Industrialization changed the lives of Americans forever, bringing about complex social and economic changes.
Industrialization in America for kids: Causes and Effects
Industrialization in America started slowly in the early 1800's and exploded in the latter half of the century. A new era of mass production arose in the United States of America due to new inventions and technological innovations. This article provides facts and information about the causes, effects and the impact of Industrialization in the United States of America.
Industrialization in America for kids: After the Civil War
Industrialization grew in the years following the Civil War and the Reconstruction era. Before the Civil War, America was seen as the land of opportunity. Western expansion and the belief in the Manifest Destiny of America encouraged people to have the courage to move to new, undeveloped lands and acquire property enabling them to build a new life. Industrialization enabled Americans to establish a life without the necessity of moving their families thousands of miles to unknown territory.
Industrialization in America for kids: Causes and Effects
Many factors made Industrialization in America possible including the nation's Natural Resources, the New Transportation Systems, Mechanization and the economic system of Free Enterprise and Laissez-Faire. Great wealth was accumulated due to the Mines and the Mining Industry and the establishment of Factories and the Factory System. Industrialization in America saw the creation of massive Corporations and Companies and the emergence of the entrepreneurs referred to as the Robber Barons and Captains of Industry. Worker Exploitation also resulted from the Industrialization in America including Child Labor, the Depersonalization of Workers, Immigrant Labor which led to Riots, Strikes and the emergence of Labor Unions.
Industrialization in America for kids: The First Industrial Revolution
The Industrialization of the United States was made possible by the inventors and incredible inventions of the early 1800's of the first Industrial Revolution, and the first period of Industrialization, revolutionized the nation in relation to textiles, iron and steam engine technology. The great inventions of the First Industrial Revolution were the Cotton Gin, McCormick Reaper, the Grain Elevators and the Telegraph & Morse Code. New Transportation systems were introduced with the Steamboats of the 1800's, the Erie Canal and the Railroads.
Industrialization in America for kids: The Second Industrial Revolution
The Second Industrial Revolution, and the second period of Industrialization, occured in the latter half of the 19th century when steam power was replaced by electric power and iron was replaced by steel. The great inventions of the Second Industrial Revolution were the Electric Lights, Steel Mills, Refrigerators, Washing Machines, Telephones, Skyscrapers, Elevators, the Phonograph and Motion Pictures. New, faster Transportation systems were introduced with the invention of the Diesel Engine, the Automobile and the Airplane and the discovery of oil and the production of petrol. The new technology and inventions of the American Industrial Revolution and the mechanization of industry, transformed the United States from an agricultural to an industrial society.
Industrialization in America for kids: Natural Resources
The success of the Industrialization of the United States was also made possible by the abundance of natural resources in the United States. The natural resources included timber, coal, copper and iron and were in such great supply that there were no costs associated with imports.
Industrialization in America: New Transportation Systems
The advances in transportation systems made it easier for workers to reach and settle in the areas containing these rich natural resources, easier to transport the products and helped to accelerate industrialization of America.
Effect and Impact of Industrialization in America: Mechanization
During the period of Industrialization the process of mechanization in the factories not only reduced the number of workers required but also allowed skilled workers to be replaced by semi-skilled or completely unskilled workers.
Industrialization in America: Free Enterprise and Laissez-Faire
The economic system of Free enterprise and free trade operated in the United States by which private businesses operated in competition and largely free of state control. The economic system that encouraged Free Enterprise, combined with the concept of 'Laissez-Faire' accelerated US industrialization still further and sometimes led to unfair business practices. The concept of Laissez-faire economics relied on supply and demand, rather than government intervention, to regulate prices and wages. It also led to support of Social Darwinism in America.
