Economic Transformation Essay Example

Paper Type:  Course work
Pages:  3
Wordcount:  662 Words
Date:  2022-10-20

Why the Construction of the Erie Canal Was One of the Critical Economic Events of the First Half of the Nineteenth Century

The Erie Canal linking the waters of Lake Erie to Hudson River built from 1817 and completed in 1825 (Frank 1); was of significant impact to the Economy of the United States. There was the objection of the construction of the canal, but upon completion, it became of great importance to the same people who were against its development. The Erie Canal opened up New York to the area of the Midwest thus making it the primary port for the European immigrants' entry. The increased access resulted in the creation of a commercial capital at the New York, and the population increased enormously. The Erie Canal also led to an increased economy due to the reduced transportation cost on transportation of goods. The reduced transportation cost resulted in reduced manufacturing costs which in turn led to increased profits.

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The Erie Canal created a tourist attraction site, and the tourists led to the increase in revenues which boosted the United States economy. The successful completion of the Erie Canal resulted in the construction of other canals because they saw that it was possible. Other waterways upon creation also did boost the economy since they ensured smooth flow in the transport sector and opened up places that were inaccessible thus enabling many products to reach the markets. The canals catered for transportation of perishable goods with the construction of the canals since the long routes made goods spoil, but now with a shorter route, things were under control. The Erie Canal created jobs hence reducing the dependency ratio and increased the population resulting to an expanded market for goods and commodities which all supports that it was indeed a critical economic event despite the tremendous amount of construction invested in it.

The Social Classes Created By the Economic Revolution, And Their Defining Characteristics

The economic revolution resulted in social and cultural transformations which included the formation of distinct social classes with each class having specific characteristics due to the unequal distribution of wealth. Social class was a way to rank people depending on their position in the economy. The first social class was the economic elite also referred to as the Business elite. This social class included people who were wealthy and they owned industries and had several laborers under them. The business elites also possessed commercial services offering institutions such as insurance companies, banking agents and shipping companies. They had big homes in large cities, and they networked closely to maintain their status; most of the families in this social class intermarried.

The second social class was the middle class who engaged in economic transactions but were not able to rise to the level of elites. They had access to public education and valued hard work, and they believed through hard work and learning the society could transform (Bedford 140). They owned small factories and stores and did not have the protection of great wealth, therefore, they had to struggle to ensure that they maintain or improve their status. They also had control of the number of children they had due to the perception that having many children was difficult rightly raising them.

The last class was the urban workers and the poor who were dependent on the upper classes. They mostly engaged in the provision of labor and mainly joined to form unions which could go on strikes whenever they felt shortchanged. They mostly suffered from diseases and inhabited substandard housing mostly in slums. They had high rates of unemployment, and they were victims of alcoholism and at most times lacked the government services. They avoided involving their children in works, but at times it was unavoidable.

Works Cited

Bedford, Martin. "Economic Transformation." accessed 14 November 2018.

Frank, Sadowski Jr. "Clinton's Big Ditch." The ErieCanal, accessed 14 November 2018.

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