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The United States becomes an Industrial Giant. APUSH 2011-12. Business leaders built their fortunes by stealing from the public Drained country of natural resources Drove competitors to ruin Paid workers meager wages Forced workers to work in dangerous and unhealthy conditions.

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The United States becomes an Industrial Giant

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The United States becomes an Industrial Giant



Business leaders built their fortunes by stealing from the public

Drained country of natural resources

Drove competitors to ruin

Paid workers meager wages

Forced workers to work in dangerous and unhealthy conditions

Robber Baron

Captains of Industry

  • Increased the supply of goods

  • Raised productivity

  • Expanded markets

  • Created jobs, which enabled people to buy more goods and raise their standard of living

  • Established museums, libraries and universities

  • Served the public

Good or Evil?

By 1900 the USA was a leading industrial power. Why?

  • Abundant natural resources – coal, iron ore, copper, lead, timber and oil

  • Abundant labor Supply – millions of new immigrants, willing to work cheaply

  • Population growth- created a massive market for goods

  • Capital was good – Money to start up companies was plentiful

More reasons

  • New technologies – over 400,000 new patents were granted from 1860-1890

  • Business friendly government policies

    • Protected private property

    • Subsidized railroads

    • Protective tariffs

    • Very little regulations

  • Entrepreneurs that built and managed vast enterprises


  • Had the greatest impact on American society

    • Created a market on a national scale

    • Encouraged mass produced goods

    • Creation of 4 time zones in 1883

    • Encouraged mass consumption of goods

    • Encouraged growth of other industries

      • Coal, steel and cattle

    • Creation of modern stock holder corporations

Railroads started in the east and pushed people west

  • Began with different gauges (width of tracks) and incompatible equipment

  • Federal land grants – 70 railroad companies received more then 3 x the amount given under the Homestead act

    • RR companies would receive mile square sections and sell the land to new settlers to finance its building

Transcontinental Railroads

  • First is completed on May 10, 1869 with the use of 6000 Chinese immigrants – piedmont point Utah

  • By 1900, there were 4 other transcontinental lines

The B and O railroad smells bad

  • Railroads were overbuilt, and unprofitable

  • Mismanaged

  • Cheap for major shipping companies but would charge small businesses (farmers) extremely high rates

  • Consolidated companies, by 1900 there were 7 major companies

    • Led by men like J.P. Morgan and Cornelius Vanderbilt

    • Created monopolies

Industrial empires:Steel

  • Bessemer process – created high quality steel

  • Abundant iron-ore resources from upper Great Lakes region

  • Andrew Carnegie – poor Scottish immigrant that used Vertical integration

  • Complete control of industrial process – mining raw materials to transportation of finished product.

  • Carnegie Steel – sold company in 1900 for $400 million to a conglomerate U.S. Steel headed by J.P. Morgan


  • First oil drill in the U.S. 1859 in Pennsylvania

  • John D. Rockefeller – started Standard Oil and trust

  • charged high prices to railroad companies and cut prices on Kerosene, therefore forcing rivals out and buying their companies

  • Horizontal integration – former competitors were brought under a single corporate umbrella

  • By his retirement he was worth $900 million

Anti-trust movements

  • Fear of unchecked powers and wealth of trusts

    • Sherman Anti-trust Act 1890 – prohibits building of trusts

      • This was not enforced

Laissez-Faire Capitalism (hands off)

  • Adam Smith – Wealth of Nations= business should not be regulated

  • Social Darwinism – survival of the fittest

  • Gospel of Wealth – wealthy had a responsibility to carry out philanthropy

    • Carnegie gave over $350 million to charity


Giving it away

  • Gospel of Wealth – wealthy had a responsibility to carry out philanthropy

    • Carnegie gave over $350 million to charity

  • Gospel of Wealth – wealthy had a responsibility to carry out philanthropy

    • Carnegie gave over $350 million to charity


Major inventions of the 19th century

  • Communications

    • Telegraph = Samuel Morse 1844

    • Improved transatlantic cable = Cyrus W. Fields 1866

      • By 1900 all continents were linked

    • Telephone = Alexander Graham Bell 1876

Other major inventions

  • Typewriter – 1867

  • Cash register – 1879

  • Calculating machine – 1887

  • Eastman Kodak's Camera – 1888

  • Safety razor and blade - 1895

Greatest invention/inventor"Genius is one percent inspiration, ninety-nine percent perspiration."

  • Thomas Edison at Menlo Park in New Jersey

    • First modern research Lab.

    • Work as a team, not as individuals

    • Over 1000 patents

      • Phonograph

      • Incandescent light bulb

      • Dynamo – generating electric power

      • Motion picture camera

Marketing consumer goods

  • R. H. Macy and Marshall Field created large Department stores in urban centers

  • Frank Woolworth created a nationwide chain

  • Sears, Roebuck and Montgomery Ward created mail-order companies

    • Utilized the new rail system

    • Order anything, catalogs were known as “the wish book”

Industrialization's impact

  • Extreme division in wealth

    • Richest 10% controlled 90% of nation’s wealth

    • Often flaunted wealth

      • Massive mansions, yachts, parties

      • Vanderbilt’s had guests hunt for party favors using small silver shovels to look for gems hidden in the sand


More demand = more work needs to be done

  • Factory system is started

    • Division of labor – increased efficiency because each person has a separate task

      • Dehumanized workers

      • Produced more, products are cheaper


Factory Work: better then slaves?

  • 10-16 hours a day 6 days a week

  • .75 cents a day or $380 a year

    • Surplus of labor meant someone would work for low wages = supply and demand

  • Unsafe conditions

    • Loss of limbs, lives, long term diseases

  • No government assistance.

    • No unemployment

    • No workers compensation

    • No insurance

    • No social security

Life as a child in the mid-1800’s

  • Many began work at age 6

  • 1 in 5 children worked

  • 1.75 million children worked

  • textile factories, coal mills, farms, and other factories

  • Worked 10-16 hours

  • .25 cents a day

  • No School

  • Harsh, hazardous and unhealthy conditions

Political cartoons of Child Labor

More pictures of child labor

Coal miners 10-13 years old

Child Labor today

Where did the workers live?

  • Wealthy moved out of cities and immigrants and poor moved into them

  • Tenements – often windowless rooms, slums, often held 4,000 people in a city block

  • Created dumbbell tenements

    • Crowded

    • Unhealthy

    • Crime ridden

    • Often called Ghettos

Workers of America

  • Growing middle class

    • Need for white collared jobs (salaried jobs that were not manual labor)

    • Middle management

    • Increased services needed (doctors, lawyers etc…)

Wage earners

  • 2/3 population worked for wages (usually by the hour)

    • 10-16 hour days

    • 6 days a week

    • Low wages

    • Depended on additional income from women and children

    • In 1890 11 million of the 12.5 million families earned less then $380 a year

Organized labor unions

  • Unions were slow to start

    • Lockouts – factories would shut down before a labor movement could get started

    • Blacklists – pro-union workers names circulated and could not get hired

    • Yellow – dog contracts – if hired they could not join a union

    • Private guards/state militia – end strikes (usually through violence)

    • Court injunctions against strikes

How did the Employers react?

  • Did not like the unions

  • Forbid union meetings

  • Fired union organizers

  • Forced new workers to sign contracts stating they would not join a union

  • Refused to collective Bargain (negotiate with a group rather then individually)

  • Refused to recognize unions

Unions reactions to Employers reactions

  • Strikes – work stoppage working the employer to meet certain demands

    • Often became violent

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