Top 5 Economic Transformations

5 Inventions that changed the economy in America

Cotton Gin

The cotton gin is a machine designed to remove cotton from its seeds. The cotton gin made the cotton industry of the south explode. After Eli Whitney unveiled the cotton gin, processing cotton became much easier resulting in greater availability and cheaper cloth. However, the invention also had the by-product of increasing the number of slaves needed to pick the cotton thereby strengthening the arguments for continuing slavery. Cotton as a cash crop became so important that it was known as King Cotton and affected politics up until the Civil war.

Ironclad Ships

Ironclad ships were built far before the 19th century. However they were brought out in the US just in time for the Civil War. they were cheap to build. They required a lot of employees to manufacture them \, causing an increase in industrial jobs through the north of America.


In 1828, the Maryland syndicate, led by Charles Carroll - a signer of the Declaration of Independence - broke ground for the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad. The railroad's objective was to connect Baltimore with the Ohio River and the West. Initially, the railroad's power was to be provided by horses. However, it soon became obvious that animal muscle was no match for the long distances and mountainous terrain that would have to be traveled. The solution lay with the steam engine.


By transmitting information quickly over long distances, the telegraph facilitated the growth in the railroads, consolidated financial and commodity markets, and reduced information costs within and between firms.

Steam Engine

The steam engine allowed the creation of many things to mobilize the population in America. The United States was the pioneer in shipping, putting a passenger steamship on the water in 1807. Making internal immigration a much more common and simpler thing.