The Industrial Revolution was a very busy time for American society. The economy was kicking off and the life of each person who lived here would change. The entrepreneurs were starting there businesses and big corporations were beginning to form. The railroads were being laid and the engines were being fueled by natural resources.
There were wealthy families springing up, such as the Rockefellers and the Carnegies. Life was beginning to boom again after the long and tedious war they had just fought. The American people were slowly beginning to start the climb out of the hole they were in. Life would change in just about every way.
One of the biggest things that came out of the Industrial Revolution was the increase in the economy. One thing that helped the country progress was the vast variety of natural resources they have. We have coal in the mines on the east coat and timber from the forests in the west. The railroads were another contributing factor because they made it much easier to acquire and transport these resources all over the country. Factories started to produce more because of the abundance of supplies.
The textile mills and factories were now hiring and people were flooding into the cities for those jobs. With all the new technology, farms were becoming mechanized and the farmers needed to move into the city to find better jobs. Also, the immigrants from other countries were a strong population in the work force. They were willing to work for low wages for long hours. Women and children also worked for their low wage. The children put their lives at risk while working these dangerous jobs in the factory setting. The creation of the assembly line sped up production but made their lives boring and dreadful.
These people were usually poor and just getting by. They lived in crowded apartments that were not sanitary at all .Their lives were terrible. One good thing they had was easy access to clothing supplies they needed because of the mass production from the factories. These workers made labor unions because they were treated unfairly. This workers didn’t just sit back and let the boss run things. They started strikes and riots for higher wages and better working condition.
Another thing that come out of the Industrial Revolution that changed a lot of lives was the dawn of big business in America. Until the mid-nineteenth, most of the businesses were owned and operated by families or one person. Those businesses were often held back by the fact that they could only invest so much into their own business.
Big business began to spring up due to the fact that the railroads provided the raw materials again and they allowed people from all over the country to invest and buy their products. The railroads also made it possible to run large plants all through out the country. Another thing that helped with that was the invention of telegraphs. This things led the business leaders to combine their funds and resources.
They called these groups of businesses corporations. Many different people invested in these corporations to take advantage of the expanding markets that spread across the country. The good thing about these corporations was that if the corporation experienced any kind of economic trouble then the investor would only lose as much as he put in to it. If someone wanted to leave the group then someone else could buy their investments so there was no real loss for the group as a whole.
These corporations helped the industries of mining and railroads a great deal because they depended on them for natural resources for their products. They also had their own rights.
They were just the same as any individual rights. They could buy and sell property and they could also sue in the court of law. These groups had large amounts capital and they often funded new technologies and scientific experiments, much like J.P. Morgan. Some corporations tried to make a monopoly or gain complete control of a product or service. They would buy out the competition or drive them out of business. These businesses were another thing that got America noticed by the other powers of the world.
Some of the most notable people from the era were John Rockefeller, Andrew Carnegie, Cornelius Vanderbilt. They all had their hands deep in the pockets of corporations and business. Rockefeller was involved with oil. Vanderbilt was involved with the railroads.
These men become very wealthy and the line between rich and poor was drawn quickly. They built giant mansion for themselves and their families to live in while the poor people had to live in horrible tenements. There was no sense of spreading the wealth and no one was doing anything about it. The rich got richer and the poor got poorer.
The Industrial Revolution touched every aspect of life. Whether you were a poor factory worker or a big business man, you were proud of the country and the way it pulled itself back together again. Many good things came from it along with the bad. The light bulb, the telephone, and the safety elevator were some that we still use even today. This era was important because America was finally becoming the successful powerhouse is was born to be and the lives of Americans would improve greatly.