1 Jul 2022


Industrial Growth in the United States

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After the American Civil War between 1860 and 1865, the southern part saw the start of the industrial revolution with a drastic change of the economy. The agricultural sector also saw revolution and use of mechanised farm tools took the centre-stage of crop production. The South largely did crop production with the North and Midwest focused mainly on manufacturing, and processing of raw materials. America’s economy was rivalled by that of Britain, but by the 1900s America grew to be the largest free market. This growth in the industrial sector was stimulated by several factors which laid a perfect condition for the fast industrialisation process. 

After the war, people from all over who flocked the American land. The population grew by almost twice its population in the year 1960. This was as a result of peace and tranquillity after the feuds that in the first place led to the fleeing of citizens. With the significant number of civilians, there was a need for more production of goods and services. This resulted in the industrial revolution to comfortably meet the needs of this great multitude. According to census reports, an influx of about eight hundred thousand immigrants per year from the Southern parts, Scandinavia and Eastern Europe was seen. This also greatly fuelled the industrial growth as there was much labour readily available. 

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Also, the country had a vast endowment of natural resources. The land covered by forest was enormous with also a huge supply of water. Also, the land had a huge reserve of minerals such as coal, iron, silver, gold, copper, and fertile lands for agriculture. Iron was a raw material for industries being mined in Northern Minnesota, Michigan-Wisconsin border. Coal was used as energy in production being mined in Appalachian Mountains, Virginia, Kentucky and also in Tennessee. In Nevada and Colorado gold and silver reserves also helped in the industrial revolution. Use of petroleum as fuel also was new in the market, and many uses were being developed too. All these resources positively laid the path for industrialisation. 

With the discovery of steam engines, railroads formed the backbone of transport greatly providing an established network of transportation. Between 1873 and 18881, the railroad linking the industries and the farms had increased to a record fifty percent. With increased infrastructure, transport freight tripled in the same period. This saw the production of steel beat that of the pre-existing giants in the market, Britain. 

New inventions also provided a conducive condition for the booming of the industrial sector. Newer technology hastened the process of production and more efficiently. Seven thousand six hundred and fifty-three patents in 1960 by the patent office. This clearly showed the revolution in technological advancement. Such patents that showed major reliance by the economy included; typewriter, cameras, auditing and calculating machines, and cash registers. Also, the telephone and telegram improved communication over the country. Electricity also being a lucrative invention greatly reduced the cost of production and hence increase in industrial growth. 

For any growth to be realised, the capital invested is tantamount to the result. Therefore industrialisation posing as a successful business, many banks and the top businessmen greatly invested in this sector. Also with the help of the government by imposing tariffs on imports, the revolution of the industrial sector within the United States saw a drastic rise with all the attention focusing on this area. 

Therefore between 1860 and 1890, the United States experienced a change that they would forever remember as it put it on the map of the world and eventually becoming the trend setter and a super power. These were the major factors that worked in favour of industrial growth at the end of the nineteenth century. 


"Civil War and Industrial Expansion, 1860–1897 (Overview)."  Gale Encyclopedia of U.S. Economic History . Retrieved February 19, 2017, from Encyclopedia.com:  http://www.encyclopedia.com/history/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/civil-war-and-industrial-expansion-1860-1897-overview 

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StudyBounty. (2023, September 15). Industrial Growth in the United States.


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