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Ch.17. Industrial Supremacy. Why by the 1900’s was the United States the leading industrial power in the world?. Bell Ringer 1/22. 1865-1900 Railroads went from 35,000 to 193,000 miles of track. Significance: Increase mass production Increase consumption Economic specialization

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Railroads went from 35,000 to 193,000 miles of track.


Increase mass production

Increase consumption

Economic specialization

New time zones

Stock Holder corporations.

railroads cont

Trunk Lines- Major route between cities

-Cornelius Vanderbilt

Western Railroads

-Promote settlement of Great Plains

-Link West and East

Railroads cont…
railroads cont1

Federal Land Grants

-Promoted poor construction


Transcontinental railroads

Union Pacific

Central Pacific

Railroads cont…
competition and consolidation

Railroads were severely over-built

Unfair rates were being charged

1893 –Financial panic occurred and 25% of all railroads went bankrupt

JP Morgan and other bankers bought them and consolidated the railroads.

-More efficient railroads

Customers and farmers at the mercy of the railroads.

Competition and Consolidation
industrial empires

What types of goods were being produced in industries?

Post Civil War Industries

Steel, Petroleum, Electric power, Industrial machinery.

Industrial Empires
steel industry

Henry Bessemer in England and William Kelley in US started blasting air through molten iron and produced high-quality steel.

Andrew Carnegie-

-Self-made man

-Used a business practice known as vertical integration (do everything business)

U.S Steel Corporataion- Carnegie retired and went into philanthropy.

Sold his company for $400 million to JP Morgan.

Became a company controlling over 3/5’s of the nation’s steel business.

Steel Industry
oil industry

Edwin Drake drilled the first U.S oil well in 1859.

John D. Rockefeller founded Standard Oil Trust

in 1863.

Worked out deal with railroad companies

Forced companies to sell out- Predatory pricing

Horizontal Integration- Take over the competition.

By 1881- Owned 90% of oil refinery business.

Oil Industry
antitrust movement


1880’s- Middle class citizens feared unchecked power of monopolies.

Sherman Antitrust Act (1890)- Too vague and not followed through.

US v. EC Knight Co. –Ruled Sherman Antitrust Act could only apply to commerce, not manufacturing.

Antitrust Movement
laissez faire capitalism

Adam Smith (Wealth of Nations)

  • Business should be regulated by the

“Invisible hand” and use the governmental mindset of Laissez-Faire

Social Darwinism- Survival of the fittest

Gospel of Wealth- Hard work= material gain from God.

Laissez-Faire Capitalism
technology and inventions

Telegraph (transatlantic cable)

Alexander Graham Bell (Telephone) 1876

Typewriter, Cash register, calculating machine, adding machine, Kodak camera, fountain pen’, and safety razors.

Technology and Inventions
edison and westinghouse

Thomas Edison- Extremely well known inventor.

Created worlds first research laboratory (big deal)

(phonograph, incandescent lamp, generating electric power, motion picture camera, etc…

George Westinghouse- Air brakes for railroads

High-Voltage alternating current

*Enabled cities to be powered!!!

Edison and Westinghouse
marketing consumer goods

Department Stores

R.H Macy (New York)

Marshall Fields (Chicago)

Frank Woolworth’s Five and Ten Cent Store

Mail-Order Companies


Roebuck and Montgomery Ward

Marketing Consumer Goods
self made man

Horatio Alger Myth

Wrote a ton of books on honest, hard-working poor people becoming successful and wealthy.


Richest 10% of US population controlled 9/10 of the nation’s wealth.

“Self-Made Man”
expanding middle class

Growth of corporations led to the growth of white collar jobs

(Accountants, Clerical workers, and salespersons)

Expanding Middle Class
wage earners

1900- Two-Thirds of all working Americans worked for wages, worked 10 hour days, and six days a week.

Tons of workforce = low wages.

David Ricardo- “iron law of wages”

Wage Earners
immigration and work force

1870-1880’s- Mostly England, Ireland, Northern Europe

End of century: Italians, Poles, Russians, Greeks, Slavs, etc…)

Labor Contract Law- Shady business

Immigration and Work Force
women and children

Increased amount of them working.

Needed their income to survive

Extremely low pay for women and children.

Passed child labor laws but were ineffective.

Women and Children

National Labor Union- 1866, first attempt at combining unions.

“Molly Maguries”- Militant labor group that sometimes used terrorist tactics. Bad image for unions.

Knights of Labor- Second national labor union.

1) Worker cooperatives

Abolition of child labor

Abolition of trusts

Lost followers because of the Haymarket riot

great railroad strike of 1877

During an economic depression

Railroad companies cut wages to reduce costs.

Strike from Baltimore to Ohio Railroad began.

500,000 workers joined

President Hayes used federal troops to end the labor violence.

Great Railroad Strike of 1877
haymarket riot

Chicago 80,000 Knights

May Day labor movement to get 8 hour work days.

Held a meeting on May 4th and police tried to break up the meeting.

A bomb was thrown and killed 7 police.

Made the Knights look radical and violent.

Haymarket Riot
american federation of labor afl


25 craft unions

Wanted higher wages and improved working conditions

Grew very big but still lacked major victories until much later.

American Federation of labor (AFL)
homestead strike

Henry Clay Frick, manager for Carnegie’s Homestead Steel plant

1892- Cut wages by 20% which started a strike.

Frick shut the plant down and brought in 300 Pinkertown Detective Guards.

National Guard was sent to put down the strike.

Public turned against the strikers.

Homestead Strike
pullman strike


Pullman Palace Car Company

Pullman Company slashed wages 25%.

Workers went on strike and had the American Railway Union to stop handling Pullman cars/equipment. (Led by Eugene Debs)

Workers of 27 states strike.

Pres Grover Cleveland send federal troops.

Pullman Strike
pullman strike cont

Federal Court ruled and end to the strike.

Debs defied the ruling.

Strikers were jailed and the company brought in new workers.

Pullman Strike cont…