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Industrial revolution in america. Late 18 th Century – 1914 . Industrial Revolution: Causes.

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industrial revolution in america

Industrial revolution in america

Late 18th Century – 1914

industrial revolution causes
Industrial Revolution: Causes

No period of time has helped to shape the world as we know quite like the Industrial Revolution.  This period of time, which stretched from the late 18th century to 1914, helped the entire world to evolve both socially and technologically.  The advances during this long stretch of time included those in the manufacturing industry, which was just developing, communications, metallurgy, transportation, and energy development.

While this revolution originally started in Britain, the Industrial Revolution in America would provide a number of influential inventions, many of which helped to create new standard for the making of goods and products. Inventions like the cotton gin, the spinning Jenny, and the steam engine would move various industries away from an animal or personal method of creating items and replace it with a mechanized way of creating the same goods, often at a much lower price.

Along with the massive boom in almost every industry the revolution touched, social change and advancement would quickly follow, including an increase in wages, a growth in population, and new schools of thought.

transfer of knowledge
Transfer of Knowledge
  • In order for the Industrial Revolution to take shape, the transfer of knowledge must be implemented.  When new methods and inventions are created, the information and knowledge is passed on to other parts of the world over time, meaning all regions and countries can benefit from new discoveries and technology.
communication revolution
Communication Revolution
  • The communication revolution was one of the bigger events that occurred during the Industrial Revolution in America.  The communication revolution was a booming success with new inventions such as the telegraph, the improvements to the newspaper presses, the phonograph as well as photography and motion pictures.  People were beginning to be able to communicate more and know about the world around them.
welfare capitalism
Welfare Capitalism
  • Welfare capitalism sprung up during the Industrial Revolution in America. Welfare capitalism is the combination of a capitalistic economy as well as a welfare being provided to employees.  Welfare capitalism started during the Industrial Revolution in America due to the injustices that were going on in the workplace; companies were forced to provide higher pay, health care, housing and pension plans.  They also started providing subsidized housing, helped with outlawing child labor and imposed minimum wage.
banking during the revolution
Banking During the Revolution
  • Banking during the revolution was really only for the extremely rich or for the businesses.  Everyone else who simply worked to keep a roof over their heads and some food on the tables didn't have enough money to bank and couldn't keep it long enough to save anything either.  The banking system was being taken over by all of these wealthy men and companies and therefore being easily corrupted by them as well.  Luckily for the banks as well as the people, the Progressive Movement began noticing how these monopolies were taking over and making the bank bend for them and the Progressive party demanded more regulations and sanctions.  Slowly but surely towards the end of the industrial revolution we would see the banks turn around.
regulations begin
Regulations Begin
  • During the Industrial Revolution in America many businesses, factories and other industries were operating under laissez-fair systems, until regulations began.  There were high tariffs that helped to keep the U.S. factories and other foreign competition in business. The problem was that the people who worked for these industries were being treated unfairly and being paid terribly.
  • The Progressive movement along with journalists and public servants began to bring these injustices to light. Regulations and reforms began to increase and in1906 the government began passing acts that would regulate meat inspections, food and drug as well as monopolies, and antitrust laws.
the second industrial revolution
The Second Industrial Revolution
  • The Second Industrial Revolution, or the Gilded Age, was the period between 1860 and the start of World War I where advanced technological and economic growth took place in the United States.  This period saw many more advances, including the development of a transcontinental railroad, the adoption of an electrical grid, and the development of new communication mediums, including the telegraph and the telephone.
  • This period of time was also one of unprecedented growth.  The later years of the Second Industrial Revolution were the largest years of economic growth the United States has ever seen, including increases in industrial earning, growth in GDP, and wage increases, mainly thanks to the booming industrial system in place in the United States.
war of the currents
War of the Currents
  • During the Second Industrial Revolution, the War of the Currents took place.  This was a conflict between ideological theories regarding the best method of electricity distribution.  Thomas Edison, one of the most well-known inventors of the later 19th century, promoted the DC, or direct current, form of distribution, and George Westinghouse and Nikola Tesla (known as the Wizard of the West) promoted the AC, or alternating current, form of distribution.
