Week 1 - Discussion 2 - The Industrial Revolution - I feel that the most revolutionary social and economic developments of the last quarter of the

Week 1 - Discussion 2 - The Industrial Revolution - I feel...

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I feel that the most revolutionary social and economic developments of the last quarter of the nineteenth century were oil; coal, the railroads, electricity, the formation of unions and political parties were the most revolutionary developments of that time. The growth of big business in the last part of the 19th century brought a fundamental change in the nature of work. Before the Civil War, the United States was a nation of craftsmen with craft skills who relied on themselves to define the structure of the day and environment in which they worked. After the Civil War, these craftsmen began to fade away as large organizations found that the use of machinery increased profits and lowered the dependence of skilled labor. For an employer or business owner, it was much more profitable to invest in advanced machinery tended by unskilled laborers than to share power and control with a skilled labor force. As a result, the craftsmen faded from importance and gave way to the growth of the new wage earner. This laborer was dependent upon an

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