5 changes in american society 1870s 1900s intro to

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5 Changes in American Society (1870s- 1900s) Intro to the issues- Most Americans were farmers. Emergence of Big Business and ability to produce massive quantities of something changed. Why does it suddenly rise after CW? It doesn’t it existed during CW, this is jus the time it takes off I. Rise of National Business and Industrial System a. Factors behind rise a.i. Transportation improvements a.i.1. Railroad is answer to the problem. RR was around before CW. 35,000 mi of track before CW - 200,000 mi after CW. a.i.2. Hayday of RR building happening in 1890s to earliest 20 th century a.i.3. RR is America’s first big business. RRs had 15-30,000 employees, which includes massive amounts of capital. You need skilled, clerical workers, etc. Everywhere the RR went it generated new business. What does the RR allow? – rapid transportation of people and goods. No more wagons, canal boats, etc which are slow and expensive. Ex: coal mining industry. a.ii. Technology improves (1-26-11) a.ii.1. Telegraph companies made a deal with the RR and were allowed to stream their lines through the RR. Telephone introduced – anywhere RR goes, telephone goes. a.ii.2. Refrigerated RR car – rise of meat packing industry a.ii.3. Ability to turn iron into steel. Steel 20x stronger than iron. Able ot build bridges, machines, etc. a.ii.4. Oil Refining- able to lubricate machines a.iii. Rise of entrepreneurs and managers a.iii.1. Entrepreneurs – exclusively men building companies and turning them often into monopolies. a.iii.2. John D. Rockefeller - gets into oil refining early, at the right time. Started “Standard Oil” by turn of 19 th century controlled 90% of oil refining by outcompeting all others. Standard Oil is now Exxon. a.iii.3. Andrew Carnegie - steel industry. Turn of century he is worlds largest steel maker. a.iii.4. “Robber Barons ”- entrepreneurs who became lords of their industry. No government regulations on business at the time.
a.iii.5. Clerical workers and managers- people who keep track of all the paperwork – no computers. Whole new field emerges a.iv. Government aid - forgotten element of rise of business in this period. It is typically downplayed because Americans like to think the gov’t was hands-off at this time period. You see gov’t aid everywhere – local, state, national levels. RRs especially. Low interest loans, land grants, etc. a.iv.1. Every town wants RR through town. RR is future. If you are a town father, you would go to RR office to ask for the RR to come through. Bribes came too. a.iv.2. Transcontinental RR - Midwest to CA. happened not because of RR companies but US gov’t got involved and passed a bill to do it and offered incentives to RR companies: a.iv.2.a. They would get 30 of land on each side. a.iv.2.b. Low interest loans a.iv.2.c. US army protection while building a.iv.2.d. Sealed Native American land? b. Changes big business brought- b.i. Business on a national scale- Tariff on imports remained high throughout this period. Labor unions not recognized at this time period and have no legal status. As a result, federal unionists

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