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Industrialization in America Did it cause more benefits or more problems for the nation?

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Presentation on theme: "Industrialization in America Did it cause more benefits or more problems for the nation?"— Presentation transcript:

1 Industrialization in America Did it cause more benefits or more problems for the nation?

2 Where we left off… Reconstruction ends Federal troops pull out of the South, leaving African Americans defenseless against segregation and Jim Crow laws Federal and state elections marred by fraud and corruption The South still largely agricultural Industry booming in the North

3 The times they are a’changin’ Settlement and development of the West Government repossesses Native American land Land distributed to railroad companies and white farmers Transcontinental railroad – allows people and goods to travel more rapidly Railroad companies make enormous profit on the backs of the men who built the railroads as well as the Midwest farmers who depend on the railroads to transport their products to the market

4 The times they are a’changin’ Immigration – over 7,000,000 immigrants between the end of Reconstruction and 1900 Before 1880 – from Western Europe and China “New Immigration” – from southern and eastern Europe – considered ‘nonwhite’ They settled everywhere except the South Cultural tensions ‘Nativists’ – people who considered America to be a ‘white’ country – made it increasingly difficult for immigrants to vote

5 The times they are a’changin’ Agricultural development New farms established in the Midwest and West Investment in technology – improved tools Result: Yields increased and fewer people needed to do the work Farmers could produce more than the country could consume Migration – from rural to urban areas

6 The times they are a’changin’ Rapid industrialization Manufacturing increases, more factories and mines open that need workers Wage labor dominates Low pay, long hours Workers often lived in overcrowded cities, had poor housing and suffered from terrible sanitation, disease, and violence Owners of the factories and mines grew obscenely rich while workers suffered

7 The times they are a’changin’ Labor unions organized to protect the rights of the workers Strikes – often involved violence; the largest strikes involved government intervention Government usually sided with industry Demand for labor continued to grow Children put to work – they were paid less than women, who were paid less than men Children worked in textile mills and coal mines – DANGEROUS WORKING CONDITIONS! Most did not attend school

8 The times they are a’changin’ Textile mills started to be built in the South to take advantage of cheap labor Workers in the South paid less than in mills elsewhere Only whites were hired Cotton could be processed near where it was grown, saving the mills money Many farmers moved to mill towns in search of steady paycheck Often paid in ‘coins’ that could only be spent at the company store, where goods were sold at inflated prices

9 The times they are a’changin’ Working conditions often difficult and dangerous, especially for children Mill life centered in mill villages – whole families often employed by a mill Recreation included dances, baseball teams, and sewing circles ‘Paternalistic’ mill owners owned the homes the workers lived in – a degree of conformity was required Many Southerners, both black and white, fled to northern cities to find a better life

10 The times they are a’changin’ Gilded – covered with a thin layer of gold The Gilded Age – superficial, misleading, deceitful Fantasies of overnight wealth proliferated Moralists ignored the monopolies manipulation of power and money – saw money as a reward for hard work From this view, poor people were at fault for the struggles they faced ‘Ethic of individualism left unprotected workers at the mercy of unregulated capital’

11 The times they are a’changin’ Imperialism and empire building Spanish American War Theodore Roosevelt and others felt an American empire was God’s plan - a “divinely ordained duty” In opposition - the American traditions of decentralized power and government by consent America gains ‘possessions’ from the Caribbean to the Pacific

12 The times they are a’changin’ 1890’s – stock market crash leads to years of economic depression Mass unemployment and starvation “desperate search to stay alive among huge portions of the population” Wealth remains concentrated in the hands of the few The Progressive movement begins Progressives pushed for reform; felt government should take an active role in improving the lives of its citizens


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