Industrialization in America: Mines and the Mining Industry
Industrialization and the modernization in technology had an overwhelming effect on the development of mines and the mining industry. Miners were employed for the mining of coal, copper iron, gold, and silver. Technological advances and the new machine-tool industry provided new drilling machines and sped up the process of Industrialization. The working conditions of the miners were appalling. Miners worked in dark, badly ventilated and wet tunnels with a vast number of hazards to deal with. The dangerous working conditions led to numerous strikes for better wages, improved working conditions, safety regulations and shorter hours. The exploitation and mis-management of natural resources also gave rise to the Conservation Movement.
Industrialization in America for kids: Factories and the Factory System
Industrialization led to the development of large new forms of business enterprise that involved the use of power-driven machinery to produce products and goods. The machinery was grouped together in factories. The factory system used large buildings that housed labor saving machinery to manufacture goods made from raw materials on a large scale. The factory system involved the use of machinery, unskilled labor and repetitive work. Labor laws had not been introduced, it was common to work 12 hours a day, six days a week for an average pay of 20 cents per hour in most factories. Women were paid almost a quarter of what men made and child labor played a major part of the factory system during the Industrialization of America. For additional facts refer to the History of Urbanization in America
Effect and Impact of Industrialization in America: The Corporations and Companies
The first factories were financed by individuals or business partnerships but then a new form of business enterprise became prominent - the corporation. Money and greed drove the leading Industrialists during the period of Industrialization. A profound lack of government regulation gave rise to new forms of ruthless corporations and companies headed by many of the 'Robber Barons'. Employees suffered poor and often dangerous working conditions, long working hours and wage cuts. For additional facts and info refer to the Rise of Big Business and Corporations involving the monopolies and trusts and their practices that led to Riots, Strikes and Unions.
Effect and Impact of Industrialization in America: Entrepreneurs - Robber Barons and Captains of Industry
Although the vast majority of Americans suffered during the years of the depression a select minority prospered. These powerful, wealthy industrialists became known as the Robber Barons. The Robber Barons lived in wealth and luxury and their opulent lifestyles contrasted with the poor living conditions of the vast majority of Americans during the Industrialization of America. The Captains of Industry were the entrepreneurs who made a positive contribution to the nation. The Robber Barons were unscrupulous and ruthless.
Industrialization in America: The Panic of 1873
The Panic of 1873 was a serious economic crisis that led to a hard hitting depression. There were high rates of unemployment, poverty and destitution that led to protests by workers that led to riots, strikes and civil unrest during the Industrialization of America..
Effect and Impact of Industrialization in America: Child Labor
During the period of Industrialization child labor was the norm - refer to 1800's Child Labor. Children as young as seven worked in every industry for up to 12 hours per day and made up 20% of the workforce. Their parents had no choice to send them to work as their meager wages helped to support the families. Children were deprived of an education and entered the spiral of poverty from which there was no escape for unskilled and uneducated workers.
Effect and Impact of Industrialization in America: Depersonalization of Workers
Industrialization in America also brought the depersonalization of workers. The size of factories were continuously expanding and as the workforce increased so the workers became just numbers. Labor relations between workers and management became increasingly impersonal and 'trouble makers' or complainers could be easily replaced.
Effect and Impact of Industrialization in America: Immigrant Labor
During the period of Industrialization in America there was a massive influx of immigrants. The Potato famine in Ireland alone brought one million Irish immigrants to America. Similar famines in countries like China, and the desperate need for a better life, drove other immigrants to the United States. The new immigrants were subjected to discrimination and prejudice - they were competing for jobs with Americans and accepted lower wages. Between 1870 and 1900 nearly 12 million immigrants arrived in the United States. The language barrier made it difficult for the workers to organize unions - for more facts refer to US Immigration Laws History and Old Immigrants vs New Immigrants.
Effect and Impact of Industrialization in America: Riots, Strikes and Unions
The effect and impact of Industrialization brought about considerable unrest in the United States during the Industrial Revolution. The issues of worker's rights and working conditions brought about strikes, riots and the emergence of the Unions. For additional facts refer to US Labor Unions History and Inventions in the 1920's.