The Industrial Revolution
Back in Colonial times, Americans raised most of the food they ate and made most of the clothes they wore . They spun their own yarn, wove their own cloth, and stitched their own garments. They dipped candles and built tables and chairs. When wealthy colonists wanted fancy dishes, fine cloth, or elegant furniture, they sent to England for them. Manufactured goods were made in England; raw materials came from the colonies. Then, during the American Revolution, that system stopped. Suddenly there was no place to send raw materials and no supply of fine goods. The colonists had to find new markets for their lumber, tobacco, cotton, and other raw materials. Soon their sailing ships were calling in ports from Spain to India.
After the war, the new United States began trading with England again. At the same time, America was growing and changing. Our democracy was producing a strong middle class. It wasn't only the very rich who wanted to buy manufactured goods. Ordinary people wanted them too. And something was happening in England that would make that possible. It was another revolutionan industrial revolution (although no one called it that for a while). It was a way of organizing work, based on new ideas in science and technology and business. Things once made at homelike cotton and clothwere being made faster, and often better, in factories . And it all began in England .