Industrialization After the Civil War – Essay

The economic strength between 1865 and 1920 in the Northern parts of America is attributed to industrialization. Many people in the North used the capital gained during Civil War to build new industries and factories. Further growth was spurred by abundant natural resources, high rates of foreign investment, and a strong government (Sample, 2010). The United States government came up with policies to protect local industries from external competition. Industrialization that took place in the United States between 1865 and 1920 resulted into both positive and negative impacts on the nation (The Palmetto Program, 2015). This paper analyzes the major aspects of industrialization between 1865 and 1920 that influenced the United States society, economy, and politics. It also explains how the United States moved forward to a better nation after the Civil War.

The three major aspects of industrialization between 1865 and 1920 that influenced the United States society, economy, and politics include immigration, urbanization, and unions. Industrialization in the United States between 1865 and 1920 was characterized by rapid growth of cities or urbanization. Many factories were located in the urban areas which provided residence to the workers. As more factories were built, more and more workers migrated to the cities to look for jobs (Lamoreaux, 2010). By 1860, the number of Americans living in the urban areas was larger than their population in rural areas. Urbanization brought about significant changes to the United States society, economy, and politics. For example, the initially united American society began to divide in terms of economic classes where three different economic groups were formed: the wealthy, the middle class, and the poor. In addition, urbanization caused overcrowding in American cities accompanied by unsanitary living conditions. Urbanization also offered new job opportunities for people from diverse cultural groups, as well as corrupt city politics (The Palmetto Program, 2015).

The rapid growth of factories and industries between 1865 and 1920 led to an increased demand for labor. The labor demand by industries was satisfied by immigration with majority of immigrant entering the United States from Northern and Eastern Europe. These immigrants came to the United States in search of greater economic opportunities (Lamoreaux, 2010). Like urbanization, immigration influenced the United States society, economy, and politics. Due to immigration, the American society became more ethnically and culturally diverse because the immigrants were from different ethnic and cultural backgrounds (Sample, 2010). In addition, the immigrants provided labor to factories enabling them to make more money. As the wealth of large industries continued to grow, their political powers also grew. Again, the government came up with policies to allow all immigrants to be accommodated in the country. For example, the Homestead Act of 1862 and the Railway Act were formulated to help bring more settlers to America. Formation of labor unions is one of the major aspects of industrialization between 1865 and 1920 that influenced the United States society, economy, and politics. Labor unions were formed in order to take care of the interest of workers. For example, the American Federation of Labor and Knights of Labor were formed. Both politicians and businesses responded positively to the formed unions. The society was influenced by these unions in the sense that, violence erupted from many labor events. The labor unions however encouraged people to work hard and get more money (The Palmetto Program, 2015).

The three specific groups that were affected by industrialization between 1865 and 1920 include the Immigrants, Farmers, and Middle and Lower Class Workers. Due to industrialization, the immigrants, farmers, and the middle and lower class workers were compelled to adapt to the situation but with a lot of difficulties. For example, immigrants were forced to provide cheap labor to the new factories and industries. Additionally, immigrants had to bear the problem of poor living conditions that resulted from congestion. Farmers in the United States were greatly affected by industrialization (The Palmetto Program, 2015). For example, most of the farmers were forced off their and crops. Moreover, they had to migrate to smaller land areas to create space for the new settlers. The United States Army engaged in continuous battled with the farmers to force them off their land. By 1890, all agricultural land had been occupied by the settlers. The middle and lower class workers were paid very little wages and they worked overnight until the job was complete (Lamoreaux, 2010).

Industrialization affected the life of the average working American between 1865 and 1920 by exposing them to poor working conditions. The working conditions of the average working American were unpleasant due small space, the nature of work, and long working hours. The workers were made to work late until all the work was complete. Industrialization also exposed the average working American to poor living conditions which resulted from congestion and poor sanitation (Sample, 2010). Industrialization eliminated the concept of competition in the United States. These eliminations increased child labor and women discrimination in the workplace. Ideally, industrialization after the Civil War influenced the United States economy, society, and politics both positively and negatively.



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