Industrialization in Late 19th Century - Caitlin Safchik...

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Caitlin Safchik Unit 2 Homework February 11, 2013 1. Industrialization transformed American life in the late 19th century as nothing had before. What was the overall character of this industrial change? Focusing on the careers and companies of Andrew Carnegie and John D. Rockefeller, discuss how big business emerged and altered the old republic of small businesses and small farmers. To what degree was this a revolution and the creation of a new economic order in the United States? How did workers and government respond? What was life like in the age of the new industrial city? After the Civil War, in 1865, the innovations in management, technology, production, and transportation transformed the way businesses expanded. The growing population allowed American business to hit an all time high. The primary characteristics of the American Industrialization include: Acceleration of technological innovations, involvement of workers in the workforce, creation of monopolies by expanding markets, growth of transportation based on the railroads, substantial price dropping, and the explosion of coal deposits. Due to the rapid growth of technological innovations, the railroad, steel, oil, and coal industries were able to excel. In addition, creating a monopolistic competition allowed for prices to drop significantly and generated thousands of jobs. The power driving the growth of the industrial transformation laid in the hands of the labor leaders. Andrew Carnegie's career strongly illustrates the close connection between the railroad expansion and the growth of business organization and management. It all began in 1852 when Carnegie was hired as a secretary and personal telegrapher for the Railroads western division. He managed to cut costs while doubling the roads milage. Because of his great success, he formed many connections within the railroad industry, which led him to creating his own steel mill that would produce high grade steel. Andrew Carnegie was the first to discover the benefits of vertical integration, which simply means to control all aspects of manufacturing. In his case, he was able to control every stage from the mining and smelting of ore to the selling of steel rails. Carnegie’s steel became the prime example of how new technologies combined with innovative management could create a mass production system that not only increased production, but also reduced consumer prices. Thanks to Carnegie Steel, it became one of the largest industrial corporations, by employing well over twenty thousand employees. Due to his substantial growth, competitors worried about his domination. With Carnegie dominating the steel industry, John D. Rockefeller took over the oil industry. Similarly to Carnegie, Rockefeller had a strong passion for cost cutting and efficiency. In 1882, Rockefeller eliminated competition by establishing a new form of corporate organization, known as the Standard Oil Trust.

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