Effects of industrialization on the lower, middle, and upper class This essay will explore the effect of rapid industrialization on the development of each of the economic classes in the United States during the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries. These economic classes include the upper, middle, and lower class. In the late nineteenth century America found themselves as a nation transformed by industrialization. It had become one of the world’s greatest industrialized nation. At that time a new social economic class structure was beginning to develop. Each class has been effected by industrialization in different ways.
The rich took advantage of the industrial revolution by starting big corporations, which lead to monopolies and fierce competition with each other. There was a fierceness of competition between companies to try and claim dominance, trying to push the other out. An example of this is the career of Andre Carnegie. As a Scottish immigrant coming to America at the age twelve. He decided to build his own steel mill. Using his own simple philosophy: “Watch the costs, and the profits will take care of themselves.” Basically by using rigorous cost accounting and paying low wages to his workers, he lowered his production costs and prices below those of his competitors. By 1900 Carnegie Steel became one of the world’s largest industrial corporation.
This dominance that the corporations were pining for with the lack of regulation is one of the factors that contributed to the monopolies thus leading to the Sherman Anti-Trust Act. According to the rise of corporate America the Sherman Anti-Trust Act outlawed trusts and any other monopolies that fixed prices in restraint of trade. Another example of company dominance is John D. Rockefeller, he was a young Cleveland merchant who gradually made his corporations into monopolies. It started in 1872 when he purchased his own tanker cars and not only obtained ten percent rebate from the railroads for hauling his oil but also a kickback on his competitor’s shipments. He forced out his competitors by lowering his prices below cost and depleted their businesses. Rivals teamed up to go against him he set up a pool, which is an agreement with several companies or corporations that established fixed prices and quotas. He ended up controlling ninety percent of the country’s oil-reining capacity. Still worried about competition Rockefeller decided to nip the competition in the bud by establishing a new form of organization, the Standard Oil Trust. The trust eventually created an umbrella corporation that ran all the other companies. During industrialization and urbanization it not only changed how most Americans lived but thought as well. There was a wide-spread of acceptance of uneven distribution of wealth among Americans. Prior to the turn of the century , many upper- and middle- class Americans believed in the concept of Charles Darwin’s discoveries about biological evolution to society, which is called social Darwinism. Social Darwinism is survival of the fittest.
In accordance to the chapter how they lived middle class life, the poor was seen as biologically, morally, and socially inferior. Although many workers rejected social Darwinism and Victorian morality, others aspire to the middle-class status. According to how they lived middle class, the comforts that the middle class enjoys were made possible in part and at the cost of the exploitation of the industrial workers. The middle-class families try to emulate the furnishing and housing of the rich or wealthy.
According to how they lived middle class life, after nineteen- hundred there were concerns from the middle class about their wages and their comfortable standard of living. Wages were misleading because skilled workers made more than unskilled workers. Even within the same industry and occupation the pay had a wide variety depending on the geographical…