History 1302 - 5055
Feb 2nd, 2015
Industrialization and reform (1870 – 1916)
After the Civil War, the United States owned an abundant amount of natural resource, an expanding market for manufactured goods, a growing supply of labor and availabilities of capital for investment. In addition, the federal government vigorously promoted industrial development which stimulated the American economy to change dramatically from the Gilded Age to the Progressive Era. However, the progress of the industrialization affected every aspect of the American society in either positive or negative way. As the nation moved to the west, the United States was transformed by vast changes in technology and a large amount of natural resources which stimulated new industries. Particularly, steel came to be used in the expanding new railroads which contributed in linking the nation and created a national wide market. By the 1890s, there were five transcontinental railroads transported the raw material from the West to the Eastern markets and carried manufactured goods to the West (Foner 596). Though, the government was not able to deal problems formed by the industrial revolution. Both parties came under control of powerful political managers with close ties to business interests. Republicans intensely supported a high tariff to protect America industry. During the 1870s, Republicans established a financial system based on reducing federal spending, which helped to repay much of the national debt. On the other hand, Democrats criticized the high tariff and resisted demands from debt-ridden agricultural regions for an increase in the money supply. In the book “Give me Liberty!” Foner states that: “In 1879, for the first time since the war, the United States returned to the gold standard – that is, paper currency became exchangeable for gold at a fixed rate” (619). The expansion of industries mainly resulted from the growth of big businesses. Many business...
Cited: Foner, Eric. Give Me Liberty!: An American History. 4th ed. Vol. 2. New York: W.W. Norton, 2013. Print.
TheUSAonline. "History of the United States Industrialization and Reform (1870-1916)." History of the United States, Industrialization and Reform. USA Center A.U.C, n.d. Web. 02 Feb. 2015.
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