The 1850's

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In the 1850's, the production of steel was revolutionized by the Bessemer process. The Bessemer process was the first inexpensive industrial for the mass-production of steel from molten iron prior to the open hearth furnace. This allowed for production of lots of new things. Buildings now lasted longer and were cheaper to build. The process changed everything from the production of small household items to the largest skyscrapers.


The gold rush reached its peak in 1852 when ~ $81 million was pulled that year. From then on the yearly amounts began to level out at ~ $45 million.

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Political Factors

In early 1850, Henry Clay presented the Compromise of 1850. It was a fugitive slave act that was very controversial. It required more federal officials to enforce the laws. Denying fugitive's a right to a jury trial.


In 1852, Harriet Beecher Stowe published Uncle Tom's Cabin. She wrote this in response to the Fugitive Slave Act. It sold over 300,000 copies in its first years of publication.

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Societal Factors

There was a 35.9% to 23,191,876 in 1850. This called for more houses and more. At that time over 3 million people now live in its most populous state, New York.


In 1859, Oregon is admitted into the Union as the 33rd state. Giving the people another free state.

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