Emergence of the American manufacturing belt: an interpretation
DOI: 10.1016/0305-7488(83)90220-7
Title: Emergence of the American manufacturing belt: an interpretation
Journal Title: Journal of Historical Geography
Volume: 9
Issue: 2
Publication Date: April 1983
Start Page: 145
End Page: 174
Published online: online 26 August 2004
ISSN: 0305-7488
  • Department of Sociology, Brown University, Providence R. I. USA
  • Abstract: dy proposes that the American manufacturing belt emerged during the antebellum years as a replicated set of regional industrial systems. A broad-based set of demands spurred the growth of regional manufactures, including the pivotal producer durables sector. Eastern regions industrialized first, and they were followed by frontier regions in the Midwest. The relative importance of regional market manufactures declined over time and multiregional/national market manufactures increased. Regional industrial systems became increasingly specialized; the result was higher levels of interregional trade in industrial specialties. The decline of regional market manufactures eroded the bases for the Emergence of regional industrial systems by the 1860s. The westward spread of the manufacturing belt ended, and internal differentiation and structural change within the belt were characteristics of late nineteenth century industrialization. The South failed to join the manufacturing belt during the antebellum years because regional demands for manufactures were insufficient to support important regional industrial systems. It lacked the bases to participate significantly in late nineteenth century industrialization.

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