Post-civil war era marked a significant historical moment for America since the period was marked with the industrial revolution and a series of developmental changes. The changes during this period were marked by the end of slavery that was dominant in most of the American States, especially in the North. Economically, America grew in industries with the inception of large scale farming. Another significant economic activity was mechanization and the construction of railroads that expanded businesses, thus opening America to the rest of the world, especially the nations that were hardly reachable. The economic and industrial growth of America was factored by urbanization, railroads transport, and immigration in the post-civil war
The industrial revolution in the United States was the main reason for America’s economic prowess in the post-civil war. There were available raw materials like steel, iron ore, timber, and oil that enabled America to rise and expand its industries. America refined petroleum, manufactured steel, and generated electrical power. The steel was used in the construction of railroads minimizing travel time and hardships ( Furtado, 2018) . Raw materials were easily transported from far distances to factories for processing using the railroads. One of the renowned industrialists then was John. D. Rockefeller who used the railroad as the primary means of transport for products from Pennyslavia. The natural resources were converted to commercial products like gasoline and steel. The US, through industrialization, introduced power machinery that reduced labor costs. Between 1870 and 1916, America recorded a significant increase in the number and value of goods that are produced due to the power machines ( Stearns, 2018) . The production also improved with the invention of faster and cheaper communication through telephones.
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Following the economic development in America, there were thousands to millions of immigrants from another continent, including Asia and Europe who streamed into America as immigrants. Other Americans who mostly occupied rural areas abandoned farming and settled in urban centers to provide labor for the then growing industries. Immigrants provided cheap labor for the industries, which is the main reason for America’s realization of economic boom within a short period ( Hillstrom and Hillstrom, 2015) . Notably, the main beneficiaries of the economic developments in America were mainly unscrupulous entrepreneurs and businessmen who took advantage of the poor laborers.
Employees received extremely low wages and worked in compromising conditions that forced them to form labor unions that fought and brought to an end the social injustices. The formation of labor unions is known to be the most social problem that was against America’s industrial development. The labor unions came as a result of the clashes that were witnessed between labor and capital/ compensations. Reformers in the US captured this discontent. The labor unions grew primarily to protect the right and interests of workers. Workers in the industrial sector were the main organizers of the labor unions/ movements demanding for more compensations and safer working conditions ( McCartin, 2017) . The labor unions were able to fight against child labor that was later abolished in the United States. The industrial workers also were able to receive health benefits, and workers who got injuries in the line of duty received aid.
In conclusion, the economic and industrial growth of America was factored by urbanization, railroads transport, and immigration in post-civil war. During the transition period from civil wars, Immigrants from Asia, Mexico, Eastern, and Southern Europe came to America. Immigrants provided cheap labor. The beneficiaries of the industrial growth were the businessmen. Labor unions have brought sanity in industrial practice in the US by being the primary defender of the rights of workers in the industries.
Furtado, C., (2018). Economic Development of Latin America. In Promise of Development (pp. 124-148). Routledge.
Hillstrom, K., & Hillstrom, L. C. (Eds.). (2015). The industrial revolution in America . Abc-Clio.
McCartin, J. A., (2017). Labor's Great War: The Struggle for Industrial Democracy and the Origins of Modern American Labor Relations, 1912-1921 . UNC Press Books.
Stearns, P. N., (2018). The industrial revolution in world history . Routledge.