Industrialization of the 19th Century in America
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Over the course of time, the country of America has changed in many ways. Towards the end of the 19th century, a significant change took place in the fundamental structure of the economy. That change was industrialization. During this time period, the United States of America changed from a large, agricultural country, to an urban industrial society. The process of industrialization began to take place in America, and eventually took over the economy during this period. Entrepreneurs and inventors put together various machines and businesses to help better the country function on a day-to-day basis. The advantages that industrialization did for America speak for themselves. From industrialization came the urban movement, known as urbanization. Through urbanization, the country was able to flourish and a boost of overall income in the country took place. The urbanization movement was a direct result of the inventions and innovations that took place during this time period. Also, the economy and technological advances in America were tremendous.
There were plenty of positives that industrialization brought to the table, but it also brought some negatives. The entrepreneurs definitely benefited from industrialization and were rewarded significantly with money. The people that took advantage of this “boom” pretty much have taken what the entrepreneurs did for granted. Some other negative results of industrialization were the assortment of social and political problems that surfaced as a result of industrialization. I would say that the good things outweighed the bad things in terms of industrialization and that this movement in the late 19th century is very similar to the globalization movement that is going on today. Industrialization led to urbanization and the boost in overall income and technology of the country, while entrepreneurs were basically taken for granted and political problems were prevalent in the country more than ever.
Industrialization was a very big part of the development of the United States of America. Society constantly is changing, but during this period, society changed significantly. The industrialization movement was on the rise in the late 19th century and the entrepreneurs and innovators that grasped the concept of industrializing the economy really helped to better society. So many different inventions came from industrialization, like cars, trains and the boom of factories. More importantly, the inventions of mass transit led to urban growth. “The list of cities of the late-nineteenth- and earliest-twentieth-century America grew as populations flocked to the centers of industrial activity”, (Hughes & Cain, 2011, p. 355). People were moving out of the rural areas, into the urban areas. This movement was also doable because of the inventions of mass transit.
Public transportation to the urban areas helped to produce these suburbs. People were able to go to and fro with ease, leading to the expansion of America. Also, the industrialization movement led to the growth of the economy in America. The boost of the economy helped to the opportunity for inventors and entrepreneurs to develop their creations. For example, “improvements in agricultural machinery, steam threshing ,and better reapers and harvesters kept agricultural machinery a growing industry as the Midwest wheat and corn economy expanded”, (Hughes & Cain, 2011, p. 347).
There were also some negatives that came about from industrialization. As was stated earlier, entrepreneurs were rewarded the most during this time period, but most people have taken them for granted. In the textbook, it says, “Since successful entrepreneurs tended to be famous and wealthy, they were the butt of acid commentary and ridicule. Today their descendants are venerated,” (Hughes & Cain, 2011, p. 356). It is a shame that most people that are successful are looked at differently and in most cases, like criminals. Just because they are successful does not mean they are bad people.
Another negative impact that industrialization led to was the impact it had on the social and political issues that resulted. A bunch of factories were built in a short period of time, and done so without any knowledge of the type of air pollution that would result from the factories. It has been proven that the steel, sulfur and other various factories produce some sort of smog into the air and can cause harm to the environment. In terms of politics, the immigrants coming over from other counties were taking the jobs that should have been to the Americans that already lived in the country. More and more people moved to America and jobs started to become scarce.
In my opinion, I would have to say that the good benefits outweighed the bad in terms of industrialization. The country definitely benefited more from the industrial revolution than it regressed. Society improved and there were so many more opportunities available to the people of America. There are a ton of similarities that the industrial revolution of the late 19th century and the 21st century globalization that we are personally experiencing now. Today, technology is all around us and it helps us to simplify everyday tasks. The country of America went through a big technological change in the 19th century as well, which played a big part in the industrialization of the country. The globalization that is taking place right now is also significantly impacted by the technology that is out there.
If the technological advances that took place back then did not happen, we would not be where we are at today in terms of technology. The globalization age that has happened today has significantly brought down the industrial sector of the United States. Most jobs that were once done in America back in the industrial revolution have been outsourced to other countries. During both time periods, America emphasized becoming more global and involved with other countries. There are also some contrasts between these two time periods. There was much more of advancement in technology today than back then. Also, there were a lot more significant inventions done during the industrialization time period than during the globalization age.
The late 19th century was a significant time period in the United States. Industrialization was one of the major reasons that this time period was so significant. There were positives and negatives of the industrial revolution, but I have to say that the positives definitely outweighed the negatives. The country flourished and developed significantly from industrialization. Society was able to take advantage of the benefits industrialization brought to the country. The nation was just beginning and the industrial boom helped to accelerate the development of America’s economy. The industrialization of the late 19th century compared and contrasted with the globalization we are facing today in the 21st century. There are similarities with the development of technology and the reliance thereof, but they contrast with the amount of significant inventions and advancement of technology. Although people took the great entrepreneurs and their inventions for granted, as well as creating social and political issues, the boost in the overall economy of America and development of urbanization from industrialization superseded all those.
Hughes, J., & Cain, L. (2011). American Economic History. Pearson Education.