DBQ Period 6- Evaluate The Effects Of Industrialization On U.S. Society In The Years 1865 To 1900 - AP US History - Essay

989 words - 4 pages

Evaluate the effects of industrialization on U.S. society in the years
1865 to 1900
As the Civil War came to an end in 1865, the nation began an era
of Reconstruction to help rebuild America. During Reconstruction, many
small white farmers, thrown into poverty by war, entered into a small-
scale cotton production. The most difficult task confronted by many
Southerners was creating a new labor system to replace slavery. The
nation became more urbanized and shifted the economy’s focus from
agriculture to business. Many cities flourished as the nation
industrialized. The railroad industry sparked industrialization as the
railroad networks facilitated transportation nationwide. The rise of big
business in the North encouraged massive migrations. Changes and
growth of industrialization in the late 19th century had overwhelmingly
negative effects on American society, which included the decline of
working pride, damage to the economy, poverty, and governmental
Large scale production, accompanied by massive technological
changes, expanding communication networks, and pro-business
government policies, fueled the development of the Gilded Age. This
movement emphasized consumption, marketing, and business
consolidation. Government investment for transportation and
communication system opened new markets in America, while
technological innovations and redesigned financial and management
structures such as monopolies sought to maximize the use of natural
resources and growing labor force. Development of machines allowed
mass production of goods. Prices declined due to technological
advancements; agricultural innovations led to reduced food prices;
mining improvements led to reduced fuel and lighting costs; the mass
production of goods reduced the cost of living (Doc. 1). These historical
statistics show how industrial advancements  spurred economic growth,
which decreased the prices of many products.
As a result of the new technological developments and economic
growth, large manufacturing businesses emerged.; These political
machines were primarily owned by robber barons, a new class of very
wealthy businessmen and owners, which consisted of people like
Andrew Carnegie, John Rockefeller and J.P. Morgan. These
businessmen influenced the political system through their wealth (Doc.
3). The cartoon shows the oversized men, who are the owners of the
industries, dressed in moneybags labeled “trusts”, which indicate
monopolies. They are blocking the entrance to the Senate and more of
the oversized men are lined up at the monopolists’ entrance. The satirical
cartoon explains how the government is controlled by big businesses,
leading political changes. Monopolists are wealthy and powerful, and
the trusts’ power controls a big amount of industries. Because of these
governmental influence, the people have no control nor any voice.
The people who owned small industries were ruined by these
major companies. According to George Rice (Doc. 7), he was a vic...

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