Home » History » Us History Industrial Age

Us History Industrial Age

Iron was driven by demand for iron rails for railroads. Steel was developed by Henry Bessemer and William Kelly. It converted iron into versatile steel. Steel benefited the use of locomotives, steel rails, and girders for tall construction buildings. Steel can be used for coal. Together they can make furnaces and other technology well-built. The Airplane and the Automobile These two technological innovations had the farthest reaching impact in the US. Creation of gas helped powered engines. This invented fueled oil.

Nicolas August Otto created gas-powered “four-stroke” engine, which was a precursor to automobile engines. The Wright Brows. Intended the first airplane and tested it near Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. Design came from France and the US approved of the new technology for transportation. Many were built and used for many purposes. It was a significant presence in Europe during World War 1. Research and Development The rapid development of new industrial technologies have made great changed in industry. There were emergence of laboratories where people research technology that can be made using electricity and fuel.

Engineers in and out of universities became tied up with research and development agendas of corporations. Some Europeans joined with American engineers in corporate research and development laboratories. The Science of Production The growth of automobile and other industries were changes in techniques of production. Industrialists began embracing “Tailor’s” after theoretician Frederick Winslow Taylor. He argued the possible change to manage human behavior to make it compatible with demands of the machine age. With more tasks of working men, production will increase.

The most important change in production in technology in the industrial era was the emergence of mass production and, along with it, the moving assembly line, which Henry Ford introduced in his automobile plants in 1914. There was an emergence of automobile production where England works on motors for engines. Some motors were used by electricity or by fuel. Henry ford introduced his Model T and had become a standard for many other industries. Railroad Expansion and the Corporation The principal agent of industrial development in the late nineteenth century was the expansion of railroads.

They gave industrialists access to distant markets and distant sources of raw materials. Largest businesses and created new forms of corporate organization. They were biggest investors, stimulating economic growth through their own expenditures on construction and equipment. Rockefeller had expanded only horizontally. But soon he began expanding vertically. He built his own barrel factories, terminal warehouses, and pipelines. Standard Oil owned freight cars and developed its own marketing organization.

He had established such dominance within petroleum industry that too much of the nation he served as a leading symbol of monopoly. Survival of the Fittest The new industrial economy was not shrinking opportunities for individual advancement. It was providing every individual with a chance to succeed and attain great wealth. Most tycoons continued to claim that they attained their wealth and power through hard work, acquisitiveness, and thrift. Those who succeeded, they argued, deserved their success, and those who failed had earned their failure through their own laziness, stupidity or carelessness.

Assumptions became the basis Of a popular social theory of the late nineteenth century: Social Darwinism, the application of Charles Darning’s laws of evolution and natural selection among species to human society. Just as only the fittest survived in the process of evolution, the Social Darwinist argued. So in human society only the fittest individuals survived and flourished in the marketplace. The Gospel of Wealth Some businessmen attempted to temper the harsh philosophy of Social Darwinism with a gentler, if in some ways equally self-serving idea: the “gospel of wealth. People of great wealth, had not only great power but great responsibilities. The notion of private wealth as a public blessing existed alongside another popular concept: the notion of great wealth as something available to all. Horopito Alger was the most famous promoter Of the SUCCeSS story. He is a writer that wrote novels that had a basic story of one starting off s nothing and then becoming as something extraordinary. The purpose of his writing was twofold. He wanted to influence upon social classes with writing, which will hopefully inspire them to achieve.

Alternative Visions Alongside the justifications for great wealth stood a group of alternative philosophies, challenging the corporate ethos and at times capitalism. Lester Frank Ward, a sociologist argued that civilization was not governed by natural selection but by human intelligence, which was capable of shaping society. Other Americans adapted more radical approaches to reform. Other radicals aimed a wider following. Henry George blamed social problems on the ability of few monopolists to grow wealthy as a result of rising land values.

He proposed a “single tax” on land, to replace all other taxes, which would return the increment to people. The tax would destroy monopolies, distribute wealth more equally. The Problems of Monopoly A few Americans shared their views Of those who questioned about the capitalism. People started to be concerned about the growth of monopoly. Wide range of groups had begun to assail monopoly and economic concentration. They blamed monopoly creating high prices. Monopolistic industries could charge whatever prices they wished; railroads, in particular, charged very high rates along some routes because, because they had no choice.

The Immigrant Work Force Industrial work force expanded in the late nineteenth century. Expansion was a massive migration into industrial cities. First: Continue flow of rural Americans into factories, towns, and cities. Second: Was the great wave Of immigration from abroad. Many immigrants came from Canada, Europe, Asia etc. They industrialized work force. New immigrants were coming to America in part to escape poverty and oppression in their homelands. Europeans emerged as a major source of labor for mining industry.

