Assignment 1.2: Industrialization after the Civil War Final Paper
History 105: Spring 2014
Prof. Michael Smith
Industrialization after the Civil War
After the Civil War the United States became a much more industrialized society. Between 1865 in 1920 industrialization and proved American life in many ways. However industrialization also created problems for American society. This paper will introduce my previously crafted thesis statement where I stated my opinion on how industrialization after the Civil War influenced US society, economy, and politics.
This paper will also ...view middle of the document...
The three major aspects of industrialization during 1865 and 1920 that influenced U.S. society, economy, and politics where; urbanization, working conditions, and a laissez- faire government.
Industrialization and urbanization went hand in hand. Cities offered large numbers of workers for new factories, and as more factories were built, more workers, both native –born and immigrant, moved to cities looking for jobs. Cities provided transportation for raw materials and manufactured goods, as well as markets for the consumption of finished products. By 1930 more than half of all Americans; including one million African Americans that had moved from the rural South to Western and Northern cities in search of jobs and to escape Jim Crow laws, lived in cities. The shift from rural life to urban life had both positive and negative effects. Some of the negative effects of urbanization included crowded, unsanitary living conditions for workers, and corrupt municipal, or city politics. The construction of decent housing was far below the fast paced growth of city populations, the cities were not prepared for that. The city housing primarily consisted of multifamily buildings called tenements. These tenements were usually deteriorated, located in poor working class neighborhoods, severely overcrowded, and inundated with violent crime. Cities also lacked adequate sanitation and water facilities. Poor families that lived in the slums could not afford proper diets and health care. They didn’t have the luxury of running water, and their sewage systems polluted their drinking water which; along with air pollution from the factories, aided in the outbreak of a number of diseases like tuberculosis, typhoid fever, and cholera. Urbanization also came with corruption from political machines, like New York City’s Tammany Hall, who took control of city governments and lined their pockets with money that should have been spent on public works. Tammany Hall was the name given to the Democratic political machine that dominated New York City politics from 1854 to 1954. They were a political force of hegemonic proportions with immense power over the society's bosses that allowed them to enrich themselves and their associates through corruption and administrative abuse. William M. "Boss" Tweed's infamously corrupt reign was nefarious enough to incite an attempt at reform in the early 1870s. (`Teaching Eleanor Roosevelt Glossary: Tammany Hall, 2014)
The positive side of urbanization was aided by new technologies to meet the challenges created by huge numbers of people living together. Subways, streetcars, and elevated trains provided mass transportation. Steel girders and elevators made suspension bridges and high- rise skyscrapers possible. Gas and electric lights made city streets safer, and the growing health problems forced officials to deal with the water and sanitation problem by designing and building new water and sewer systems....