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The article by Dave Eggers is acause the war required adequate resources to defeat the Axis powers, which have been a threat to struggling British, China, and Soviet. America played a critical position in the provision of war machinery and equipment due to its excessive level of industrialization at the time of war. Other than a rich resource background, it is feasible that America combined forces with the other countries to take away the possibility of the enemy attacking the country. Any instability in the neighboring nations could be used through the enemy to penetrate and attack America. Fighting the Axis powers required proper strategy which includes adequate innovations and resources. It is for this reason that America is considered to have played a critical role in the Allied victory following the country’s capacity to manufacture the much-needed machinery. Notably, it is crucial for neighboring countries to combine forces during wars to defend their interests from the enemy.
Civil war, which occurred in the United States between 1861 and 1965 aimed at abolishing slavery in the southern states. Moreover, this war was characterized by mass destruction of property and deaths of both whites and blacks who were working as slaves in the agricultural plantations of the whites, and this resulted to economic deterioration of the United States. However, after the end of this war in 1865, Abraham Lincoln sensitized Americans to united and focus on economic recovery, which later resulted to the second wave of the industrial revolution. This industrialization was characterized with numerous aspects, both advantageous and disadvantageous to the Americans. This paper pays high attention to the major aspects of this industrialization that occurred between 1865 and 1920, the groups of people that it affected, and how it affected the life of an average working American.
The first aspect of this industrialization was mechanization, mostly in manufacturing and agricultural sectors. The introduction of various sorts of machines enabled most Americans to venture in various businesses and concentrate on intensive production of goods and services. For example, before the civil war, most Americans were producing agricultural products in small scale since the American society was not mechanized. However, after the civil war, new agricultural machineries such as tractors were introduced, enabling most Americans to produce agricultural products such as tobacco and cotton. Consecutively, new textile industries were created in the northern parts of America, which provided markets for the highly produced cotton in the southern states. Small enterprises such as proprietors and partnerships, expanded to corporate companies, due to the large-scale production of products and the availability of markets (McGeehan & Gall, 2008).
Moreover, this industrialization was marked by the division of labor, which contributed the tremendous growth of the American economy. For example, the northern states of America concentrated in creating manufacturing industries such as iron and steel, and textile industries while the southern states concentrated on intensive production of agricultural products. These iron and steel producing industries helped in the construction of railway lines, which facilitated the transportation of the produced agricultural products in the southern states to the northern states where most textile industries were located. Moreover, the railways lines facilitated the immigration of Americans from their geographical areas to the urban cities, in order for them to work in the agricultural plantations and industries. This greatly contributed the tremendous growth of the American economy, since the rate of unemployment raced by higher percentages. For example, the rate of employment rose to almost 450%, whereby the number of employed Americans rose from 2-5million to 11.2 million (McGeehan & Gall, 2008).
Consecutively, this industrialization was also marked by the creation of numerous labor unions. During this industrial period, the skilled workers in the farms and the factories were not being considered. The imminent economic growth was characterized by long working hours of the employed Americans, and the terms of employments were also harsh. Consecutively, the working conditions were poor, such that the safety of individuals who were working in mines and other industrial plants was not being considered. Labor unions such as the American federation of labor were being formed in order to protect wages and working environments of employees. Other Legislations that occurred during this industrial period included the pacific railway act, which enabled the federal government to give away some public land to non-governmental corporations in order to facilitate the construction of railway lines (McGeehan & Gall, 2008). Moreover, the homestead act, which sensitized the federal government to give away some public lands to farmers, in order to enhance agricultural production.
Groups of people who were affected by industrialization
Industrialization negatively affected Native Americans to great extents. Most of the Native Americans were generally eliminated from the industrialization since most of them were grabbed their land by the whites and forced to move in remote sections of other countries. For example, the Native Americans who settled in California were forced to move to Ohio River valley, which were far from the roaming buffalo on which they fed. Consecutively, most American farmers were both negatively and positively affected by industrialization. For example, they faced high costs of buying new machinery, which forced some to have increased debts of the machineries. Despite these high costs of machineries, farmers also incurred costs of buying seeds, fertilizers and transportation costs of their produce. On the positive side, the introduction of new machineries enabled them to do more work with little human labor. In addition, children were also affected, since most of them used to help their parents who were working in agricultural plantations. For example, most children became used to farming practices, and this facilitated the emergence of child labor (Litwack & Jordan, 2003).
How industrialization affected the life of average working Americans
Industrialization facilitated in raising the living standards of most Americans since most of them were absorbed by various industries and agricultural plantations. For example, the supply of most consumer goods increased during this period, making their prices lower than before, such that most Americans could afford them with ease. Consecutively, industrialization helped in changing the location of most Americans. For example, most of them migrated to the urban areas where most factories were located. Industrialization also transformed Americans from unskilled to skilled individuals. For example, Americans who were employed in industries gained experience on various areas (Pohnpei, 2014).
It is, therefore, evident that industrialization that occurred after the civil war was marked by numerous aspects such as mechanization, legislation, and labor divisions. Moreover, industrialization various groups of people such as children, Native Americans, and farmers, and it also positively affected the life of an average working American.
Litwack, L. F., & Jordan, W. D. (2003). Becoming a world power. Redding, Calif: North West Publ.
McGeehan, J., & Gall, M. (2008). Let's review: U.S. history and government. Hauppauge, NY: Barron's Education.
Pohnpei, (2014). Ways in which industrialization transformed the lives of ordinary Americans during the late 19th century and early 20th century. Retrieved on 9th November, 2014, from http://www.enotes.com/homework-help/what-ways-did-industrialization-transform-lives-469219nal Series.
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