Name 24 September 2012 Assignment During the years 1865 and 1900 the United States of America came into its own as the leading industrial power in the world however this did not happen overnight and was backed by a number of incidents and events that helped the country to emerge powerful, taking into account the needs and wishes of the maximum number of people and various sectors of society…
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Furthermore, a wonderful platform was provided for entrepreneurs to showcase their talent at the onset of this revolution. Steam power was introduced with the help of which railways came into being; water wheels were made use of in the manufacturing industry; the textile industry made use of the spinning jenny as well as various other equipments that brought about a revolutionary change in American society. These effects were not only confined to America but also spread through parts of Europe as well as North America, making America to be one of the fastest growing economies at the time. A number of powerful and wealthy industrialists came into being and were known as Robber Barons who sold their products at prices that were very questionable; this process included buying out the competition, paying the employees and workers very low wages, hiking up the prices while maintaining a monopoly in order to amass wealth. This practice was followed under the concept of laissez faire which has been discussed further during the scope of this paper however it was due to such a monopoly that the government in the country had to interfere in order to keep in check the welfare of the poorer sections of society from being exploited by these barons. “Laissez-faire” is a French word-combination that literally means ‘let them do’ and may be interpreted in the economic sense as ‘let them do as they will’ or ‘leave them to do as they please.’ The phrase was brought into question when M. Le Gendre, who led a group of French businessmen, was asked about the welfare of merchants in France and how they could contribute to the commercial structure of the country. Established in the 18th century, the concept of laissez-faire was used in order to oppose any government intervention in business affairs. In America private owners have had a bigger say in matters relating to trade and commerce. E.A.J Johnson wrote the following in his 1973 study on the economic principles established at the foundation of the United States: “The general view, discernible in contemporaneous literature, was that the responsibility of government should involve enough surveillance over the enterprise system to ensure the social usefulness of all economic activity. It is quite proper, said Bordley, for individuals to “choose for themselves” how they will apply their labor and their intelligence in production. But it does not follow from this that “legislators and men of influence” are freed from all responsibility for giving direction to the course of national economic development. They must, for instance, discountenance the production of unnecessary commodities of luxury when common sense indicates the need for food and other essentials. Lawmakers can fulfill their functions properly only when they “become benefactors to the public”; in new countries they must safeguard agriculture and commerce, encourage immigration, and promote manufactures.” (Johnson, E.A.J) One of the main aspects of the industrial revolution in America was the development of railways and railroads because this led to the formation of the backbone of the American economy to a great extent. It assisted in balancing out transport of essential commodities to destinations near and far in order to maintain the supply of
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