Benefits of the Industrial Revolution

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The Second Industrial Revolution was sparked by the creation of the railroad. During the Civil War, railroads existed and were helpful in bringing supplies to troops, but they weren’t very reliable as they would only go on for as long as the owner of the railroad had land. When the owner of the railroad ran out of land, the railroad would end, and people would have to move the things from the railroad to another railroad. People did realize, however, how well a railroad could work if they were all connected. They found that they could make money from the people using their railroad and riding on the trains, and soon people connected their local railroads together. Railroad barons, like Cornelius Vanderbilt, bought small railroads from owners and consolidated, or connected, them together to make a large railroad. Through the help of immigrant labor, a transcontinental railroad (a railroad that goes all the way across the country) was created, made up of the Central Pacific and the Union Pacific railroads. The railroad companies began competing for their customers. They would offer rebates, or discounts, to people to use their railroads. People would use their railroads because of the rebates instead of other railroads, so other railroads would offer rebates. This was the process which continued on-constant competition, as each railroad fought to give the best prices. For the normal person to use a railroad sometimes these prices were fine, however, farmers had a problem. They wanted to be able to ship their products places to sell, but they didn’t have the money to pay the high prices the railroad companies asked for. This made them angry. Railroads were also the reason that small factories shut down. They were no longer needed because larger factories produced goods and now had the means to transport them far and wide. The creation and use of the railroad offered new opportunities for people, like creating jobs and making travel easier. Steel workers became much more needed and used as they created the steel for the sides of the railroad tracks. Lumberjacks were also more common, as they made the tracks for the railroads. Coal workers produced coal to run the trains on the tracks, too. Immigrants were given the option of working on the railroad, and they were the sole creators of the tracks that soon ran across the country. The railroad also caused many more people to settle in the west, as it became easier to go out west on a train instead of in a stagecoach or wagon. In all, railroads were one of the biggest factors in the start of the Second Industrial Revolution. The Industrial Revolution wouldn’t have been the same without 3 very important men: John Rockefeller, Andrew Carnegie, and J. Piermont Morgan. John Rockefeller was the leader in the oil industry.He invested in an oil refinery for himself, and used the profits he made from this one refinery to buy other refineries, until he owned every single one of them. This monopoly (owning all the businesses in an industry) erased all competition-he controlled everything, and he made record profits. He named all his refineries together The Standard Oil Company of Ohio. Andrew Carnegie was the leader in the steel industry. While traveling in England in the 1870’s he learned about the Bessemer process and when he came back to the US he created a steel mill in Homestead, Pennsylvania. He produced steel and sold the steel to railroad owners and builders. Very quickly, Carnegie was earning a large profit, and used it to buy out rivals. He bought iron mines, railroad and steamship lines, and warehouses. At this point, Mr. Carnegie owned everything he needed to produce steel: the means to get iron ore to make steel, railroads and ships to distribute the steel, and warehouses to store it in. He was a great example of vertical integration (owning everything you need to create a finished product). In 1892 he combined all his single businesses into the Carnegie Steel Company. By 1900...
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