  • Through many public relations and media campaigns, ones that almost bankrupt all involved, DC would eventually win out, being adopted throughout most of the world.  One of the major conflicts in the beginning of the War of the Currents was the ease of transferring power over great distances.  DC power could easily be converted to another voltage through the use of a transformer, and required less of an infrastructure, but AC would require a much more complex infrastructure and the system for converting it to a proper voltage required more equipment.
lowell massachusetts history
Lowell Massachusetts History
  • The city of Lowell, MA was actually the first fully industrialized town in the United States.  Following the War of 1812, British goods could once again be imported into the United States, but due to the embargoes of the war, many textile mills had popped up in the area.  To protect these, a new tariff was put into place, helping the city of Lowell to develop further.
  • By 1847, eight textile mills were located in Lowell, thanks to the Pawtucket Canal.  With its purchase, there was the necessary water flow to move supplies and power these numerous mills that were popping up.  After the opening of the many mills of Lowell, immigrants followed filling in the unskilled labor jobs.
  • The industrial boom of the city quickly died when the American Civil War started, since unprocessed cotton fetched a higher price than finished cloth.  The final death knell of Lowell, MA was the invention and adoption of the steam engine, and eventually electricity.  These two meant the mills could move to any location, and didn't necessarily need to be located near the water to get work done. 
industrial revolution people
Industrial Revolution: People
  • George Eastman: an American inventor who created the camera as well as roll film which allowed everyday people to own affordable cameras. George Eastman also invented and helped with creating motion pictures with his roll film as well.  He was known as being one of the greatest inventors and philanthropists of his time
  • Samuel Slater: Samuel Slater was one of the most influential people involved in the Industrial Revolution in America for his invention of the cotton mill.  When Slater came to the United States from England, he saw that cotton mills would help to quicken production time and speeds.  He built a water powered cotton mill that was able to speed up and stimulate cotton manufacturing three weeks faster than it normally was developed. Slater's cotton mill was successful at stimulating the economy throughout the New England states and creating more businesses as well.
industrial revolution people1
Industrial Revolution: People
  • Alexander Hamilton: one of the great influences of the Industrial Revolution in America.  Alexander Hamilton had heard about how amazing the Industrial Revolution was over in England and he wanted it for the United States.  He favored the big businesses, industries and large factories.  Alexander Hamilton drafted a report titled, "Report on Manufacturers" in which he told Americans that there were bigger and better business and technologies that they needed to become involved in.  People listened to Alexander Hamilton, however it was not until Samuel Slater and his cotton mill, that people realized how successful they could become.
  • Henry Ford: the father of the assembly line. He revolutionized the way factory work was done, particularly in the production of cars was done. He was able to create a system that was extremely efficient that would not only lower the price of the vehicle but also make car production much quicker. 
industrial revolution people2
Industrial Revolution: People
  • Rudolph Diesel: born in Paris in 1858. Diesel worked on designs and papers discussing how the combustion engine would prove that fuel could be ignited without a spark. By 1898 Diesel was given a patent for his internal combustion engine.  His diesel designs have allowed people to refine and improve certain aspects of his original design and therefore allow diesel engines to help power submarines, trucks, locomotives, ships and much more.
  • John D. Rockefeller: considered, by many, to be the richest man in history.  He was the first person to be worth over a billion dollars thanks to his work in the oil industry.  Born in 1839, Rockefeller joined a partnership in 1866 that led to the development of the Standard Oil company, one that would dominate the industry during the early years of mass gas and oil consumptions by the United States.  Rockefeller also butt heads with Andrew Carnegie after dabbling in the steel industry. The later 40 years of John D. Rockefeller's life were spent working on philanthropic ventures.  Many of the organizations he created worked with medical science, and he donated large sums of money to various groups and universities.  He died in 1837.
industrial revolution people3
Industrial Revolution: People
  • John Pierpont Morgan: During the Second Industrial Revolution, John Pierpont Morgan helped to lead the banking industry into a new age.  He got into banking in London in 1857, and went to America the next year.  By the early 1900s, H.P Morgan & Company were said to control a large portion of the American financial machine. Through modern managing techniques, Morgan also ventured into other areas, including printing, power, and shipping, namely railroads.  It is said that John Pierpont Morgan helped quell the Panic of 1907 and the Panic of 1893.
  • John M. Browning: With over 128 gun patents, many of which are still in use today, John M. Browning is a central figure in the development of firearms during the later years of the American Industrial Revolution.  His advances continued on through World War I, and greatly influenced combat. During his time as an arm manufacturer, John M. Browning improved on the bolt action and lever rifles, developed the gas powered machine gun, contributed to the development of semi-automatic handguns, and helped advance the technologies used in semi and fully automatic weaponry.
