April 2, 2013 DBQ for AP US History
Prosperous businessmen had immense influence and control over the post-Civil War economy and business in the United States. Even though large corporations led to the decrease in food, fuel, and lighting prices as illustrated in Document A, there were many small businesses and laborers who were left without jobs due to the dishonesty and domination from these large business owners. Document C describes how the manufacturing system has taken away the individualism and uniqueness of the workers craftsmanship. The worker is stuck doing one particular task until it is exhausted and that is the only trade skill they are left with. The system offers the hard worker no freedom or opportunity for advancement keeping them stagnant and stuck in the same place. The new manufacturing system brought about homogeneity and essentially destroyed uniqueness. For example, Henry Ford, the automobile tycoon, used the assembly line technique effectively in order to produce more cars at a cheaper price, which made them more cost effective. But in retrospect, the assembly line destroyed the pride men took in their work. The hours were growing longer, and the workers were bored and worn out. The people resented the long hard hours for little pay. This is what brought about the formation of labor unions. The workers way of fighting back and trying to change the rights of the people was the creation of a new political party and labor unions. Most Americans were not satisfied with the status of the United States due to the control of the large corporations. As described in document B, the owners of large businesses were not restricted in anything that they did. These men were able to change prices and banish employees without a cause, giving them control over the goods and services that they provided over the nation. Many laborers were...
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