Industrialism In The Post-Civil War

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Other than physical intervention via helping end labor union strikes, the government also affected businesses and the economy through law. When laws were passed in an attempt to manage the large corporations that controlled entire industries, said laws were often spun in favor of the businesses instead. One example was the Sherman Antitrust Act. Intended to control and regulate trusts, trusts being deals made between two parties that allowed benefactors to gain large sums of money, the Sherman Antitrust Act was instead interpreted in law to control labor unions. The logic used was “that the labor unions were a trust of labor” (Laissez). The Sherman Antitrust Act, which was intended to aid the workers and limit big businesses, instead did…show more content…
Corruption was one large factor, where business leaders and government officials alike used methods for financial gains, leaving marks on the economy. Foreign policy put in place by the government also had effects on the economy, tariffs made consumers inclined to buy American goods and unlimited immigration allowed for cheap labor for large businesses. The government’s use of land grants to support the creation of a transcontinental railroad is one of the most visible and easy to recognize actions where the government stepped in to aid post-Civil War industrialism. Response to labor strikes by the government at the time also pointed to a pattern of siding with that of large businesses, whereas a true laissez-faire would have the government not involve itself at all. Likewise, laws were passed that, despite their original purposes, directly aided big corporations. All in all, the notion of merely attributing post-Civil War industrialism to laissez-faire is false and there are clear points where the government helped encourage the
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