Industrialization after the Civil War

Free «Industrialization after the Civil War» Essay Sample

American Revolution, a Consequent of Democracy


Following the increased radicalization of American civil society from 1776 to 1850, it became necessary to integrate the possible reform in most social, economic and political institutions. Radicalization was exercised by conservative ideologies, which desired to retain norms, such as slavery, classism, racism and traditionalism. However, subsequent liberal ideologies instigated a collective culture of liberalism. In fact, by 1865, liberal ideologies were already gaining influence in the vibrant white-dominated political arena. The southern conservatives were chiefly led by a radical Ku Klux Klan gang opposed to the Northern Liberals and it constrained the desirable American society. The radicalization displaced marginalized groups, and their efforts towards creating an American dream were constrained.

1865-1920 Industrial Aspect

After the conclusion of the American Civil War of 1850, Americans embarked on a collective spirit of national building. Part of this construction agenda integrated dreams of the 1776 American Constitution of economic prosperity for the American people (Kaplan, 2002). As a result, there were critical milestones achieved at a time, and part of these milestones clarifies the sub-thesis statement of this section. Additionally, there was a subsequent shift from agrarian to industrial means of production. These changes, therefore, pioneered the following ethical, social and industrial shifts. These included agrarian protest and populism: Andrew Carnegie and Carnegie’s steel production; John D. Rockefeller and Standard Oil; growth of cities: William Jennings Bryan and rural America; and transportation (the great American street running from Chicago down to Texas and to the west to California, and the Lincoln Highway from New York to San Francisco) (Marshall, 2003, p. 897). The development was also responsible for expansion of national markets and growth of international markets. Additionally, there was a great wave of women’s emancipation, improved child labor, and development of working conditions and social ethics. The legal development, especially labor organization, work ethics and radical fringe of natives was also considered. Additionally, positive reaction to new immigration and adoption of the 14th Amendment were critical milestones tackled at that time. 

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After a close look at these developments, one will notice the heavy presence of the combined geographical, legislative and entrepreneurship contribution towards the development of business, economic and legal structures. In particular, transportation formulated a reliable approach towards achieving proper communication. Notably, most sections of the country were still inaccessible. Transportation was also embarked by introduction of motor vehicles, which replaced trains as interior means of transport. Vehicles were made easily assessable, and by 1908, the basic price of a vehicle had dropped from $850 to $250.

 It meant that regardless of their socioeconomic status Americans could afford a standard lifestyle. Secondly, emancipation of women and consequently realization of children’s rights was the impetus in ensuring that social equality was achieved. Thirdly, subsequent expansion on the legal arena was primarily responsible for instigating laws vital for the development of social, economic and political arena. In particular, the 14th amendment aimed at integrating the marginalized south societies, specifically New Orleans, to the local economy (Kaplan, 2002). It was the final movement against Anglo-French dominion.   

Groups affected by the Industrial Revolution

 Essentially, there were groups, which were greatly affected by the aspect of industrialization. Most of these groups were originally neglected. Before 1850, these groups were heavily neglected, and emancipation was a vital concern. These groups include the black and minority societies, women, children, the impoverished, Chinese and Hispanics (Welke, 2001, p. 17). Following the radical changes of the economy, it became necessary to supply labor to most industries. Additionally, rapid development of American cities required the maximum labor utilization, but by this time, the paid labor was necessary. For this reason, each of the group was affected positively.

Ethnic minority groups, in particular the blacks, Hispanics and Chinese, were given particular labor rights. Jacob (2002, p. 20) adds that labor rights were accompanied with the right to live anywhere, in any city, and the right for interracial marriages was also emphasized. It came in line with opposing racist ideologies, for instance, Ku Klux Klan’s radicalization of one race state. By that time, Ku Klux Klan were engineering the policies, which saw the black people being sent to destitute lands, for instance, Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Caribbean Islands of Trinidad and Tobago. Following the increased industrialization, it was necessary to absorb the industrious black community to the general economy.

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Dale (2003, p. 200) also argues that industrialization was responsible for the development of women’s emancipation. Traditionally, women were relegated to domestic activities of production, nurturing and cooking. This stereotype was primarily responsible for creating a redundant workforce. As a result, the industrial revolutions of 1865-1920 regurgitated women’s emancipation and equality. Women were, therefore, absorbed in the general women. Education was an integral tool to bridge differences between women and men. Women freely competed with men to higher levels of education, and the much-dominated men-corporate world. Therefore, industrialization was an integral part in enabling women to act competitively against men.  

In addition, children’s rights were deeply recognized. Prior to 1865, children were relegated to domestic labor and were kept away from education. It made subsequent American societies to stay below the average literacy rates. The adoption of a vibrant industrial revolution meant that a skilled labor was needed. Education was the only means to achieve it, and taking children to schools proved a reliable option for most households. 


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