Popular in American History Since 1865
Popular in History
This 5 page Class Notes was uploaded by Carina Sauter on Monday February 1, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to HIST 2112 at University of Georgia taught by Dr. Rohrer in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 11 views. For similar materials see American History Since 1865 in History at University of Georgia.
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Date Created: 02/01/16
Industrialism and the Rise of Big Business: 1865-1915 I. “Industrialization” – the most important development in US history after Reconstruction • definition: the period of social and economic change that transforms a human group from an agrarian (agricultural) society to an industrial society • branch of modernization • interested in large scale energy • “modernity” was “industrial at the time” but not now • started decades before civil war • main chunk was between the civil war and WWI • Industrialization in our daily lives – Standardized time and implementation of time zones o pre 19 century – sun was matter of time § time kept by individual communities o no standardized time § scheduling appointments, railroads, shipments were difficult o 1883: creation of time zones set by railroad companies § showed how influential companies are at this time § one step closer to modernity, one step away from community central society II. American Industrialization • 1860’s-1920 • occurred many decades before civil war • European nations (Great Britain and Germany) were much more industrial than us o Top two nations in the world o Look up and idolize these nations o 1820-1830: on the right track to be world leaders – mass production, standardization, etc. • Cotton gin o Invented by Eli Whitney in 1793 o Easily/quickly separate seeds faster than manually o 55 pounds of clean cotton per day by 189- o engine cleans cotton o jump start first major industry: textiles o Southern Cotton Belt § Used to be heavily done by slaves § Ship cotton to Northeast § Cheap to produce § Women in Northeast worked in factories • 1860’s: typical industry was small – a lot of hand work o small market within communities o lacking capital for business expansion • Late 1800’s: o Machines start to replace humans th • 19 century: o Railroads – move to larger communities § More products across network of railroads th • Late 19 century: o Consumer based societies: making things in large quantities that the consumers want o Investors/bankers give money to allow businesses to expand industry III. Seven Necessary Ingredients for Industrialization to Thrive • Need necessary combinations of ingredients • Technological developments o Invention of cotton gin o Development of interchangeable parts – help textile growth o Bessemer process § Removes impurities from iron by oxidation; blows air through the molten (liquefied) iron which removes gases and carbon § First relatively inexpensive for mass production of liquefied iron to make steel § Revolutionized steel manufacturing § Low cost, high speed § Steel: building block of America – products of modern America o Railroad rails o Skyscrapers o Massive bridges o Ships for navy • Rich friends and investors o Industrialists need friends to sponsor their businesses and get them started • Railroads o Transports raw materials (timber etc.) from rural country to cities o Transformed into finished products o More finished goods o 19 century: Railroad travel is key o by 1890: well developed network § frontier had closed at this time o become more industhialized and consumer based o beginning of 19 century: 15 mph average o end of 19 century: high of 70 mph • Access to resources and raw materials o Fuel factories, mills and other businesses § Coal (fuelth o 19 century: not thinking of being green • Cheap labor o European immigration was huge § Hungry for any job with any wage and conditions § Immigrants: th o Early 19 century: Western Europe o End of 19 century: South, East, Central Europe o Competition for jobs § Factories and industrialists take advantage o Supply and demand – competing for any wage • Corporate Business Techniques o New academic business subfields § Ex. Management o Business schools and colleges o Terry was founded in 1912 o Incentive to have efficient business o Not very friendly to workers § Industrialists adopted monopolies, trusts and price fixing o 3 things together made economy concentrated environment o major profit went to big guys (CEO’s, managers, etc.) = concentrated wealth • Pro-Business Federal Government o Business friendly o Industrialists looking for best opportunity § Benefit them, hurt workers o Suck up to government o Rich industrialists encouraged congressmen to not regulate business world – want to remain strong § Did not want to redistribute wealth with taxes o Laissez-Faire economics/capitalism § Policy/attitude to let things take their own course without government interference § Disallow government to get in the way o Republican part currently dominating government § Supreme court filled with republican conservatism § Pro-American industry, business, free labor, laissez-faire § Supreme court case o Sante-Claire country VS Southern Pacific Railroad (1886) • Supreme Court determined corporations are individuals • 14 amendment grants citizenship – equal protection to natural born persons in US • What is a person? – Supreme Court determines corporations are American citizens with constitutionally protected rights • Hard to control corporations by any government • = more power to industrialists IV. Brief Assessment of Industrialization: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly • Pros: o Consumers had much to gain § Goods are more accessible and cheaper o Create millions of new jobs § Immigrants fleeing from bad conditions in Europe o Propel US to community of world powers § End of 19 century: US is approaching power of Great Britain and Germany • Cons: o Creating conditions with concentrated wealth § Working class live basic lives or poverty stricken lives compared to amazingly rich independent families – poverty gap o Little regulation with large corporations § Low wages § Poor/dangerous conditions § Child labor o Industrial cities § NYC, Detroit, Pittsburg (“Smoking City”, “Hell with the Lid Off”) o Pollution and sewage problems • Typhoid fever • Dirty buildings • Generally dark outside V. The Era’s Great Industrialists – “Robber Barons” • Criticized because of their treatment of employees • Ruthless tactics with competition • Highly ambitious and competitively savvy • Andrew Carnegie o Steel o From the North o Scottish immigrant with poor childhood: rags to riches o Started with small Pittsburg steel mill o 1892: Carnegie Steel Corporation o undercut competition o low wages o crush employees attempting to unionize o break strikes and exploited employees o incredibly rich by 1900 § produced more steel than all factories in Great Britain o huge because Great Britain was so industrialized o sold company to JP Morgan and enjoyed life as philanthropist § gives $350 million away in lifetime • John D. Rockefeller o Oil o From the North o One of the richest industrialists in his era o Founder of Standard Oil Company in 1870 § Exxon and Mobile today o Oil used for heating, lighting, homes, lubrication of factory tools such as steel engine o Born into modest circumstances o 1880: Rockefeller controlled 90% of US oil refineries and pipe lines § dominant monopoly o complete control over product/service o little competition because he dictated prices § government is in the palm of his hand o supreme court can’t stand up to him § cartoonists call for greater regulation • Cornelius Vanderbilt o From the North o Railroads o Early wealth is shipping business, then moves to railroads o By 1860’s: major railroad industry o NY central and Hudson River Railroad § First great railroad network • James Buchanan Duke o Tobacco o From NC o From the South • William A. Clark o Copper o Mining and railroads o From the West VI. The Gilded Age – Late 1880’s-1890’s • American’s ambivalence about “Robber Barons” o Is industrialization a threat to democracy? o Is industrialization a threat to free enterprise? o Is industrialization a threat to jobs? o Is it worth the cost?
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