Industrialization after the Civil War
This period in our country made these changes due to increased efficiencies in the production of goods, the Government sponsored expedited completion of the transcontinental railroad provided people the ability to travel faster and more safely. We saw that our leadership in general was subject to corruption and also, our leaders had to take note of the plight of the working man and make laws to improve their conditions. The efficiencies in the production of goods and the availability to provide those goods to the majority of the population led to changes in what kinds of work were available and who earned money.
In order to start the transcontinental railroad, the location of where, in the East, it needed to start had to be decided. The plan that was to be decided needed to address, not only the source of the railway in the East, but the path it would take to connect to the West. Barriers such as land ownership and using that land for the railway and the presence of Native Americans who were not likely to step aside and permit this project to go forward, for the benefit of America. As can be found in the Library of Congress website, The Pacific Railway Act detailed the accepted plan (Researchers, LoC, 2014). Once the politicians decided on a plan, the work to complete the railroad began.
According to the Smithsonian Institute’s Asian Pacific American (n.d.) “In 1863 the Central Pacific began working east from Sacramento, California, on the nation's first transcontinental railroad. The railroad made little progress before 1865, then the company decided to hire Chinese laborers to level roadbeds, bore tunnels, and blast mountainsides.”
Once the railroad was completed, many people saw it as a chance to start a new life in a new part of the country. The appeal to start, anew, away from the struggles between the North and the South due to, and after, the Civil War, was a strong temptation for many diverse people. Newly freed slaves saw a way for them to get away from the oppression of the south. Other peoples taking advantage of this improvement sought to make new lives in the West.
With transportation to the West improved, manufacturers and the people in the west saw the need for goods from the East. This demand forced manufacturers to come up with new ways to produce their products and package them to survive the journey west. Prior to the transcontinental railroad, manufacturers had no need to make these changes as there was little chance their products would survive the long and arduous journey west via wagon. The improvements made to manufacturing efficiencies included the assembly line and sweat shops.
With these new manufacturing techniques coming available, people started working in factories instead of the fields. The major shift in these manufacturing techniques was that the work could be performed by unskilled labor as opposed to the traditional master and apprentice trade skills. It was this move that meant that women and children held jobs and earned money for their...