The Industrial Revolution
Table of Contents
- Causes of the Industrial Revolution after the Civil War
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- Conditions of Working Class People in the Late 19th Century
- The Populist Movement
- Comparison of the Progressives and the Populists
- Violence and Cultural Conflict and its Impact on the Ethos of the West
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Causes of the Industrial Revolution after the Civil War
The Industrial revolution occurred between 1870 and 1914. The newly acquired territories provided abundant natural resources that attracted numerous companies. There appeared an expanded market for manufactured products. Labor in most manufacturing factories was provided by European immigrants and emancipated slaves from the West and the North. Moreover, there was capital for investment. The federal government supported both industrial and agricultural development. It also enacted high tariffs to protect local companies from competition from the foreign ones. The federal government gave the railroad business a piece of land for development. However, the army forcibly removed Indians from the lands which were then desired by the mining companies and farmers. Andrew Carnegie was an industrialist who established a steel company that contributed greatly to the industrial revolution. The factories operated nonstop with long working hours. The steel company had control over all phases of businesses such as raw materials, transportation, and distribution (Jennifer et al. 182).
Impact of the Industrial Revolution on City Life at the turn of the 20th Century
According to Jennifer, Cornell and O’Donnell industrial revolution resulted in an improved and innovative transport system (225). Thus, roads, railroads and steamboats could easily access isolated places. Invention of both the telegraph and the telephone led to instant communication. There was a transformation in the mode of shopping since consumers had a variety of products with standard prices. Shortage in housing resulted in poor sanitation. In addition, there were high rates of crimes in the cities due to the increased number of people. The gap between the rich and the poor widened because factory workers were given low wages. Alcoholism became common in most places, and corporative emerged in the cities.
Conditions of Working Class People in the Late 19th Century
Industrial revolution resulted in most people moving into urban areas and settling close to factories. They experienced harsh working and living conditions compared to the rural life. Factories and mines were crowded and dirty. The life expectancy of workers in companies reduced compared to those outside the manufacturing centers. Most workers stayed in slums with worse living conditions. The slums were characterized by standardized housing and overcrowding. In addition, the sewage system was poor. Most workplaces applied new technologies that had been invented during the industrial revolution. Workers in the industries had no right of determining their working hours and their wages. Their employers exploited them. In addition, children worked together with adults and were given minimal pay. There were many cases of death and work related injuries. There were no working benefits which include time-offs, insurance and bonuses to the workers. Poor working conditions resulted in the labor movement.
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The Populist Movement
The populism was a movement that arose from the agrarian unrest due to the low prices of agricultural products in the South in 1891. The movement aimed to unite all people to improve living conditions of low-income earners and those of the farmers. The movement arose due to farming competition. The farmers had debts in the banks and the railroad companies. Thus, it was organized to protect their families and occupations. They were considered to be of low class and powerless in nature. The populist movement was famous among the poor citizens, cotton farmers in the South and wheat farmers in Kansas and Nebraska. During this time, masses rose to support the development and advancement of low class. Populists supported the growth of agrianism and the hostility to the elite. They advocated for both political and democratic reforms. They wanted political amendments where senators were to be elected by the people. Democratic reforms included the citizens determining the topics for debates in the legislators. Thus, the citizens could vote for a bill. In addition, they advocated for one term presidency and secret ballot. They wanted a graduated income tax (Jennifer et al. 230).
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Comparison of the Progressives and the Populists
The Progressive movement began as a social one, but grew to become a political movement between 1890 and 1914 (Jennifer et al. 235). The progressives consisted of upper and middle class people who performed charitable acts while populist movement was made up of low class people and farmers. Progressives aimed at reformation through the courts and legislation while the populists used group actions and masses. They believed problems in the society could be solved with the provision of good education, efficient working conditions and safe environment. Thus, they believed the government was responsible for changes in the society. It resulted in the reformation of movements that restricted voting rights. Progressives became influential in the White House when Theodore Roosevelt became the President. Both populists and progressives advocated for equality and equal distribution of opportunities.
Violence and Cultural Conflict and its Impact on the Ethos of the West
Culture forms the belief system and perceptions of a human being. It guides behavior and formulates an understanding. Groups and communities are established based on cultural variations. The cultural differences are caused by beliefs, personal values and religion of the groups. The latter may turn against one another that results in the eruption of violence. Cultural conflicts and violence are caused by a clash of different cultural beliefs and cultural violence. They occur when the expectations of the people in the society concerning certain cultural behavior are not fulfilled. Cultural conflicts bring about discrimination, exclusion and segregation. Moreover, they may result in injuries, psychological harm, deprivation and death of people. For instance, during the war on the Great Plains between 1862 and 1890, many Indians were killed, and some of them became refugees in Canada, where they knew they could not be molested (Jennifer et al. 365).