Apush ch17 dbq - In the late 19th century the United States transformed from an agricultural to an increasingly industrialized and urbanized society

Apush ch17 dbq - In the late 19th century the United States...

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In the late 19th century, the United States transformed from an agricultural to an increasingly industrialized and urbanized society. From the end of the Civil War until 1900, the United States entered its most rapid period of industrialization, primarily due to railroad expansion. Technological developments, such as the Bessemer and Open-hearth process, enhanced the production of steal; the expansion of the steel industry led to the further expansion of railroads. Railway expansion stimulated the economy through quick and inexpensive transportation for business companies. The rise of business spurred federal government and popular efforts to reshape the economy to promote the principle, laissez- faire capitalism, which featured minimal government regulation of businesses. However, to establish infrastructure throughout the nation, the federal government sporadically violated principle of laissez- faire capitalism in order to stimulate western settlement - through railroad land grants and loans - increased economic production, and industrialization. As railroad companies and businesses merged and grew more powerful, railroad abuses and the formation of corporate monopolies became more frequent, causing the federal government to begin efforts to regulate business. As a result, Congress created a federal regulatory agency in 1887, although proven ineffective in minimizing abusive companies, the agency and its Interstate Commerce Act eventually led to the ratification of the Sherman Anti-Trust Act in 1890, which established the precedent that the federal government could regulate business of the private industry. During the Gilded Age, railway expansion was the leading cause of rapid industrialization and was essential to businesses. Railroads offered companies inexpensive and efficient transportation of raw material to factories and commodities to markets. Businesses were able to prosper from railroad expansion because of the Pacific Railway Act of 1862, which allowed the federal government to subsidize railroad construction through land grants and loans. Most Americans argue in favor of minimal government regulation, promoting and defending laissez-faire capitalism (Doc A and B). Many Americans believed that any intervention in the marketplace by the federal government would be counterproductive, inevitably diminishing overall capital, and that government regulation would harm various interest groups in the nation. On the other hand, the people acknowledge that railroads are an economic necessity as the federal government goes against popular laissez-faire capitalism principles in order to: foster business with affordable transportation and larger market, avoid high expenditures and higher taxes, and promote western settlement. The federal government subsidized railroad construction through land grants and loans, resulting in over 180 million acres of federal and state land granted to railroads. Between 1870 and 1900, railway expansion almost doubled the national population and federal government expenditures, and decreased federal government debt by more than half (Doc C). Railroads

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