Chinese and Mexicans competed with Anglo-Americans and African Americans in mining, farm work, and factory labor in California, Colorado and Texas. Wages and Working Conditions The average income of American workers was $400 to $500 a year. Workers did not have much job security. All were vulnerable to the boom-and-bust cycle of the industrial economy. Some lost their jobs because of technological advances. American laborers faced hardships. First-generation workers accustomed to the patterns Of the patterns Of agrarian life. Most factory errors worked ten-hour days, six days a week; in steel industry.

The decreasing need for skilled work in factories induced many employers to increase use of women and children. Women worked in all areas, even in some of the most arduous jobs. Most who worked were unskilled and semiskilled. Textile industry remained the largest industrial employer of women. Children worked at factories with a maximum workday of ten hours. Emerging Unionization Laborers attempted to fight back against such conditions by creating national unions. There had been craft unions in America, representing small groups of skilled workers. Individual unions could not hope to exert significant power in the economy.

And during the turbulent recession years of the sass, unions faced the additional problem of widespread public hostility. The great railroad strike was America’s first major, national labor conflict. The Knights of Labor The first major effort to create a genuinely national labor organization was the founding in 1 869 of the Noble Order of the Knights of Labor, under the leadership of Uriah S. Stephens. The Knights hoped to replace the “wage system” with a new cooperative system,” in which workers would control a large part of the economy. The Knights remained a secret fraternal organization.

The Terrace V. Powdery leadership order moved into the open and entered a period of spectacular expansion. Local unions/assemblies associated with the Knights launched a series of railroad and other strikes in the sass in defiance of Powdery s wishes. The FALL Before the Knights began to decline, a rival association appeared. Samuel Compeers, a powerful leader of FALL, concentrated on labors immediate objectives: wages, hours, and working conditions. FALL demanded a national eight-hour workday and called for a general strike if the goal was not achieved by May 1, 1886.

Chicago, a center a labor and radical strength, a strike was already in progress at the McCormick Harvester Company. To most middle-class Americans, the Homemaker bombing was an alarming symbol of social chaos and radicalism. The Homestead Strike The Amalgamated Association of Iron and Steel Workers was the most powerful trade union in the country. Its members were skilled workers, in great demand by employers, and thus had long been able to exercise significant power in the workplace. Demand for skilled workers was in decline as new production methods changed the stalemating progress.

Carnegie and his first lieutenant, Henry Clay Erick, had decided that the Amalgamated “had to go. ” Over the next two years, they repeatedly cut wages at Homestead. The Pullman Strike A dispute of greater magnitude, if less violence, was the Pullman strike in 1894. The Pullman Palace Car Company manufactured railroad sleeping and parlor cars, which it built and repaired at a plant near Chicago. Pullman was constructed a 600-acre town. Many people rented it and many industrial workers saw the town as a model. Workers went on strike and persuaded the militant American Railway Union, to support them by refusing to handle

Pullman cars and equipment. With federal troops protecting the hiring of new workers and with the union leaders in a federal jail, the strike quickly collapsed. Sources of Labor Weakness The last decades of the nineteenth century were years in which labor, despite militant organizing efforts, made few real gains. Industrial wags rose hardly at all. Labor leaders won a few legislative victories-abolition of the Contract Labor Law, the establishment of an eight-hour day for government employees, compensation for some workers injured on the job, and others.

Many laws were not enforced. There were widespread strikes and protests ND many other workingwoman’s forms of resistance, large, small, but few real gains. Workers failed to make greater gains for many reasons. The principal labor organizations represented only a small percentage of the industrial work force; the FALL the most important, excluded unskilled workers, and along with them most women, blacks, and recent immigrants. Another source of labor weakness was the shifting nature of the work force. Many immigrant workers intend to earn some money and then return home.

They had no long-range future in the country eroded their willingness to organize. Above al, perhaps, workers made few gains because they faced corporate organizations of vast wee lath and power, which were generally determined to crush any efforts by workers to challenge their prerogatives. Chapter 18: The Age of the City The Migrations Americans left the declining agricultural regions of the East at a dramatic rate in the late nineteenth century. Those left developed farmlands at the West. Most moved the cities of the east and the Midwest. Southern blacks left rural America for industrial cities in the sass.

Some were escaping poverty, debt, violence, and oppression they faced in the rural south. The most important resource of urban population growth was the arrival of great numbers of new immigrants. The Ethnic City Most of the population of the major urban areas consisted of immigrants. In other countries experiencing heavy immigration in this period, most of the new arrivals were coming from one or two sources. But in the US, no single national group dominated. Most of the new immigrants were rural people and for many the adjustment to city life was painful.

