Modern day America is an economic superpower. However, one and a half centuries ago, this was not the case. In the late 1800’s there was a large boom in terms of population and industrialization in the United States. From this stemmed many new technological innovations, innovations which could be applied to the creation of alluring products for the masses. This led to the rise of a prominent American consumer culture, which was a driving force in the great economic growth of the Gilded Age.
The gateway to economic success. In the 1800’s farmers from all around the world started to urbanize. This urbanization was brought upon by the Industrial Revolution. During this time new inventions and ideas were being brought to the table, machines could mass produce and accelerate product production ten times faster than ever. The industrial revolution may sound awful to many people, but it did bring a lot of valuable knowledge to the world.
The steam engine and locomotive had major effects on europian economy, and society. Some were good, and some were bad, as these major technological breakthroughs transformed European Society. Even today economics are present due to the impact peter coopers inventions had back then, which is why they are such big turning points in history. The railroad rapidly spread and quickly improved transportation by making it much faster. The railroad created new jobs, which made people have to move to the cities of london to find work.
As American factories and farms started to produce more goods businessmen and legislators began to create a faster and cheaper way to get goods distributed to consumers. Around 1820, Americans began to build canals and steamboats, railroad, and extend roads linking the Atlantic Coast with new states in the Trans Appalachian west. Canals and Steamboats shrunk the distance of carrying goods from one place to another and could haul the most cargo for transportation. A well-known waterway called the Erie Canal connected the Great Lakes region to the Atlantic Ocean and cost 7 million dollars.
The homestead act helped make this happen, it seemed good at first but after a while the immigrants realized the negatives of the land that they gained outweighed the benefits. The homestead act was passed by congress on May 20,1862. This act was supposed to get people to move to the Great Plains. This act stated that “any citizen of the U.S could claim 160 acres of government land”, however they had to pay a small fee. After paying the homesteaders had to improve their land by living on the land, building a home, and planting crops.
In the late 19th century, America underwent several changes that transformed the American way of life. The American Civil war played a significant role in the process of urbanization and industrialization, the rise of the corporate powers, and an increase in the wealth of rich people. The expansion of America towards the west was one of the significant reasons that contributed towards these changes. It was the time full of opportunities, and many people understood the importance of it. Many industrialists such as Andrew Carnegie made huge amount of money by investing in the steel and expanding the railroads.
While the rise of industry brings many jobs and wealth to American soil, it also brings changes to working class Americans. During this time period, American’s life gone wild by industrialization,
Another downfall to industrialization was the working conditions set forth in factories. Examples in history such as the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire, where several hundred women burned to death after a fire broke out and the doors were locked, went to show that the conditions in factories during that time were more than unacceptable. Incidents such as these really united the workers against “evil” robber barons who apparently didn’t care for the worker’s life but just wanted money and
As cities were growing rapidly in the early 1900’s, businesses booming and railroads being built, the population of American was increasing as well. *Immigrants from Northern and Western Europe fled to America, seeking opportunity. There came a point where when there were so many immigrants, the Geary Act was put into place. Limiting the number of people that could come into America. Although there were many opportunities in America, there were many issues that made fulfillment for many difficult, including poor work and living conditions and unfair wages.
Furthermore, massive immigration from southern and eastern Europe fueled the ongoing challenges. In spite of the deteriorating human, living and working conditions, the giant corporation continues leveraging their profit and able to control the economy
During the period of 1870 to 1900 large corporations, such as the railway company, grew significantly in size, number, and influence. The cause of this was the need for a new way of transportation, the demand was great so the railways expanded all over the United States so that they could meet these demands. These large corporations affected the economy by making it easier to pay for everyday chores, politics in the way that it gave politicians too much power but in doing so gave normal limited power. The corporations had great power and influence which made them a huge impact to society.
How did the booming economy of the 1920’s affect the standard of living of the laboring man and create a new consumer economy? While the Gilded Age proved to be a challenging time for the laboring man by requiring whole families including small children to work long hours for little pay, the 1920’s was a prosperous time for Americans. Not only did wages increase, but a booming economy meant innovation that led to more products being available for consumers. Now that workers were being treated as shoppers, they acquired a purchasing power that heightened the booming American economy. This new found consumerism was steadily increased by new and wide sweeping advertising and the mass distribution of goods through chain stores.
They had to find a way to meet the needs of society and not just what the country wanted. The country around Europe wanted to make as much money as possible but it was at a big cost. William Alexander Abram, “ The Hours of Labor in Factories Act, passed in 1844… the excessive hours of labor have legally reduced to ten hours per day. Wages— thanks mainly to accelerated machinery and improved working conditions— have largely increased.”
When the Baltimore and Ohio railroad opened as the first American railroad, a national revolution began. The opportunities that train travel gave to America allowed large growth from city to city. These railroads were built thanks to the determination of people who believed that they could make America better. The railroads advanced so greatly, they surpassed all of Europe’s systems of transportation. These railroads created ease in everything from transporting merchandise to travel to working out wars.
America began to prosper in the 1920’s because of industrial production being up, wages were rising, and the unemployment rates were low. After World War I America was the world’s leading economic power, because of all the technological changes happening in the industrial companies. Technological changes were happening in many industries, for example Henry Ford began to make his cars on an assembly line, which enabled him to sale more cars and cheaper products. America also had a lot of natural resources, oil being one of them, which is essential in cars. Oil was also very abundant so it sold for cheap prices.