industrial revolution social effects
Industrial Revolution: Social Effects
  • The defining of social classes became much more apparent during the Industrial Revolution in America.  Since urbanization began happening it was clear who was upper class, middle class and lower class. When business people as well as entrepreneurs began gaining in wealth, America saw an income gap that was so large that it seemed to create a new class system in and of itself.  Before the Industrial Revolution, the middle class and the rich were much more blurred then they became.
  • The education system during the Industrial Revolution in America in the beginning was not so good, however throughout the time period, people in the progressive movement began to see the social injustices going on with child labor and how many kids were missing out on an education in America. Typically the only children that were able to attend school were those who were rich.  Other children from middle class or lower income families were not able to attend school due to needing to help out their families.
industrial revolution social effects1
Industrial Revolution: Social Effects
  • During the Industrial Revolution in America life and the industrial world were changing rapidly.  Industries and factories began to pop up all over the world and instead of people working in fields and smaller establishments many had to travel to the cities to find work in the thousands of factories that were being created.  Many people were forced to live in tight quarters with no sanitation, and forced to work long hours for little to no pay.  The world began to see a system that is referred to as the laissez-fair system.  The laissez-fair system was run by wealthy capitalists who did not want the government coming in trying to reform anything.  Under this system the capitalists were able to get away with these horrible conditions, with the wealthy getting richer and the poor getting poorer.  The American Dream was not even attainable for most people during the days under the laissez-fair system.
industrial revolution social effects2
Industrial Revolution: Social Effects
  • The Progressive Movement was a political attitude created by people who were advocating for change and reform from the government.  The Progressive Movement first began showing up around areas that were heavily populated with settlement workers as well as reformers. These reformers would speak up against the harsh labor, living conditions, work conditions as well as other social injustices that they were seeing.  Some of the hot button issues during the Industrial Revolution in America were the housing laws, child labor laws, working conditions for women, as well as the hours people had to put in during the work week. 
  • The invention of the sewing machine during the American Industrial Revolution had its positive effects and its negative ones.  Using sewing machines in factories to make clothes and shoes completely changed this part of industry as it was easier and faster to make these items.  While production grew and prices of these items dropped, workers suffered the consequences.  They got paid less, had less freedom and were often forced to work in poor conditions.  Many of these workers also lost their jobs altogether.  Soon enough, electric motors were added to the sewing machines and sweat shops were created.  These conditions led to the rise of labor unions and government reforms for the American workplace. 
industrial revolution social effects3
Industrial Revolution: Social Effects
  • The Industrial Revolution was intended to raise the standard of living for people in America.  It has been argued that more production of goods led to people being able to live to a higher standard.  There are also arguments that the revolution caused a lower standard of living because people were being crowded into houses with unsanitary conditions and more and more people were working in bad conditions caused by cities trying to industrialize so fast.
  • The Industrial Revolution in America saw a big rise in the population.  This population boom can be attributed to a number of things.  First of all, advances in industry meant that there was more food being produced and sanitation for things like water was better. Medical technology was also improving and there were more vaccines and drugs to treat illness.  This all meant that people were living longer than they had before and children were surviving past the age of five.  Diseases that were once deadly to young children were now easily treated and cured by modern medicine.  The lifespan of people also increased, so people weren't dying as fast. 
industrial revolution urbanization
Industrial Revolution: Urbanization
  • One of the major social effects of the Industrial Revolution was urbanization, and all the problems that came with it.  Urbanization is the movement of people from a rural to an urban area.  During the Industrial Revolution, people began moving into the cities to work in the factories and industries that would change or eliminate their previous jobs in rural communities.  While this helped cities to grow exponentially, it brought with it a number of social problems and conflicts.
  • Most major cities were not prepared for the massive influx of people these new industries and factories brought, so many were left to live in less than habitable conditions.  This period of time saw the emergence of a clearer middle class, and an even clearer poor class, leading to social strife for those in the lower class structure.
  • Along with living in poor housing, and partially because of it, disease became a constant concern.  Typhoid, malaria, and a host of other medical conditions would rip through communities since many of those people living there were too poor to afford good medical care.