Industrialization after the Civil War

Document Type:Essay

Subject Area:History

Document 1

This Industrial change was the beginning of a long journey for American society and it affected the various groups and workers differently as they were adapting to the change. This paper takes into consideration the events that took place after the Civil war and discusses the ways in which Industrialization affected the US between 1865 and 1920. It is widely accepted that the US became a much more industrialized society during this period when industrialization improved American life in many ways. The three major aspects of industrialization between 1865 and 1920are addressed. The paper then identifies and elaborates more on three specific groups that were affected by industrialization and concludes by providing two examples of how each of two groups were affected by industrialization while portraying how each group was affected.

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Bankers as well as investors were on hand to provide the much needed massive capital needed to grow and expand businesses. • Social. Industrialization affected the social life of Americans as it was centered on the big cities and it brought with it child labor, gender inequality and racism. It also led to urbanization as many people moved to urban areas to seek jobs hence the evolution of urban areas like Boston and New York. This led to a huge gap between the rich and the poor which then led to the rise of reform movements as discontent began to grow. Immigrants (1) After the war many people went west. The south had been ruined by war and African Americans went west to look for factory jobs but there were those who hoped that by heading west of the Mississippi they would be less discriminated against.

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The Homestead Act of 1862 stated that one could own land by living on it and improving it. Immigrants were forced to live in bad conditions in the slums. (2) The immigrants were always discriminated by the native workers who resented them for willing to work for lower wages. ii) Women faced with gender discrimination as they were being paid half or a third of the wages given to a male worker. Furthermore in most states women were only allowed to vote in local but not in state elections. Children (1) Child labor was exploited; children had to work in factories where they worked for long hours for fewer wage or no wages at all. Those from poor families had to content with inadequate sanitation that led to diseases.

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(2) Children missed out schooling as they had to work in the factories. Factory disasters Workers were often faced with bad working conditions which caused disasters in factories. Take for example the Triangle shirtwaist Fire in 1911 which killed 145 workers (Hilda, 2011). The laborers had no place to air their grievances and when the trade unions formed in the south they were characterized by a strict white’s only policy. Workers Unions The workers had to join trade unions since they did not have bargaining powers as individuals; Unions helped them to hold strikes. Reforms were geared towards reducing poverty, improving the living standards of the underprivileged and to control or regulate the effect of the big business players who thrived on monopoly and corruption to stay in control.

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