INDUSTRIALIZATION AFTER CIVIL WAR
Industrializationafter Civil War
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Americanhistory is rich and in fact worth given attention. From 18thto 19thera, a lot of progress was established. Before the start of the CivilWar, the most powerful group in America was the planter aristocracyin the Southern States. The events that followed the Civil Warreversed the whole picture. A new group of determined, self-made men,made up of free farmers of the West, bold entrepreneurs of the North,and industrial capitalists of the Eastern cities, captured the reinsof power. They took advantage of the new lands, natural resources,and railroads and they reinforced their political and economicinterest. The true revolution in American came after the Civil War,when out of the ashes of the war emerged a new industrial giant andworld power. The rise of industries, the end to slavery, and the newinventions all fostered the events that happened in America. Thispaper presents the industrialization that transpired from 1865 to1920 following the Civil War.
Withinhalf a century after the Civil War, the United States developed as anindustrial country (Clarket al, 2008).Small industries grew into giant industries and domestic and foreigncommerce prospered. Communication and transportation facilitiesemerged and soon exceeded those of European nations (Clarket al, 2008).America’s industrial production was augmented by big business, massproduction, as well as good labor treatment.
TheIndustrial Revolution was a remarkable change in man’s life causedby the substitution of hand labor by machine work. The change emergedcalmly, in the absence of violence or bloodshed. The first industryto use machinery was the cotton cloth manufacturing (Kuczynski,1973). As compared to other businesses, the cotton industry wasyoung. Hence, there was much room for invention and growth. Secondly,the profits were reliant on production in bulk. Thus, the producermaking the most cloth reaped the most profits. Better methods ofcommunication expanded as an outcome of the industrial revolution. In1866, Cyrus Field, a New York merchant, became successful indeveloping the primary underwater submarine telegraph cable (Kim,2007). Ten years later, Alexander Graham Bell, a Scot-born American,invented the telephone. Guglielmo Marconi invented the wirelesstelegraph in 1894 (Kim, 2007). In recent times came radio andtelevision which enables us to hear and see musical programs, movies,and events in all parts of the world.
Furtherenhancement in communication has been realized with the marvelousgrowth of the newspaper due to the invention of the linotype machine,rotary press, and teletype (Kim, 2007). With the millions of copiesof newspapers published daily and with the improved facilities ofcommunication and transportation, all nations have come to know andunderstand one another better than in ages past.
Similarly,during the industrial revolution, the agricultural revolution began.To boost production in agriculture, farmers adopted scientific meansof cultivation through the use farm machinery (Kim, 2007). Furtheradvances in agriculture were made with the discovery of new uses forfarm products. An American Negro Scientist, George Washington Carver,a son of slaves, demonstrated that hundreds of new products couldcome from peanuts, sweet potatoes, cotton stalks, and yellow pinetrees.
Somany and varied are the inventions which revolutionized man’s wayof life that it would take several volumes to list them completely.Thomas Edison, the greatest American inventor, produced more than1000 inventions (Kim, 2007). Notable among his inventions were thephotographs, the electric light bulb, and the movies or motionpictures. Other inventions which have benefited mankind are theparachute by Andre-Jacques Garnerin stethoscope by Rene Laenecphotography by Louis Daguere sewing machine by Howe, and many more.
Theautomobile and aviation industry soon entered the picture torevolutionize the transportation system. The first gasoline enginewas invented by Daimler in 1883 (Kim, 2007). Thus the automobile wasborn. Years later, the diesel engine, using crude oil was invented byRudolf Diesel. This engine, which is less costly to operate comparedto a gasoline-powered machine, is now used in automobiles, trucks,ships, trains, and factories. Daimler’s automobile aroused theinterest of daring pioneers in the automobile industry. The bestknown of them was Henry Ford, known as a bicycle mechanic in the pastand established the Ford Motor Company. He produced automobiles bythe mass production method so that millions of people could affordthem. The discovery of rubber vulcanization in 1839 by CharlesGoodyear contributed to the rise of the automobile industry.
TheWright brothers invented the first airplane and flew it successfullyin 1903 in North Carolina. In 1900, Count Zeppelin invented acigar-shaped balloon named after him. As an outcome ofindustrialization, world commerce enjoyed a tremendous increase. Itis estimated that world trade doubled twelve times in the 19thcentury. The average share of each human being in wealth amounted in1900 to a sum six times that in 1800.
Economicand Political Results of Industrialization
Theindustrial revolution produced good economic results such as theexpansion of industries, increase of commerce and trade, growth ofthe number of individuals living in the country, establishment ofcities, greater comforts as well as improved way of life,distribution of labor, and an amassing of wealth (Kuczynski,J., 1973).In terms of politics, the industrial revolution, through theexistence of railway, newspaper, steamboat, and telegraph advancednationalism, for it aided people in know better their fellowmen(Kuczynski,J., 1973).The industrial revolution likewise intensified globalization. The newmethods of communication and transportation broke down the barriersof misunderstanding among countries (Kuczynski,J., 1973).People and ideas were transported across seas, mountains, anddeserts. Different countries came to appreciate one another andunderstand the interdependence of countries and race.
Theindustrial revolution has been a great blessing to mankind. There isno doubt that machines and modern products help to save lives, easepain, make life more comfortable, faster, and profitable for modernman. However, it has also been something of a curse. In many ways,people have become dehumanized and less caring with the use of modernmachines. Human life and labor have become cheap as compared to thevalue of machines and tools. Company bosses prefer lots of automatedmachines and computers and lesser workers. Machines are regarded asmore efficient and reliable than people. Sometimes, people become sofascinated with a new machine or tool like a computer that they playwith it constantly like addicts. Children watch too much televisionand play video games and do not study their lessons anymore. Evenparents watch more television than spend time with their children.Some philosophers say our world has become as cold and dead as themachines we like to use. People are treated like machines and are notgiven the proper dignity and care they need. Clearly, our word hasyet to adjust to the changes brought about by the 19thcentury industrial revolution.
IndustrialRevolution can be summarized in the following changes: (1) themechanization of agriculture and industry (2) the use of power(electricity, steam, oil) in industry (3) the development of thefactory system (4) a sensational development of transportation andcommunication (5) an increase in big business control of theeconomy.
Clark,G., O`rourke, K. H. & Taylor, A. M. (2008). Made in america? thenew world, the old, and the industrial revolution.
Kim,S. (2007). Immigration, industrial revolution and urban growth in theUnited States, 1820-1920: factor endowments, technology andgeography.
Kuczynski,J. (1973). Ashort history of labour conditions under industrial capitalism in theunited states of america, 1789-1946.New York: Barnes & Noble Books.