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Economic and Political Effects of Industrialization Usa

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Discuss the economic and political effects of industrialization on the United States after the Civil War.

The industrialization movement took a radical leap forward after the Civil War, starting from 1870. Mark Twain called it “The Gilded Age” where the period appeared to be glittering on the surface but was corrupt underneath. This is the period where America started its ascension as a future world superpower, and started to affirm itself as an economically powerful country. Hand labour was quickly replaced by machinery, and local businesses were being taken over by corporations.

As America entered its “glittering” stage, many immigrants came and worked in the country, as shown in the statistical yearbook of the immigration and naturalization service published in 1998. The growth of the population occurred in urban areas, and the number of cities with populations of over 10,000 grew from less than a hundred in 1860 to 440 in 1900, according to American historian Gary Fields.

This created competition between the American citizens looking for work, and the new immigrants coming in. The competition for work meant corporations could afford to pay their workers less, and immigrants and children were the ones that were willing to accept lower wages, unlike Americans.

The value of manufactured products went up, as did the number of people employed in manufacturing, as shown by the inter-university consortium for political and social research and the U.S census bureau. Immigrants were buying the products they were manufacturing and Americans were buying the products being made nationally.

To market their product nationally, corporations needed transportation. As shown by historian Gary Fields, the railroad mileage went up by 675% from 1860 to 1900. This helped the economy as workers were needed to build the railroads and corporations providing the material made profits. Once businesses started using the railway system to send their products to different states, they had access to new markets.

The laissez-faire attitude was common in the government, and many business profited from this. The poor conditions the workers were working in the factories caused a massive 510% increase in Union memberships, as the workers argued for their rights and better wages. Considering the rise of corporations

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