Chapter 14 – The Second Industrial Revolution Section Notes Video The Second Industrial Revolution Industry and Railroads The Rise of Big Business Workers Organize The Age of Invention Maps Railroads Built by 1910 Railroads Transform Chicago Quick Facts Images
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The Second Industrial Revolution
Industry and Railroads
The Rise of Big Business
The Age of Invention
Railroads Built by 1910
Railroads Transform Chicago
Visual Summary: The Second Industrial Revolution
Vertical and Horizontal Integration
Political Cartoon: John D. Rockefeller
Menlo Park Lab
The Bessemer process of purifying steel helped to make America the world’s top producer and transformed the U.S. into a modern industrial economy.
Construction companies could build bigger bridges and taller buildings.
The low cost of steel made ordinary items affordable.
Oil industry begins
Oil was a key commodity as a fuel source and for lubrication.
Edwin L. Drake drilled the first commercial oil well. Oil prospectors, or Wildcatters, looked for oil in other regions.
Major sources of energy from oil fueled a revolution in transportation and industry.New Industries Emerge
Creation of rail network promoted trade and provided jobs. Demand for rails and railcars boosted steel industry and train manufacturers.
Settlement of the West was easier, and sparsely populated areas began to fill with residents. With railroads, new towns were founded and existing ones expanded.
Railroads led to the adoption of standard time. Before, each area had its own local time based on the position of the sun. Accurate timekeeping was needed for the trains to keep to their schedule. C. F. Dowd proposed dividing the earth into time zones, setting the clocks alike in each zone. Railroad officials used this idea in 1883, and by 1918 standard time was adopted for the nation as a whole.
With capitalism,competition determines prices and wages, and most industries are run by private businesses.
In the 1800s, business leaders believed in laissez-faire capitalism with no government intervention.
They believed government regulation would destroy self-reliance, reduce profits, and harm the economy.
Many thinkers believed that inequalities were part of the natural order.
Charles Darwin believed that members of a species complete for survival in a natural selection process.
Applied to society, stronger people, businesses, and nations would prosper, and weaker ones would fail in a “survival of the fittest.”A Favorable Climate for Business
The American ideal was one of self-reliant individualism. A strong work ethic made one successful, and entrepreneurs risked their money and talents in new ventures.
Small businesses were run by individual proprietors or had more than one owner in a partnership. In either case, owners are personally responsible for all business debts and obligations.
As industries grew, the structure of ownership changed. Businesses were owned by stockholders; decisions made by a board of directors, with day-to-day operations run by corporate officers. Investment money was raised by selling stock, and investors were bound only by the amount of their investment.
Trusts and Monopolies
Some companies merged and turned their stocks over to a board of trustees who ran the group of companies as a single entity. Sometimes a trust gained a monopoly, having complete control of an industry. With no competition, prices could be raised or lowered at will.Business Structures Change
Starting with an oil refinery and superb business sense, John D. Rockefeller used both vertical and horizontal integration to capture 90 percent of the U.S. oil refinery business by 1879.
Rockefeller gave away over half of his fortune to charity. He donated millions to education and good works through his Rockefeller Foundation.
Rockefeller and oil
Andrew Carnegie rose from immigrant child to steel magnate. He used profits from various business investments to found his own company. By the end of the century the Carnegie Steel Company dominated the U.S. steel industry.
After retiring, Carnegie devoted his time to charity, supporting education and building public libraries.
Carnegie and steel
Vanderbilt began investing in railroads during the Civil War. By 1872, he owned the New York Central Railroad. At the height of his career he controlled 4,500 miles of track.
He supported few charities, but gave money to what would come to be Vanderbilt University. He died leaving an estate of $100 million.
George Pullman made his fortune designing and building sleeper cars that made long-distance travel more comfortable. He built a town south of Chicago to house workers in relative comfort, believing happy workers were more productive.
The Pullman Company controlled aspects of life in the town, and criticism was not tolerated.
Business tycoons were “robber barons” who profited unfairly by squeezing out competitors. They lived lavish lifestyles from their ill-gotten rewards.
Business tycoons were “captains of industry” who used their business skills to make the American economy more productive. That in turn made the American economy stronger.A Mixed Legacy
Retailers looked for new ways to maximize their profits.
Household goods were targeted toward women, who made most of those purchasing decisions. Wholesome images were used to convey a sense of purity. Brand names helped customers remember products. The convenient department store emerged, providing a variety of goods. The stores bought in bulk, passing the savings on to the customers.
Mail-order companies gave rural dwellers access to a huge variety of goods. The Sears, Roebuck and Company catalog was 507 pages. Customers made their selections, sent in the payments, and waited for the merchandise to arrive.
Government did not interfere with business in the late 1800s, but as corporations expanded and gained power, that policy began to change.
Controlling the giants
The Sherman Antitrust Act was passed in 1890, making it illegal to form trusts that interfered with free trade. It prohibited monopolies and activities hindering competition.
The law was vague, however, and it was seldom enforced.
