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Evolution of a Nation

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Essay title: Evolution of a Nation

Evolution Of A Nation

Despite the Civil War in the first half of the 1860s, the United States grew in population from 31 million in 1860 to 38 million in 1870. This increase of 7 million included 2.3 million immigrants, 90 percent of them from Europe - an overwhelming percentage of whom settled other than in the South. By 1870 between 14 and 15 percent of the U.S. population were foreign born, and immigrants comprised 20 percent of the labor force. And between 1870 and 1880 the population of the United States rose to 50 million, the number of immigrants in this decade totaling 2.75 million, 83 percent of them from Europe. The percentage of those people called Negroes remained around 11 percent of the population - down from 1800, when 16.4 percent of the population who had been slaves or freed slaves.

In 1887, Congress passed the General Allotment, or Dawes, Act – an attempt at assimilating the Indians. Reservations were to be divided into tracts of land, 160 acres per family. Indians were made citizens, with the right to sell their land. Many of these Indians did not see themselves as farmers and would sell.

In 1889, an Indian named Wovoka clamed tht he had traveled to heaven during a vision, and just as troubled, Jews had looked forward to rescue by a messiah. Wovoka's claim and his vision of a coming messiah spread among the plains Indians. They believed that with the messiah there would be a death of all whites and the resurrection of Indians, and a "ghost dance" was a part of the movement. Whites on the plains became alarmed. Fear that the aged leader of the Sioux would lead a rebellion resulted in an incident in which Sitting Bull was shot and killed. Two weeks later, during another incident, at Wounded Knee, an unincorporated area on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota, out of control U.S. soldiers slaughtered men, women and children.

With all of the industrialization going on in the North, the South remained predominantly Agricultural, producing crops such as tobacco, rice, sugar, and especially cotton. With cotton fiber and cheap labor easily accessible, 400 cotton mills were humming by 1900 and employed almost 100,000 workers.

The tobacco industry also thrived in the South. Before the Civil War, most Americans were only familiar with cigars, snuff and chewing tobacco; But after 1876, James Bonsack invented a machine to roll cigarettes which gave him and his father the money they needed to climb to the top of the tobacco industry. It also fit the new urban market of the North. Between the years of 1860 and1900, the American population spent more money on tobacco than on clothes and shoes. With this high demand, the Southerners used this opportunity to control the national market. By the 1890s James and his father's American Tobacco Company controlled the industry.

Innovation was one of the main causes in the rise of the American Industry. With new methods being invented everyday, production began to rise.

In the South, where it was once dominated by the production of cotton, now would be taken over by a newly discovered product: cigarettes. As the demand for this product rose, so did its industry until it became the leader during the period.

As is everything in American History, there was competition. With rail roads being expanded all over the country, there was a high demand for steel. With iron pipes being needed for gas, water and pipelines all over, the steel industry had their hands full. So as these industries compete for the top spots, more factories to produce these goods are popping up, as well as creating tens of thousands of jobs. In addition, there was a favorable balance of trade because the country was exporting more.

Industrialization had the biggest role in the national economy, and the shaping of it at the time. Industrialization did a lot more for the country than just economic prosperity; it helped the entire country get on the same page. With new methods of production being invented everyday, production soared. Methods such as the Bessemer process made producing steel a lot easier and faster. Also with the demand of these new products came another question: how do you get the product to the consumer? The industrial revolution also gave way to new or the improvement of transportation methods.

Another thing is, it paved the way for our economy today. As the national wealth grew, more people began to save and invest. This helped small businesses in seeking funds to start up and big businesses to expand. By the turn of the century, the stock market was established as the basic means of making capital available to industry.

The economy was booming once the industrial giants started to rise. But soon all would be short lived. With pretty

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