Ethnic neighborhoods offered newcomers much that was familiar. They could find newspapers and theaters in their languages, stores selling their native foods, and church and arterial organizations that provided links with their national posts. The cultural cohesiveness of the ethnic communities clearly eased the pain of separation from the immigrants’ native lands. Some ethnic groups advanced economically more rapidly than others. One is by huddling together in ethnic neighborhoods, immigrant groups tended to reinforce the cultural values of their previous societies.

Immigrants who aroused strong racial prejudice among native-born whites found it difficult to advance whatever their talents. Assimilation and Exclusion Virtually all groups among the immigrant communities had certain things in moon. Most shared the experience of living in cities. Most were young; majority of newcomers were between 15 and 45 years. Most of foreign born had to compete against another powerful force: the desire for assimilation. Native-born Americans encouraged immigrants to assimilate in countless ways.

Public schools taught children in English and employers often insisted workers speak English on the job. The government had concerned about immigration. The Creation of Public Space Among the most important innovations of the mid-nineteenth century were great city parks, which reflected the desire of growing number Of urban adders to provide an antidote to the congestion of the city landscape. Parks would allow city residents a healthy, restorative escape from the strains of urban life with the natural world. Frederick Law Limited and Calvert Faux designed New Work’s Central Park.

They created a public space that would look as little like the city as possible. Central park was from the start one of the most popular and admired public spaces in the world. At the same time some cities created great parks, art museums, concert halls, and opera houses. Cities made effort to redesigning existing landscapes. The Search for Housing One of the greatest problems was providing housing for thousands of new residents who were pouring into cities each day. The availability of cheap labor reduced cost Of building and permitted anyone with even a moderate income to afford a house.

Some of the richest urban residents lived in palatial mansions located in exclusive neighborhoods in the heart of each city. Most urban residents could not afford their own house in the city or move to suburbs. They stayed in city centers and rented. The first tenements had been hailed as great improvement in housing for the poor. Most in fact were ascribable places with no windows and no plumbing or heat. Urban Technologies: Transportation and Construction urban growth posed transportation challenges. People needed to move every day from one part of the city to another.

Street cars on tracks by horses were introduced. Horse cars were not fast enough so many places developed new forms of mass transit. Such as in New York, it opened its first elevated railway, steam-powered trains. New York, Chicago and San Francisco experimented with cable cars. Boston opened the first American subway. One of the great technological marvels of the 1 sass was the Brooklyn Bridge in New York. Cities grew upward. The construction of the skyscraper was made and elevators were created. Fire and Disease Ares destroyed large downtown areas.

Chicago and Boston suffered “great fires” in 1871. Others experienced similar disasters. These fires were terrible but were most important events in the development of the cities involved. Constructors encouraged fireproof buildings and the development of pro fire departments. They also forced cities to rebuild at a time when new technological and architectural innovations were available. A greater hazard than fire was disease in poor neighborhoods with inadequate sanitation acclivities. But an epidemic that began in a poor neighborhood could spread easily into other neighborhoods as well.

Municipals recognized improper sewage disposal and water contamination to diseases such as typhoid fever and cholera; many cities lacked adequate systems for disposing Of human waste until well into the ;ninetieth century. Flush toilets and sewer systems began to appear in the sass but did not solve the problem as long as sewage continued to flow into open ditches or streams, polluting cities’ water supplies. Environmental Degradation Modern notions of environmental science were unknown to most Americans n the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

Environmental degradation of many American cities was a visible and disturbing fact of life in those years. The frequency of great fires, the dangers of disease and plague, the extraordinary crowding of working-class neighborhoods were all examples of environmental costs of industrialization and rapid arbitration. Improper disposal Of human and industrial waste was a common feature Of almost all large cities in these years. Air quality in many cities was poor as well. By 20th century reformers were crusading to improve environmental conditions.

New sewage and drainage systems were created to protect drinking water from sewage disposal. The Fed created the Public Health Service to treat occupational diseases like tuberculosis and other trades. Urban Poverty, Crime, and Violence The expansion of the city spawned widespread and often desperate poverty. Public agencies and private organizations were poorly funded and in any case dominated by middle-class people who believed that too much assistance would breed dependency. Most tried to restrict aid to the “deserving poor”.

Charitable organization conducted “investigations” to separate “deserving’ room “undeserving. ” Middle-class people grew alarmed over the rising of poor children in the cities, some were orphan or runaways. Poverty and crowding bred crime and violence. American murder rate rose rapidly in the late nineteenth century. Some middle class people feared urban insurrections and felt the need for more substantial forms of protection. Urban National Guard built imposing remarries and stored large supplies of weapons and ammunition in preparations for uprisings.

