Apush Dbq Industrialization

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As industry exponentially grew after the Civil War, the need for labor and materials to power newly-created manufacturing giants caused new social classes to form: the rich corporation owners and the poor laborers. Unfathomably rich Robber Barons, or plutocratic American Capitalists, dominated the economy and industry and profited from the slave-like work of millions of poor laborers during this time period. Moreover, the poor working class and the rich further divided by distribution of wealth. Therefore, exploitation of capitalism widened the gap between the rich and poor classes of America, and both newly-formed classes developed reasons for the change. During the period of industrialization, between 1865 and the early 1900’s, corporate…show more content…
To start, John D. Rockefeller, one of the richest capitalists in history, used the term Social Darwinism to say why some people were poor and some were rich. This ideal is exemplified in Ghent’s Our Benevolent Feudalism, (Doc. 7), which explains why the principle of “Survival of the fittest” applies to laissez-faire capitalism. Essentially, it said that if someone was not successful, it was a result of not working hard enough. Consequently, many rich Americans believed in this view, and used it as an explanation of why some are poor and some are rich. Additionally, a similar view is expressed in Progress & Poverty, written by J.M Dent. (Doc. 11). In Progress & Poverty, Dent explains that an uneven distribution of wealth will aid social progress, because it will drive people to work harder, which in almost all cases, never worked, and only caused social unrest and strikes. Conversely, some politicians fought for workers’ rights and developed legislation in response. To illustrate, in 1890, John Sherman passed a bill known as the “Sherman Antitrust Act,” which attempted to counter the growing number of trusts and monopolies in the country (Doc. 4). Although the Antitrust Act failed to stop any trusts, the act did help pave the way for legislation in the early 1900’s that would help workers and workers’ rights. In conclusion,…show more content…
American capitalists took advantage of the newly-formed poor class and build their empires on the backs of child labor and underpaid, overworked laborers. Therefore, exploitation of capitalism widened the gap between the rich and poor classes of America, and both newly-formed classes developed reasons for the change. But, social unrest caused by this new economy and exploitation would lead to disastrous results in the

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