Chapter 18: The Industrial Society
There were many factors that enabled America to grow as an industrial society as quickly as it
Some of which were immigrants, inventions, and even monopolies.
But what did people think
about this era of industrialization?
Many American laborers had either bad working conditions or no
job at all, and this led to the Chinese Exclusion Act; also, while labor unions sought to better the lives
of American laborers, some, such as Russel Conwell, believed that there were too many opportunities
for Americans to even be poor, and Andrew Carnegie believed that the duty of the wealthy was to share
the wealth with the general public.
One big factor of American industrialization was immigration, specifically, the immigration of
the Chinese to the western coast of America.
Already, American industry was one of the powers in the
world, and this is what attracted so many immigrants to America.
After the arrival of many
immigrants, Chinese especially, American industrialization grew even more rapidly.
worked much on railroads and played a major role in the building of a transcontinental railroad.
However, since the Chinese were such hard workers and worked for low pay, the wages for Americans
Also, Chinese people set aside themselves from the rest of American society, acting
different, dressing different, talking different, etc., creating their own culture.
This “made whites
suspicious” (“Chinese Exclusion Act,” 43).
As a result, the Chinese Exclusion Act was passed in 1882.
This was the first immigration law that singled out a specific ethnic group for exclusion (
Americans in the West, politicians, labor leaders, and journalists, pressured the
federal government into writing this act because wages were being lowered, there was insecurity in the
American culture, and there was a fear of additional Chinese arrivals that would further take away the
jobs of the Americans.
After the Chinese Exclusion Act, there was no more Chinese immigration into