The 19th century American Industrial revolution led to significant change in the way of life of the Americans and the world economy at large. Industrialization entails the process in which a society changes from an agricultural bused economy to a manufacturing based economy entity. The change brought about by the industrial revolution touched all aspect of the American life, economical, social or political. This article however seeks to outlines three significant aspect of the Industrial revolution, beside the economic issues from 1865 to 1920. For now, it is more than the economic issues and looks into other facets such as the society and politics. The second part lists at least five groups that were affected by Industrialization together with examples in each category. This part goes on to describe how each group was affected by the transformation. The final part lists five ways that industrialization influenced the life of the Average working American during this era.
After the civil war, there was an upward spiral of steel production brought about by improved technology as a result of industrialization. New technology, such as the Bessemer method was introduced in the steel production process (Parish, 2013). Another important aspect of industrialization was the decreased unemployment rates. There was a growing number of large factories that offered opportunities to the unemployed to work and gain a livelihood (Rees, 2015). Besides, poor had access to increased opportunities that in turn increased the living standards of the average American (Perman & Taylor, 2010). However, as time went by, the gap between the poor and the rich continued to widen slowly giving birth to the concept of social stratification. The economy began to shift and was molded primarily by external factors and cynic intentions. Finally, the industrialization had political repercussions. The political implications of industrialization were the rise of the United States as a world economic supremacy.
Various groups were affected by Industrialization. They include:
Working people/ labor
The labor force was exposed to low pay and forced to work under poor and unsafe conditions (Parish, 2013). This brought about the formation of labor unions and laws to forbid poor working conditions.
Children were forced to work, provide cheap labor thereby missing on education, subjected to unsafe working conditions and mistreatment.
Were exposed to poor living and working conditions as they primarily offered cheap labor
There was an increase in female labor, which was forced to work under stringent conditions.
This group was heavily exploited and was used mainly to provide slave labor.
During the Industrialization period, the life of the average American was altered in many ways.
There was a significant increase in the number of cities, expelling people from the rural areas to the newly formed Centers (Rees, 2015).
Most people were displaced from their land to give way to industrial and agricultural expansion.
Industrialization led to improved transportation and opened up communication between the urban centers and rural areas.
Industrialization leads to increased job opportunities that helped improve the standards of living.
Finally, Industrialization altered the economic and financial structure of the Average Americans (Perman & Taylor, 2010). Many middle class would borrow with the aim of increasing their wealth and financial investments.
In conclusion, it can be seen that the industrial revolution changed every aspect of the society. Cultural practices were eroded, social statuses were born, and the United States became a global Superpower. However, the process was marred with adverse effects such as the abuse of labor and the increased use of child labor. The cycle continues in third world countries where people are paid peanuts to sew clothes for large stores such as Wal-Mart.
Parish, P. J. (2013). Reader’s guide to American history. Routledge.
Perman, M., & Taylor, A. M. (2010). Major problems in the Civil War and Reconstruction: documents and essays. Nelson Education.
Rees, J. (2015). Industrialization and the transformation of American life: a brief introduction. Routledge.