Wednesday, May 6, 2020

Rise of Industry in the Late 19th Century Free Essays

During the 1860’s America was in a period of economic hardship due to the ongoing demand for materials and money to fund the war. In the South, sufficient money and materials were hard to acquire because the southern economy still depended on the labor of slaves to produce their goods and income rather than factories. The Northern economy used numerous factories to produce goods and make profit for the war, but they still did not have technology that was advanced enough to easily produce all the necessary materials and money. We will write a custom essay sample on Rise of Industry in the Late 19th Century or any similar topic only for you Order Now After the civil war, America embarked on a journey of economic expansion and unification for the nation. In the late 19th century, government policies, technological advancements and population changes contributed to the rise of industry in America. Many government policies were created in the 19th century to encourage expansion and growth for America. Three very influential policies were the Homestead Act, the Pacific Railway Act and laissez-faire. The homestead act was passed by Congress in 1862 to encourage settlement of western land. It promised any citizen of the United States that was at least 21 years old a homestead of 160 acres under the terms that they paid a 10 dollar registration fee, farmed on the land for 5 years and lived on the land for at least 6 months out of a year. When passed, the act proved a success at allowing huge masses of people to further enlarge and develop America because â€Å"settlers from all walks of life including newly arrived immigrants, farmers without land of their own from the East, single women and former slaves came to meet the requirements† (Weiser). The pacific railway act of 1862 provided the Union Pacific and Central Pacific railroad companies with federal land grants and funds to construct a transcontinental railway that would unite the country as one. With the completion of the railroad, industry had the opportunity to rise across America because the transportation time of goods, capital, and people was significantly decreased and more efficient. Laissez-faire was a policy practiced by government that preached a free market economy. Under laissez-faire, the business’s of America were able to grow and acquire larger sums of money because the government had little to no interference in the actions of companies. In the 19th century as settlement and companies expanded across America, technological discoveries were being made as part of an industrial revolution that would further the efficiency and growth of industry. With the transcontinental railroad, the steam engine could transport materials, machinery, goods and more to companies across America with much more ease than horses and wagons could in previous times. The invention of the telephone by Alexander Graham Bell in 1876 increased communication between people to help the coordination and cohesiveness of companies. One brilliant inventor, Thomas Alva Edison, provided the nation with numerous inventions, two of which were the light bulb and the electric generator. As industrialization occurred, machinery was used to produce materials instead of human labor in order to increase production and profit. With the aid of Edison’s electrical generator, the machines of textiles could work faster and more efficient to maximize benefits. Also, with the aid of the light bulb, textiles were able to have longer work hours and produce larger quantities because the restriction of daylight hours was no longer a problem. â€Å"By the end of the nineteenth century, the nation was about to become a mass-production economy† because â€Å"the utilization of steam and electricity, the introduction of improved processes and labor-saving machinery†¦ multiplied enormously the effectiveness of labor† (Chandler 277; George 50). As America was booming from government policies and new technology, population changes also took effect to contribute to the rise of industry. Population was steadily rising due to immigration, migration, and improved conditions of living. Millions of European and Asian immigrants came to America in search of a more promising and successful life. These immigrants created a growing work force that big industries took advantage of by using the minimally paid workers to help produce more for their companies. Along with westward migration in America, â€Å"In the post-civil war period, cities swelled in population as a twin migration of immigrants and rural Americans flocked to the glittering urban environment† (Riis 320). This urbanization solidified the transition of the nation from an agricultural economy to an industrial one. Also in the 19th century, population was at a high compared the past because of improvements in health care, a higher reproduction rate and a better standard of living. These population changes provided America with a large, growing consumer economy that allowed industry and business to thrive. Compared to previous times, America ended the 19th century at an all time high due to new government policies, technological advancements and population changes. With the help of federal encouragement to settle westward and unite the country, industry was able to expand to more places across the nation. In these numerous factories, textiles and other working places, new machinery and technology was used to produce greater quantities in a shorter amounts of time which allowed industry to gain more profit and grow. These successful and innovative factories attracted immigrants and rural Americans, and pushed them to move to cities where industry and business could be a main focus. The growth of American industry in the 19th century took the nation to a whole new developmental level, and from there the nation continued to thrive and evolve. Citations Chandler, Alfred D. The Beginnings of â€Å"Big Business† in American Industry. 1959. American Issues. New York: Glencoe, 1994. 277-80. Print. Evans, Harold. â€Å"The Spark of Genius. † 2004. American History. Vol. 2. Dubuque: McGraw Hill, 2007. 6-21. Print. George, Henry. â€Å"Progress and Poverty. † 1879. America’s History. Fourth ed. Vol. 2. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2001. 50-51. Print. Riis, Jacob. â€Å"Life in the Tenements of New York City. † 1890. Voices of the American Past. Second ed. Vol. 2. Orlando: Harcourt College, 2001. 320-22. Print. Story, Jill. â€Å"Lecture. † 27 Sept. 2010. S tory, Jill. â€Å"Lecture. † 5 Oct. 2010. Weiser, Kathy. â€Å"The Homestead Act – Creating Prosperity in America. â€Å"Legends of America – A Travel Site for the Nostalgic and Historic Minded. Apr. 2010. Web. 12 Oct. 2010. . How to cite Rise of Industry in the Late 19th Century, Papers

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