The Industrial Boom
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In the United States in 1860, the county and people mainly depended on farming rather than industrializing like other nations such as Great Britain. Not only did they depend of farming but since there were not many cities, most people lived in small towns. It took the U.S. a lot longer to industrialize because at the time it was a lot more profitable to farm since there was plenty of cheap labor from slaves. Before one would know it, the United States was the greatest industrial nation. Cities began to grow rapidly because of many different reasons. From 1860-1900 many factors helped to promote America’s huge industrial growth such as the abolishment of slavery, Immigrants, New technology, increase in the production of crops and the freed slaves.
One of the many reasons for the growth of industrialization was the abolition of slavery. This impacted the growth because not only did the freed southern blacks leave the south to try and escape persecution, but they also left for job opportunities which were rising with the rise of factories. The blacks were a source of cheap labor for factory owners. Since African Americans needed jobs, they went for anything they could get and the factory owners knew this, so they could pay them as little as they wanted. Not only were blacks a source of cheap labor but immigrants as well came to America for opportunity. They too needed jobs and worked in factories for very little pay and worked in unsanitary dirty conditions. An example of the immigration growth in the U.S. is shown in document six where it is shown that as the decades past, immigration rate was going higher and higher.
The southern farmers now left with no cheap labor found it much more costly to have to pay workers to work the land and now were left with not as much money. This made them want to leave to work in the factories in the north as well. In addition to this there was an increase in the production of crops which led to a decrease in the amount of money left for the farmers because of the technological advanced in farming. As shown in document 5, the pie graph shows how the water and coal power from 1850-1900 increased greatly and went from 35% to 73% because of technological advances. All of these reasons made industry grow because people keep buying new technology, and leaving the south for jobs in the big cities.
Technology played a great role in the industrialization of the United States. As new advances were made, it left more room and more opportunity for jobs for the common man. An example of one of the technological advances was the railroad. As seen in document two, the amount of miles of the railroad track increased as the years passed which led to more transportation of goods and to sell materials that you need. Although machines helped a lot in the growth of industrialization, they also took place of human labor. A farmer who would usually have to work the land by hand now had many machines that could easily do it for him. In document one it shows how this would cut labor costs and make factories a lot more efficient since machines worked faster and there was also less room for error. More examples of the increase of technology are seen in document seven where Carnegie who owned a steel company created the Bessemer process which changed iron into steel. Although he had a monopoly and controlled all steel exchange, this still showed an increase in the technological advances that took place during industrialization.
Other reasons for the industrial growth of America were because the republicans from the North were in control of the presidency during most of the time from 1860-1900. This is seen in document four where it shows that they had most of the control and that the south didn’t. Since the republicans had more presidents that were republican they were able to do more and have more of the things that they wanted rather than the things that the south wanted. One of the things that the Northern Republicans did was, in document three; they taxed goods coming into the U.S. Although the south didn’t like the idea because they would have to pay more and they could only get it from the north and because foreign countries wouldn’t buy anything from them anymore, the north still imposed this tax.
Although there were many other reasons for the industrial growth of the United States during this time period. The ones stated were the main reasons for it. New technology helped to advance factories and took away human labor. There was also cheap labor which led to increase of cities and jobs in factories which cause many people to move to the north in search of opportunity, such as immigrants, poor white southerners, and freed African Americans. In conclusion, these were all of the factors that helped to promote America’s huge industrial growth during the period from 1860 to 1900.