Modern America can be considered one of the world's economic and industrial leaders. This didn't happen instantaneously. It was a long process that took centuries to occur from when America was first colonized by England. America started slow and far behind England and other European countries in the technology race but a diverse culture and the work ethic of American people all helped to push this country forward. From antebellum America in the 19th century, to the Progressive Era in the late 19th century and early 20th century, and finally to the New Deal period in the 20th century, many changes occurred as millions of people lives were affected greatly during this time. Throughout these eras in U.S. history, there was a general improvement in the lives of most Americans from the progression of economic life.
During the antebellum period, the United States was a predominantly pre-industrial society. There were very few factories open at this time. Most of the factory workers were from rural and village cultures. These jobs usually required no skill or knowledge and were quite simple to learn. Working conditions in factories were at its worst with extremely low pay, long workdays, and dangerous conditions. Most workers remained as farmers and artisans. They devoted their lives to their work and were skilled at their jobs. Artisans usually worked closely with agrarians to make different products. Farmers worked the fields, growing crops and raising livestock. Their work would occasionally become easier from new tools made by artisans. Women during this time were housewives. They were doing everything at home. They took care of the children, the house, and the food for the family. Sometimes, life demanded that they work the fields with their husbands. Most women did not have jobs outside the home but a small number did work outside in factory jobs. There was a great influx of immigrants at this time. Many of them worked at factories, usually...
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