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Transportation and manufacturing changed the face of America in the 1800s. Traveling from New York to Chicago went from taking six weeks to be able to travel the distance in two days. Urbanization brought factories, growth, and numerous immigrants from Ireland and Germany.
A major religious reform was underway that targeted drinking, gambling, sexual misconduct, and Sabbath-breaking. Individuals were to strive toward moral perfectibility. These reforms gave birth to the abolitionist and women's right's movements.
With the invention of the steamboat by Robert Fulton in 1807 and the completion of the Erie Canal in 1825, the stage was now set and by the 1840s the US rails had become the biggest supporter of interregional trade.
Immigrants came in droves and by 1830; most of the population in New York was foreign-born. The potato famine brought 1.5 million immigrants from Ireland and the political unrest in Germany brought the Germans to America.
Factories went up everywhere, which hurt the business of artisans who were unable to be competitively priced. Samuel Slater made the mill the nation's first permanent cotton factory. Unfortunately, it began the exploitation of women and children with low wages and long workweeks. This culminated in the largest strike in American history in 1836.
Goldfield, David...[et al.,], "The American Journey: a history of the United States", Volume 1, Brief 3rd Edition, 2004.