1 March 2013
Essay 1 Option 2
Between 1865 and 1910, the U.S. economy was regarded as impressive, but also exploitative. This period encompasses the Reconstruction, the Gilded Age, and the Progressive Era, and contains the rise of industrialization and the resulting surge of immigration in the United States. This period of quick economic growth and rising prosperity saw the U.S. become the world's leading economic, industrial and agricultural power. The U.S. maintained an economic giant status, but at the cost of relaxed labor laws and poor working conditions. Employees faced crowded working spaces, low wages, and unreasonably long hours.
At the time, the economy had experienced massive growth and the overall state of things. This period began after the Civil War, and Abraham Lincoln was the president of the United States. Lincoln was in the process of forming his ten percent plan, to try and help reconstruct the south; the south claimed to have a terrible economic standing, and that nothing could be fixed due to the amount of corrupt politicians. Once the south began to prosper, it grew faster than any other region in the country. Andrew Carnegie, a prominent figure in the steel industry said, “the good old times were not good old times” (13).
With the improvement of new equipment and machines, the U.S. economy became more fixated on factory manufacturing; Americans did not have to primarily depend on on farming and agriculture to care for their families. At the same time, settlers from all over the world packed into residences to take advantage of new city openings. In the end, the extensive economic, social, and political changes that took place in post-war life allowed the U.S. to establish itself as the economic superpower it is today. Henry Grady says “We have established thrift in city and country. We have fallen in love with work. We have restored homes from which culture and elegance never departed. We have let...