The Industrial Revolution did not start simultaneously around the world, but began in the most highly civilized and educated country in Western Europe – England. An empire like Great Britain was able to prevent the flow of new technology and experienced technicians to its colonies even while new machinery, like the spinning shuttle and the spinning jenny, was being used to develop textile manufacturing at home in England. The British Parliament was able to control its territories through laws and other restrictions. However, Britain’s futile attempts to block the development of new technologies in the American colonies led directly to the rise of the textile industry and the beginning of the Industrial Revolution in the United States. From the first Navigation Act in 1651 to the “Intolerable Acts” and Trade Acts, the British Parliament attempted to dominate the world’s textile industry by passing increasingly strict taxes and acts designed to prevent the establishment of textile manufacturing in the American colonies. Concurrently, American textile companies began to offer rewards and bounties to mill workers who would emigrate from England bringing their knowledge of textile technology (World of Invention). At the same time, English-born, textile mill-trained, Samuel Slater illegally emigrated to the new country of America with secrets and memories of English textile technology. Within a year, Slater had established the first spinning mill in America, thus beginning the American Industrial Revolution. In order to continue controlling the economy of its colonies in America, the British Parliament passed acts and levied taxes against the colonists from the first Navigation Act as early as 1651. The British passed this series of ... ... middle of paper ... ... 19th Century." Daily Life Through History. ABC-CLIO, 2011. Web. 16 Feb. 2011. . The author discusses the rise of textile mills in 19th century America and how technology changed the lives of mill employees. Tucker, Barbara M. Samuel Slater and the Origins of the American Textile Industry: 1790-1860. Ithaca: N.Y., 1984. Print. This bibliography about Samuel Slater describes his origins and how he ultimately became known as “the Father of the American textile industry.” Wagner, Heather. "Intolerable Acts." Ameican History Online. 2006. Web. 16 Feb. 2011. . The author discusses the impact that “the Intolerable Acts,” including the Stamp Act and the Townshend Acts, had on the American colonists.
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