Maturing Of An Industrial Society: Second Half Of The 19th Century

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SS8 Unit 1, Part 1 Maturing of an Industrial Society: Second Half of the 19th Century

A) Problems and progress in American politics 1) New problems created a changing role of government and the political system 2) Scandals, economic depressions, limitations of traditional politics resulted in reluctant change a) Civil Service replaced the Spoil System after the death of President Garfield b) misuse of government funds regarding Civil War veterans 3) Democratic and Republican political parties dominated national politics a) third party politics did rise, especially those for workers and farmers 4) Both New York State and New York City was in an era of machine politics a) machine in NYC was Tammany Hall, run by “Boss Tweed” 5) most levels of government had a laissez-faire attitude toward business (noninterference)

B) Why United States developed as an industrial power 1) Changes in methods of production/distribution of manufactured goods a) transportation – canals, railroads b) communication – telegraph, telephone c) industrial technology – factories, use of steel d) rise of banking and financial institutions

2) growth in number of firms engaged in manufacturing, distribution of goods 3) need for more skilled workers 4) expanding markets for goods 5) growth of cities a) often too fast, creating over crowdedness

C) Growth of corporations (especially oil, steel, railroad) 1) one form of business organization 2) many firms kept traditional ways of doing business 3) advantages of corporations a) owned by many people through the purchase of stock b) way to raise money to expand business c) individuals have voice in the business 4) disadvantage of corporations a) people who own at least 51% control the business b) can put smaller businesses out of business

D) Government’s response to industrial abuses 1) Question of laissez-faire vs. regulation divided many people 2) Government created: a) ICC (Interstate Commerce Commission) b) Sherman Anti-Trust Act – meant to regulate monopolies, not effective
E) Response of labor to industrialization 1) a larger work force was developing with more complex products 2) working conditions often created hardships due to overcrowding, poor conditions, and generally unsafe work areas 3) early attempts to unionize often met with resistance and failure a) Knights of Labor tried to include all workers and was able to help very few b) an explosion during a union meeting in Chicago’s Haymarket Square resulted in deaths and became known as the Haymarket Riot 4) the American Federal of Labor (AFL) was successful as it limited itself to only skilled workers

F) Changing patterns of agricultural organization 1) Unprecedented growth in agriculture a) thousands of people had taken advantage of the Homestead Act of 1862 (160 acres of land for a small fee, had to live on land for five years) 2) Changes in methods of production and distribution of farm products a) steel plow and improved reaper made farming easier b) trains meant products could be sold further away from farm

G) Response of farmer to industrialization 1) Cheap money (paper) made loans easier to repay 2) railroads raised their rates as they knew the farmers depended on the railroad 3) famers join political group known as Grangers seeking reforms for farmers and government control of railroad rates 4) Small political groups (including Grangers) joined together into a large group called the Populist party 5) many of the reforms the Populists wanted were included by the Democratic party in the 1890’s (Populist party faded away)

SS8 Unit 1, Part 2