Degler Notes – General Outline
Chapter IX – Machines, Men, and Socialism
Although this is stated as a general outline, it is still rather specific, so that you can fully understand the chapter and be able to use specific information as
“prior knowledge”. It is your choice on whether or not you should read everything. As each section splits, it will become more and more specific. You can
choose to stop at a certain point and just read the major points.
David A. Wells
Man’s control “over the forces of Nature” had progressed so far that man “has been able to do far more work in a given time,
produce far more product” per worker, and “reduced the effort necessary to insure a comfortable subsistence in a far greater
measure than it was possible for him” to do twenty or thirty years before.
Translation of the above: The control over nature, mainly referring to the use of machinery, helped the people to be able
increase productivity to a level that would have been previously unreachable years before.
The Industrial Revolution sparked a social change that was first felt by the workers who supported the nation.
Causes of the Industrial Revolution
The United States had a very favorable place. Abundant supplies of all key materials and minerals (coal, iron, copper, zinc,
gold, silver, wood), abundant supplies of rich, fertile land (oil was found in many places), and a climate that could help food
crops grow all contributed to the ability for the nation to move forward.
Political unity throughout the nation, unlike Germany and France where there were political barriers that hindered the
There were no language barriers that slowed down communication.
There was a stable economic base that was created through the extensive transport system that included canals, railroads,
The government gave large sums of money to help fund internal improvements, which led to better transportation systems.
This in turn allowed the nation to become industrialized.
The government encouraged the expansion of the business enterprise. This ultimately helped the industrialization of the
Millions of immigrants were arriving each year, greatly increasing the number of able workers.
There were many new inventions that helped to increase productivity.
European loans helped.
The American’s had the spirit and the right people, such as the massive numbers of entrepreneurs, to drive them forward in
Between 1860 and 1914
U.S. population tripled
Number of workers in manufacturing increased by a factor of 5.5
Value created by manufacturing increased by a factor of 12
Capital that was invested in industry increased by a factor of 22
1890 – Value of manufactured goods surpassed the value of agricultural goods. However, farm production was at an all time
high and steadily rising every year.