Industrialization In America Dbq Essay

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After the Civil War, the United States as a nation was ready to leave the conflicts of the past behind. The country moved forward quickly into a new age of invention, consumerism, and ingenuity. After years of slavery and fighting, Americans began to shape modern life as it is known today. New inventions - the telephone, the lightbulb, the assembly line - revolutionized the American way of life. However, the Gilded Age is called so for a reason - underneath the shiny gold exterior was a dull, hard existence for those who were not at the top. Industrialization in America between 1865 and 1900 completely modernized America; however, it came at the cost of nearly everyone who was not at the top of the big business hierarchy, especially the poor. …show more content…

As factory work became faster, harder, and more pressurized, the idea of an “individual worker” was nearly destroyed. In Document 2, David A. Wells disparages the modern factory model, comparing it to the strict, robotic nature of the military. Instead of believing it to be moving the country forward as many did at the time, he implies that it is setting Americans back. In the system of the assembly line and/or Gilded Age factory, workers were taught one-dimensionally, usually given one or two tasks to repeat ad nauseum. When they were no longer needed, they were disposed of, and Wells states that this ideology contributed to the destruction of the pride and independence of the American people. While the concept of self-esteem may seem to be unimportant in the grand picture of American excellency, it is actually vital to success. If the people of a nation feel replaceable, dispensable, like they do not truly contribute, they will have nothing to aspire to. Lack of aspiration creates lack of innovation, without which the Gilded Age would not have occurred. Products were made faster, yes, and no doubt this advanced the American people greatly, but again, the poor were made

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