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Gilded Age is a period between the world war and civil war during which there was high population growth in the United States and many political corruption issues together with many misdealing in the corporate finance sector. At this period, the wealthy people had fancy living styles such as financiers and wealthy industrialists. According to American history, this period lies between 1870 and 1900. At this time this nation experienced rapid labor pool, faster rate of industrialization with little government regulation which allowed some group of people to accumulate wealth hence living fancy lives. There have been several debates during this period, such as who was supposed to vote, the right of women, how the Americans are supposed to treat the land, effects of industrialization and united states foreign policy. This paper will explore the debate on the pros and cons of industrialization in united states.
Industrialization in United states meant shifting from manual based industry to machine and technical based manufacturing in its industries (Mountjoy and Alan 2017). This led to increased productions which led to faster economic growth in the United States. This can be termed as shifting to an industrial economy from agrarian economy, which was introduced by Samuel slater by introducing Industrial methods in textile manufacturing borrowed from British. During the Gilded period, there was a debate on whether industrialization brought more benefits or more problems in the united states. This debate with opposing perspectives had different arguments and to begin with, those who believed it had more benefits (Gereffi et al, 2014).
There were several benefits emanating from industrialization such as a number of goods that could be produced. A machine would help people work more quickly and efficiently, meaning that many clothes to corn and any other product from the textile industry could be produced faster. This was very important because it improved people standards of living. Secondly, some workers were set free to go and do other jobs that could add to the economy. This is because machines could reduce the number of workers and therefore a number of people were free to get more training and education, helping them to get more valuable jobs in the future. There was a rise of professionals who could specialize hence increase efficiency. This resulted from a big number of people flocking cities in order to get better jobs with better pay. Industrialization led to an evolution in medicine where medical instruments such as a microscope, test tubes, lens, and scalpels could be produced more quickly. This machine could be used by physicians who could help patients as communication between their medical personnel was improved. Others included improved and transport and increased opportunities for growth.
On another hand, those augured that industrialization led to more problems than benefits claimed that there was a loss of craftsmanship. Before industrialization, people could make their own products and items and this gave them pride. Industrialization also caused pollutions where factories could emit gases and other poisonous effluents with negative effects on human beings and the environment (Fajnzylber and Fernando 460). There was an increasing population in cities because people believed industrialization led to the good life. It also caused unemployment because machines replaced a human capital, which resulted in a high rate of unemployment. This opposing debate, however, had common views when it comes to an improved level of production and improved economy. This is one of the main benefits when it comes to industrialization in the United States.
In conclusion, these opposing perspectives of industrialization in the United States have made understand that there several disadvantages resulting from industrialization but there are more benefits than the problems. Today, this fact still remains, but many people have embraced industrialization as the solution to the growing economy in the United States of America. I would advise people to embrace this culture and innovation that will enable economy grow and people work at the comfort of their house without the need of going to the office. Given an opportunity to handle the current issue, I would borrow a lot from this reading as a way innovation where things can be done faster and efficiently.
Fajnzylber, Fernando. "Industrialization In Latin America: From The “Blackbox” To The “Empty Box”." ECLAC Thinking, Selected Texts (1948-1998). Santiago: ECLAC, 2016. p. 451-471 (2016).
Gereffi, Gary, and Donald L. Wyman, eds. Manufacturing miracles: paths of industrialization in Latin America and East Asia. Vol. 1189. Princeton University Press, 2014.
Mountjoy, Alan B. Industrialization and Underdeveloped Countries. Routledge, 2017.
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