The city Was a place of strong allure and great excitement. But it was also a place of degradation and exploitation. The Machine and the Boss For many residents of inner cities, the principal source of assistance was the political “machine. ” It is a power vacuum that the chaotic growth of cities created. It was a product of optional voting power of large immigrant communities. Out of that combo emerged urban bosses. The function was simple: to win votes for his organization. Machines were also vehicles for making money. The most corrupt city boss was William M.

Tweed, boss of New York City’s Tammany Hall, whose extravagant use of public funds on projects that paid kickbacks to the organization landed him in jail in 1872. Patterns of Income and Consumption Incomes were rising in highly uneven rates. Salaries of clerks, accountants, and other “white-collar workers rose by an average of a third between 1 890 and 1910. Doctors, lawyers, and other pros experienced a dramatic increase in both prestige and profitability of their professions. Working-class incomes rose too. Rising incomes created new markets for consumer goods.

Affordable products and new merchandising techniques soon made many consumer goods available to mass market for the first time. An example of good change was ready-made clothing. Buying and preparing food became a critical part of new consumerism. The development of cans created an industry devoted to selling canned food and condensed milk. Changes brought improved diets and better health. Chain Stores, Mail-order Houses and Department Stores Changes in marketing altered the way Americans bought goods. “Chain stores could offer a wider array of goods at lower prices than the small local stores which competed.

Large cities emerged great department stores. It helped transform buying habits and turned shopping into a more alluring and glamorous activity. Chicago created the first American department stores-a place to produce a sense of wonder and excitement. Such stores where emerged in New York, Boston, and other cities. Women as Consumers Women’s clothing styles changed more rapidly than men’s, which encouraged more frequent purchases. The bought and prepared food for their families, so new food products did not only change but also the way everyone ate and the way women shopped and cooked.

The consumer economy produced new employment opportunities for women as salesclerks and waitresses. The National Consumers League attempted to mobile power of women as consumers to force retailers and manufacturers to improve wages and working conditions. Refining Leisure In early eras, few Americans had considered leisure a valuable thing. In the nineteenth century, the beginnings of a redefinition of leisure appeared. In early times, Simon Patten feared of scarcity had caused people to place a high value on thrift, self-denial, and restraint.

But in modern industrial societies, new economies could create enough wealth to satisfy not just the needs, but desires, of all. As leisure became part of American life, it began new experiences with which to entertain them. Mass entertainment bridged differences of class, race, or gender. There was shopping, saloons, sporting events, theaters, pubs, and clubs. Spectator Sports Among The most important responses to the search for entertainment was the rise of organized spectator sports, and especially baseball. Baseball had great appeal to working-class males.

The second most popular game, football, appealed at first to a more elite segment of male population, in part because it originated in colleges and universities. Basketball and boxing became popular as well. Participation in major sports was almost exclusively the province of men, but several sports emerged in which women became important participants. Golf and tennis both experienced a rapid increase mongo relatively wealthy men and women. Bicycling and croquet also enjoyed widespread popularity in the sass. Women’s colleges introduced their students to more strenuous sports like track, crew, swimming, and basketball.

Music, Theater, and Movies Many ethnic communities maintained their own theaters. Urban theaters also introduced new distinctively American entertainment forms: the musical comedy, which evolved gradually from the comic operettas of Europe; and vaudeville, a form a theater adapted from French models, which remained most popular urban entertainment into the first decades of the twentieth century. Vaudeville was also one of the few entertainment media open to black performers. They brought elements of minstrel shows they earlier developed for black audiences in the late nineteenth century.

The most entertainment was the movies. Thomas Edison and others created the technology of motion picture rest. Soon after that, short films became available to individual viewers watching peepshows in pool halls, penny arcades, and amusement parks. By 1900, Americans were becoming attracted in large numbers to early movies. Motion pictures were the first truly mass entertainment medium. Patterns of Public and Private Leisure Many Americans spent their leisure time in places where they would not find not only entertainment but also other people.

Thousands of working-class New Yorkers spent evening in dance halls, vaudeville houses, and concert halls. Moviegoers were attracted not just by movies themselves but by the energy of the audiences at lavish new “movie palaces,” just as sports fans were drawn by the crowds as well by the games. Many Americans amused themselves privately by reading novels and poetry as well. The Technologies of Mass Communication The transformation of publishing and journalism was to a large degree a exult of new technologies of communication.

Cite This Work

To export a reference to this essay please select a referencing style below:

Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.

Leave a Comment