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Turn of the Century

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The United States went through many changes throughout the turn of the century. The Industrial Revolution was a great change we went through that shaped modern America. The abundant natural resources, growing number of workers, increase supply of capital, and innovations and inventions mainly caused the Industrial Revolution. From these causes, our society transformed in many ways, industries expanded, many people migrated west, and urbanization took place. Frederick Jackson Turner also transformed our society by his thesis. Turner told us that all the land was explored, claimed and settled. He said that we now have to look deeper into society, and make the world we live in a batter place.

Many different races and cultures immigrated to the United States from throughout the world between 1800 and 1950. When these immigrants came, nativism aroused from the Native Americans. In the end, however, what the immigrants brought with them is what shaped America today.

Inventions changed transportation, communication, and many other parts of American life. Steel, oil, and electricity replaced iron and steam and made America more efficient. Steel was a very useful tool because it lasted longer than iron, was stronger than iron, and it bends instead of breaks, but steel was too expensive until 1860. The Bessemer process allowed steel to be produced inexpensively, and this began a change in construction and industry. Stronger bridges were built, skyscrapers became possible, weapons became more durable, and railroads were built by unions, which was the key transportation at that time.

Technology, electricity, and communications then came into society. When electricity was invented by Thomas Edison, it tripled the production of products because they could have three shifts, instead of just one. Alexander Graham Bell invented the telephone in 1876 and the United States had one million telephones by 1900.

From this technology, business was growing rapidly. The government needed to make some regulations, and conflicts aroused within the nation. The railroad system was taking advantage of people that needed products shipped, because they knew the railroad system was their only transportation. Also, Andrew Carnegie, the richest man in the world, formed monopolies and pools, and smaller businesses were being taken over by the larger ones. These factors affected people greatly. 90% of the wealth was being controlled by 10% of the people, and this was a problem. The rich were taking advantage of the poor by offering them very low paying jobs that the poor had to take to survive. The government tried to step in by regulating management and helping out the union. They found a way to tax the rich heavily and give that tax money to the poor. The government also set up the Interstate Commerce Act that attempted to force railroads to charge customers "reason and just" rates, but the act failed. They also set up the Sherman Anti-Trust Act which outlawed monopolies and pools, but this act failed also. The reason the acts were failing was because there was loopholes in them, and lawyers could make these laws useless. So Teddy Roosevelt tried the Progressive Era in the early 1900's. The Progressive Era rewrote these laws in order to eliminate loopholes.

Teddy Roosevelt became president in 1901. Many people liked Teddy because of his energy and enthusiasm. He was like Frederick Jackson Turner; he wanted to progress America into the 20th century. In order to experience the world, Roosevelt believed that you needed to experience it

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