The government paid less attention to workers, who scraped by on small wages. By 1890, 10 percent of the population controlled 75 percent of the nation’s wealth. The rich were very rich, and many industrial workers made less than $500 per year.Government and Business
Many factory workers were immigrants or rural Americans moving to the cities for jobs.
The best jobs went to native-born whites or European immigrants.
Less well-paying jobs were open to African Americans, as household help or laborers.
By 1900, one in six children between the ages of 10 and 15 held factory jobs.
Most unskilled laborers worked 10-hour days, six days a week.
They had no paid vacation and no sick leave.
Speed of production led to terrible accidents. Injured workers were replaced.
Sweatshops were common. These cramped workshops set up in shabby tenement buildings were common in the garment industry.Industrial Workers
In 1794, Philadelphia shoemakers formed a trade union. Over decades, unions formed for skilled trade workers, but they remained small and local.
After the Civil War, things changed. The Knights of Labor formed in 1869. Under the leadership of Terence V. Powderly in the 1880s, they began to accept unskilled workers, women, and African Americans as members. They campaigned for reforms, such as eight-hour workdays and the end of child labor through boycotts and negotiations.
After wage cuts, the first railroad strike occurred in 1877. Initial strikes quickly spread, and state militias were called out. Violence ensued, lives were lost, and costly damage was done. The arrival of U.S. Army troops put an end to the strike.
The Great Railroad Strike
1886 was a difficult year for labor.
One of the worst clashes was at Haymarket Square in Chicago. A bomb was thrown in a crowd gathered to protest violent police action. Gunshots rang out, and eleven people were killed and hundreds injured before it was over.
Foreign-born unionists were blamed for the violence, and the press fanned xenophobia.
Eight men were charged with conspiracy, but no evidence connected them to the crime.
All eight were convicted and sentenced to death. After four hangings and one suicide, the last three were pardoned.
The American Federation of Labor
Employers struck back at organized labor, forcing employees to sign documents saying they would not join a union.
Blacklists of people deemed troublemakers were made and shared by employers, who refused to hire anyone listed.
Striking workers were replaced with “scabs,” or strikebreakers.
Samuel Gompers led a group of skilled workers to form the American Federation of Labor in 1886.
Using strikes and other tactics, the AFL did win wage increases and shorter workweeks.Strikes and Turmoil
Unions made some gains, but conflicts continued. Carnegie Steel workers in Homestead, Pennsylvania, refused to work faster, and the manager tried to lock them out. The workers seized the plant. Gunfire erupted when private guards hired by the company tried to take control. After a 14-hour battle and fourteen deaths, the governor called out the state militia. The steelworkers’ union withered within months.
The Pullman Strike
After laying off a third of its employees in 1893, the Pullman Company cut the wages of remaining workers by 25 percent without lowering their rents. Workers went on strike with the support of Eugene V. Debs, the leader of the American Railway Union. The government ordered the strike be called off, but the union refused. President Grover Cleveland called in federal troops, and the strike collapsed. The late 1800s would remain an era of big business.
Subways developed as a result of increased traffic from horses and electric streetcars competing for space. Boston built the first subway line in 1897, with New York City following in 1904.Advances in Transportation
Airplanes—Ohio bicycle makers Wilbur and Orville Wright were the first to successfully fly an airplane–for 12 seconds in 1903. They followed this success with even longer flights.Advances in Transportation
Samuel F. B. Morse patented his method of communicating by sending messages over wires with electricity, calling it the telegraph.
Operators tapped out patterns of long and short messages that stood for letters of the alphabet. The system was known as Morse code.
After the Civil War, the telegraph grew with the railroads. Telegraph wires were strung along the tracks, and train stations had telegraph offices in them.
Two men were working on devices that could transmit voices using electricity.
Alexander Graham Bell patented his device hours before his competitor, and he gets the credit for the invention of the telephone in 1876.
Companies found the telephone to be an essential business tool. People wanted to have them in their homes as well.
By 1900, more than a million telephones had been installed across the nation.Communications Revolution
Inventors in many nations made attempts to create a writing machine.
Christopher Latham Sholes, a Milwaukee printer, developed the first practical typewriter in 1867. He later improved upon his machine by designing the QWERTY keyboard, still the standard on keyboards today. The most frequently used letters were placed far apart so they would not jam when they were struck.
The typewriter could produce legible documents very quickly. Businesses began to hire women as typists to manage company correspondence, opening up new job opportunities for women.
As a child, Thomas Edison was curious about everything. Nearly deaf by twelve, he declared himself an inventor by age twenty-two. In 1886, he opened his own research laboratory in Menlo Park, N.J.
Edison said, “Genius is 1 percent inspiration, 99 percent perspiration.” He worked alongside his assistants and spent long hours tinkering with designs. Inventions poured out of the lab, and Edison became known as the Wizard of Menlo Park.
Edison developed the practical electric lighting. With the incandescent bulb came the need for widely available electricity. Edison would bring electricity to New York City, designing and producing all of the parts necessary for an electricity network. Electric power plants spread across the country.
Over his lifetime, Edison earned over 1,000 U.S. patents.Thomas Edison