American Industrial Revolution Essay

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After the Civil War, the American Industrial Revolution made the Americans the most industrialized people in the world. This economic phenomenon was unprecedented in history. There were several factors that led the American economic prowess and prosperity. The Americans were blessed with natural resources. A liberal immigration policy insured a steady work force. Yet, the most important factors were technological innovation and entrepreneurial ability. In the early years of the American Industrial Revolution, the majority of the population lived on farms. Americans exported agricultural products like cotton and wheat, and imported most of the manufactured products they used. During the War of 1812 however, the supply of most of the imported…show more content…
Carnegie built Pittsburgh’s Carnegie Steel Company and became the second-richest man in the country. In 1888 Carnegie Steel was the largest manufacturer of pig iron and steel rails in the world. Carnegie then later (1901) went on to sell his company to J.P. Morgan for $480 million (now equivalent to approximately $13.6 billion), creating the U.S. Steel Company. When Carnegie realized his workers could not be able to attend nor afford school, Carnegie built Carnegie Mellon University for the sons and daughters of his employees. Another important figure in the American Industrial Revolution was British engineer Henry Bessemer (1813-1898) who developed and patented the first cost-effective process for mass-producing steel, known as the Bessemer process; it involves oxidation of the impurities in the iron by the oxygen that is blown through molten iron. As a result of the integration of this new technology, steel prices dropped drastically, from $55 a ton to $11 a ton, a basic case of supply and demand. Both iron and steel became essential materials, used to make everything from appliances, tools and machines, to ships, buildings and infrastructure. The steam engine was another new innovation introduced during this time period. First invented by Thomas Newcomen, then later improved on by James Watt, it made pumping water out of mines more efficient. This new technology helped to power machinery, locomotives and ships during the Industrial
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