The growth of the factory system Growth in the number and size of factories in

The growth of the factory system growth in the number

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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 19 th century—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 o Had 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) Electricity Modern plumbing o Causes 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 starker Over long run, has unifying effect The Gilded Age Late 19 th century End of Reconstruction to end of century 1877-1900 Coined by Mark Twain Contradiction o Looks shiny and nice, but underneath there is something rotten o Not called golden age, but the Gilded Age Robber barons—captain of industry? Laissez faire French phrase Leave us alone; leave us be 3 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 o Railroads made by iron: 2-3 years o Steel: 20 years Makes steel a lot cheaper o Price 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 collectively on 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 person Distinct from human beings Legal fiction—rights of human beings; can go into debt, can buy, trade, be sued Key differences o Never going to die (can outlive the owners) o

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