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
Rise of National Business and Industrial System
Factors behind rise
is answer to the problem. RR was around before CW.
35,000 mi of
track before CW
- 200,000 mi after CW.
Hayday of RR building happening in 1890s to earliest 20
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.
Technology improves (1-26-11)
companies made a deal with the RR and were allowed to stream their
lines through the RR. Telephone introduced – anywhere RR goes, telephone goes.
Refrigerated RR car – rise of meat packing industry
Ability to turn iron into steel.
Steel 20x stronger than iron.
Able ot build
bridges, machines, etc.
Oil Refining- able to lubricate machines
Rise of entrepreneurs and managers
Entrepreneurs – exclusively men building companies and turning them often
John D. Rockefeller
- gets into oil refining early, at the right time. Started
“Standard Oil” by turn of 19
century controlled 90% of oil refining by
outcompeting all others. Standard Oil is now Exxon.
- steel industry.
Turn of century he is worlds largest steel
”- entrepreneurs who became lords of their industry. No
government regulations on business at the time.