Industrialization in the Us During the 19th Century

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The United States was rapidly transforming during the 19th century. Certain factors, such as the extension of railways, immigration and industrialization, caused the United States to transform into the country it is today. As people began to see the vast opportunities that the United States possessed, immigrants began to enter the country left and right. The diverse cultures of these foreigners helped define the rapidly expanding United States.

During the second half of the 19th century, railways began to cover the majority of the United States. This allowed new business models to be created, and new businesses to be possible. Transportation of goods and people became much easier, and people gained the ability to travel. Refrigerated railcars were created so the transport of goods, and meats were made possible. Stock cars were also created for the transport of live animals. The economy began to thrive on competition due to principles such as social Darwinism, the idea that individuals should have the freedom to struggle, succeed or fail. The creation of the railroad not only made transport easier, but created a competitive, “fend for yourself” type of economy.

Foreigners saw the rapidly expanding United States as a place of potential and greatness. Chinese, Japanese, Canadians, Italians, Latin Americans and people from other parts of the world began to flood into the United States. These immigrants took jobs as merchants, professionals, business men and laborers for low wages. Women also began to strive for a place in society. They took low paying jobs with very dangerous working conditions. Due to the dangerous working conditions, fires broke out which led to the development of fire proof buildings. Immigrants and women helped define the United States during the second half of the 19th century.

During this time, there was a dramatic shift from country living to city living. Many people moved into cities to take part in the glory of city life. Areas...