; Industrial Revolution took place in Europe first. Machinery manufacture had
replaced manual labor. The productive efficiency had been improved greatly.
America would not like to be lagged behind. It began to develop industries and
commerce soon after the war of independence. (before the War, an agricultural
country) The Industrial Revolution in Europe brought many changes to US. 1. One key development was factory system based on machinery which gathered
many workers together to produce a large amount of goods. Because the labor
in US was very scarce, they welcomed all kinds of new methods and
technologies to reduce the labor.
2.Secondly, “American system” of mass production appeared in 1800 in
firearms industry. (Eli Whitney making guns with machinery; the auto maker Henry Ford introduced moving-assembly line) Both mass production and assembly line made the parts of product could be interchangeable.
Industrial managers began to study some efficient ways in order to lower cost and improve profit.
3. Thirdly is the application of new technologies in industry. Steam engine was perfected, which was used in steamboats and then factories (before the steam was used, water wheels and water turbines to drive machine) . During this period, some inventions appeared in US and some other areas because of economic activities. (sewing machine, light bulb, radio, TV, computer and so on) 4. Fourthly is the development of new business organization, especially bank and corporation which speeded up the growth of industry.
(1) Banking system and standard paper currency were created, which ensured the stability of economy.
(2) The corporation gradually took place of sole proprietorship (unincorporated business ownership). The corporation could attract investors to raise capital to expand business. However, it can ensure investors’ interest, for investors only
risked their investment and not their entire assets. (corporation has some limited obligations and responsibilities)
5. The last one was the construction of railroad beginning in 1830s, which increased business activities and spread the settlement. And railroad also helped the heavy industry develop quickly (coal, iron and steel).
As a result, more than one-third of the world’s industrial production came
from the US by 1913.
Beside the above factors, the reasons why US became one of the biggest powers in the world include the following two:
1. US was not greatly influenced by the two world wars, on the contrary, it made a profit by providing great production to meet war needs. By 1945, US owned the greatest production ability and became the biggest power all of the world.
2. Because of high efficiency, many industries did not need so many workers. So
service industries began to boom, which now dominate the US economy.
; Most Americans believed that the development of US mainly depended on
the free enterprises, which means that the government doesn’t interfere
; Another reason of development of American economy was that stock or share
appeared and developed very well in Am. At beginning, people knew that they
could make money by lending it to those who wanted to start or expand a
business. Later, they (stockholders) began to buy a small part of a business,
which was called a share. (stock market and stock exchanges). ; Third one is that large immigration and rapid growth of American cities which
resulted in difficulty of employment. The owners of factories employed the
children and blacks to work under unsafe and unhealthy condition but offering
low wages. About this, the government neglected and helped the forming of
The Roots of Affluence
; Many factors led to the success of American business.
1. Rich natural resource---the first major advantage;
2. No internal tariff---no tariff barrier;
3. Large population---workers and consumers, immigration;
4. An unusual entrepreneurial spirit---active in manufacturing, transporting,
buying and selling;
5. Institutional factors---political institution which limited the power of
government so that it provided the chances for individual initiative.
; Industrial Revolution 工业革命
; moving-assembly line 流水线
; monopoly 垄断
; sole proprietorship个体业主
; productive capacity 生产能力