Business owners made lots of money from the railroads because they were able to transport goods farther and faster with ease. Although the railroads tremendously impacted businesses and therefore the economy, the native americans were negatively impacted because the railroads were being laid on “their” land. This caused distrust between the settlers and the natives because of the “disrespect” for the land. Because of the new ways of transportation, the industrial revolution took place causing skilled artisans to be replaced by unskilled workers that used large complex machines. The
While there were state subsidies for railroads before the Civil War, it often led to financial disaster in many states. Consequently States outlawed further public subsidies to reign in their losses. The design and expansion of the trans-continental railroad required a massive infusion of wealth which was beyond the capabilities of all the financial resources of the time. Only the intervention of the Federal government could serve the long term financial interests of the railroads like the Union
America’s steady westward expansion in 19th century was influenced by several factors. Firstly, the overflowing population of America which according to second census was 5.3 million and by seventh census, it was expected to reach 23.2 million. This growing population is one of the major reason expansions of America in late 19th century. Secondly, the farmers during this time required arable land for livestock and crops which was not available due to overcrowd. Thereby, financial panics uprooted the people and sent them west for the fresh start.
During the Gilded age billionaires like Carnegie, Vanderbilt, and Rockefeller were earning massive profits off of the backs of cheap, underpaid labor. Working conditions in the late nineteenth century were terrible and the pay was even worse.Workers would work for 12 hour days in harsh dangerous conditions with no job security and no safety standards These employees would earn a bare minimum wage of one dollar a day for six days a week. Outraged workers wanted better conditions and better pay, so they formed unions like the Knights of Labor (KoL) and the American Federation of Labor (AFL). These unions fought for eight hour work days, better conditions, and better pay along with other topics. The Knights of Labor included black and female members unlike the American Federation of Labor.
“1.5 trillion steps would shape seven decades of slavery’s expansion in the new United States… [Profit from slave labor] kept the nation growing” (2). He supports his argument by comparing the state of the US financially and politically post-American Revolution. Fifteen years after the American Revolution, America was in the midst of a massive crisis, it did not have a currency, or the ability to tax. Essentially, it was not well established enough to be a self-sustaining economy. Due to the lack of technological advances at the time, the demand or need for fast, efficient, mass production of agricultural goods was only met by slave labor.
The economic elements of 1861-1865 were very different for the North and the South. The North was doing very well, compared to the South. In the North they had to lay-off many workers and close down the textile industries because of the scarcity of cotton. However, the “arms, metalworking, boot making, and shipbuilding industries” were booming in the North (Keene, 391). The wages of the workers rose by about 40 percent, but the prices of goods rose at the same pace as the inflation rate averaged about 15 percent annually (Keene, 391).
Before the Gilded Age, transportation of any sort was slow, unreliable, and unavailable. However, with the invention of the assembly line and some invention, mass produced automobiles, subterranean trains, elevated trains and basic airplanes were spread out. Therefore, during the late 19th century, transportation was allowing for extreme expanse of trade and economic capability. One of the most prominent methods of transportation even before this time, railways were experiencing a major change during this time. Though it would eventually cause a stock market crash due to the closure of two major rail businesses, the roads themselves saw considerably more traffic due to a major expansion of the system.
The Tremendous Impact of Railroads on America In the late 19th century, railroads propelled America into an era of unprecedented growth, prosperity, and convenient transportation. Prior to the building of the railroads, America lacked the proper and rapid transportation to make traveling across the country economical or practical. Lengthy travel was often cumbersome, costly, and dangerous. With the advent of the railroad, many of these issues disappeared. Railroads had a major impact on advancing the American economy, transforming America into a modern society, and improving an antiquated transportation system.
The Gilded Age lasted from 1870-1900 The Gilded Age, which spanned the final three decades of the nineteenth century, was one of the most dynamic, contentious, and volatile periods in American history. America's industrial economy exploded, generating unprecedented opportunities for individuals to build great fortunes but also leaving many farmers and workers struggling merely for survival. Overall national wealth increased more than fivefold, a staggering increase, but one that was accompanied by what many saw as an equally staggering disparity between the rich and the poor. Industrial giants like Andrew Carnegie and John D. Rockefeller revolutionized business and ushered in the modern corporate economy, but also, ironically, sometimes destroyed
The 19th century was the era of the Gilded Age, where the economy was booming, bringing great changes that affected the lives of workers and entrepreneurs. During this period, there was a large influx of immigrants that were coming to America to look for job opportunities. The migration of immigrants proved useful as a source for cheap labor, allowing an even higher rise in the U.S. economy. While American industrialization may have benefited the upper class of the American society, the effects were opposite to the workers of the lower classes. This problem was especially worse for immigrant workers as their belief in the so-called American dream has been worn down due to the misery they had to endure.