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US History 1865 to Present - Admission/Application Essay Example

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Summary
The Civil War, Reconstruction, and the Gilded Age happened for only a span of a little more than fifty years, but they were enough to consolidate the power of big businesses over the working class through the overwhelming support of the government for the former. The…
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US History 1865 to Present
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US History 1865 to Present

Download file to see previous pages... During the Civil War, big businesses and government controlled wealth mainly through the railroad business industry, which continued during the Reconstruction, while in the Gilded Age, monopoly and vertical integration, under the banner of laissez-faire economics, reinforced and expanded corporate interests. However, the Progressive Era changed the political dynamic through new policies that addressed issues of social justice and reforms.
During the Civil War, the North was poised to control national wealth because of its capitalist economic structure that gave it unique advantages over the plantation economy of the South. Big businesses in the North profited from the war because they owned mass production factories that supported the military industrial complex. These businesses had a wage labor system that did not only increase productivity efficiently, but also motivated workers, compared to the slaves of the Southerners. Workers felt they were working toward something, whereas slave had nothing to look forward to since they were slaves for life and could not save money and own anything. Laborers were more productive and more efficient than slaves, which, in itself, was a significant precursor to the accumulation of wealth among big businesses in the North.
The North also had an advantage over the South because of innovation and technology. These innovations were not new, but were leveraged further during the Civil War. An example of innovations from the North was its capability for mass production of interchangeable parts in making weapons. The gunsmiths of the South controlled every part of gun production, which was slow and inefficient compared to mass weapons production in the North. Machines of the North produced exact dimensions of every aspect of their weapons, which improved efficient use. If something breaks, there was a stockpile of spare parts. Another example was the use of the telegraph. The North had a well-developed ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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