Industrialization After the Civil War
The industrial revolution was arguably the turning point of not only the United States of America history but that of the global sphere as well. It changed how people carried their activities and placed them in a central capitalist agenda. It was the period that rural areas transformed to cities. Capitalist agenda rose and shifted the world's view of the society. This paper discusses the effect of the industrial revolution in the United States between 1865 and 1920.
Aspects of Industrialization Between 1865 And 1920 That Influenced US Society, Economy, And Politics.
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Industrial revolution greatly transformed several elements of the society. The foundational structures that community structure is built and with which they flourish. Among the aspects influencing industrialization was the economy (Hillstrom & Hillstrom, 2007). This was due to change in productivity. Before the industrial revolution, there was no industrial set up. Business was conducted on a small scale. It is the period when banking was introduced because of the need to save and lend money that would sustain the economy. It brought a huge spark in the American background. A period marked by people moving from manufacturing products using handheld tools and at home to using powerful special purpose machinery in factories. In line with this, this period changed production of goods from small scale to large scale.
During the period 1865 to 1920 in the United States, the society also affected the era of industrialization (Hillstrom & Hillstrom, 2007). This was the period that America was transforming from the rural setup to urban set up. Roads and rails were being built everywhere to ease movement of both people and goods. This placed a burden and the need for the rural people to move from their place of residence to work. There were also changes in living and social conditions. Industrial revolution marked the growth of population.
The influence of politics and politicians in America (Hillstrom & Hillstrom, 2007). Before the industrial revolution, the politicians were loyal to their community and true to the cause. Greed was not part of them. They listened and worked towards ensuring that people are living good lives. However, when capitalism established its foundation, politicians all worked towards the interest investors and business men. Objectivity lost its battle to self-interest and growing of wealth. It was an era that corruption took over with politicians working in the interest of friends, family and supporting acquaintances from unethical backgrounds.
Groups Affected by Industrialization
The powerful social group was affected as they needed mass labor to sustain the growing market (Goloboy, 2008). Since there was a reduced pressure on slavery, they had to sought other means of sustaining human capital. They also felt the pressure of greed as since they had the powerful people in positions they ensured that they paid favor to get more land and tenders (Hillstrom & Hillstrom, 2007). The rich investors got affected as they also faced the pressure for employment from the low population that could not sustain running the industries.
The working class also got affected. The people that worked on farms were called peasants. They faced a lot of challenges for example poor remuneration and since they were in no capacity of complaining they had to live by managing the issues (Goloboy, 2008). Those working in the industries were also faced with great challenges from low wages to poor working conditions.
The family group during this period got affected since it shifted from large extend families to nuclear families. This was especially common among the immigrants. Further, the native American family structure also changed to an average family consisting a maximum of 4 persons (Goloboy, 2008). This was because everybody worked for economic survival. Children would leave their homes when they reached their teens and look for employment.
Another notable change during the industrial revolution was the role of women. Before this period, women would be left at home to cater to home issues. Their roles included housework, taking care of children and tending to their husbands. However, during the industrial revolution women started working alongside men (Goloboy, 2008). Further, their social construct roles such as child rearing and household work slightly decline as they gained more rights however much the patriarchal views remained.
The industrial revolution was marked with a high number of immigrants seeking economic opportunities (Goloboy, 2008). As the number increased slowly so did the American legislators sought out ways to limit immigrant’s entry. For example, in the case of the Chinese’s influx, the Chinese Exclusion Act 1842 was passed to prevent further immigration of the Chinese to the United States of America. Further, immigrants were also paid meagre wages.
Effects of The Industrial Revolution on The American Worker
Due to nature of the then economic establishment of the industries and a lack of information the working conditions were very poor for the normal American worker. For example, those working in garment industry worked in sweat shops. These shops were poorly ventilated lit rooms. They were also confined and not allowed to talk to each other (Smith, 2006).
For those who lived in towns, they experienced tough living conditions (Smith, 2006). This is because the cities were growing exponentially and just like any industrial set up, settlements stated emerging. People who lived in these regions lived a different life from those in the rural areas. Overcrowding and pollution were a challenge.
Education was also a prerequisite for the immigrant worker (Smith, 2006). This is because America being an English-speaking country, it was the only language that they could use for communication. As such, they were forced to seek English tutoring. Due to an increase in population, overcrowding in the cities became a problem which brought about other vices such as crime. In another avenue, there was a rise in middle class, skilled workers, managers, clerks, accountants but to name a few (Smith, 2006). This bracket of people moved out of the city to live a comfortable life since they had extra money.
Goloboy, J.L. (2008) Industrial Revolution: People & Perspectives . ABC-CLIO
Hillstrom, K. & Hillstrom, L.C. (2007) The Industrial Revolution in America – Overview/ Comparison. ABC-CLIO
Smith, R.W. (2006) Spotlight on America: Industrial Revolution . Teacher Created Resources
Spielvogel, J.J. (2010) Western Revolution: A Brief History . Oxford University Press