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The growth of the factory system Growth in the number and size of factories in the US and leads to output in a huge scale Late 19thcentury—steel and oil: heavy industry; railroads Affects everyday common items as well Web of social networks and relationships structured by economic Affect how men and women relate to one another, how families are formed, arts and entertainment, etc. Creates different outcomes at the same time oHad a unifying/positive effect on the country Transcontinental railroad Integrated marketplace (same consumer goods)Growth of middle class (more time, money to buy consumer goods) ElectricityModern plumbing oCauses huge divisions among people
Some people are overworked, underpaid, and unable to pay for goods they’re making Bad for middle class, but good for upper class Violent conflicts that lasted weeks at a time Made differences starkerOver long run, has unifying effectThe Gilded Age Late 19thcentury End of Reconstruction to end of century 1877-1900 Coined by Mark Twain Contradiction oLooks shiny and nice, but underneath there is something rotten oNot called golden age, but the Gilded AgeRobber barons—captain of industry?Laissez faire French phrase Leave us alone; leave us be3 markets are better, gov’t should play minimal role A lot of workers want gov’t to come in and set minimum wage and maximum hours Was highly contested by workers US transformed from agricultural to industrial nation 1900—Carnegie Steel produces more steel than all of Great Britain (where industrialization was born)start of US economic dominance Economies of scale As things get bigger, they get cheaper Eternal dynamic to growth As units of outputs increase, cost per unit decreases Am. Companies grow to huge sizes—much bigger than anything before Civil War Advertising is changing the landscape and everyday lives Bessemer converter Developed in England Introduced in Andrew Carnegie’s steel plant in 1870s Purifies iron and mass produces steel (much stronger than iron) Humans dwarfed by machines and essentially replaced by machines Makes steel for railroads oRailroads made by iron: 2-3 years oSteel: 20 years Makes steel a lot cheaper oPrice of steel drops from $100 a ton to $50, eventually to $12 a ton Thomas Edison 1882: first show of what electricity is—lights up wall street Invention factory 1876
Edison Menlo Park, NJ Develops the first modern research lab—libraries, labs, smart people working collectivelyon problems New developments are integrated into systems Corporation limited liability Company or group of people that the law treats as an individual Legally it is considered an individual/single personDistinct from human beings Legal fiction—rights of human beings; can go into debt, can buy, trade, be sued Key differences oNever going to die (can outlive the owners) o