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The Industrial Revolution from 1820 to 1870 - Essay Example

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The Industrial Revolution from 1820 to 1870 was one of the most important economic developments in the United States. But there were two industrial revolutions. The first began in the late 18th century in the Britain. The second occurred during the mid 19th century in the US and Germany…
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The Industrial Revolution from 1820 to 1870

Download file to see previous pages... Whereas the first revolution played a role in the invention, development and implementation of spinning and weaving machines for the textile industry, which use water power until the introduction of steam power, it was the second revolution that really changed American economy and society into a modern industrialized state. The process had begun in the 19th century.
Growth in the 19th century was fuelled by many factors: plentiful resources, innovative technology, cheap and efficient energy, swift transportation and labor and capital which were readily available (Wikipedia 2007). In the west, forests, mines and cattle supplied the raw materials for key industries. The rapid expansion of railroads allowed businesses to transport raw materials to and from factories and move products to the cities where the bigger markets lay. Around this time too, a continual flow of European and Asian immigrants arrived in America to seek work. Many found work in the factories and mines.
Advancements in technology shaped and improved production with the invention of the assembly line in a number of industries. This along with new machine tool industries which produced cutting, drilling and milling machineries, hastened manufacturing and production. A series of breakthrough inventions and discoveries such as the phonograph, electric light, telephone, typewriter, automobile and others opened up new industries. Businesses changed with the times and the corporate heads discovered how to conduct business and broaden their economic activities to encompass wider geographic territories and eventually global ones. This permitted businesses to expand and today's mega corporations are founded on business organization with their own theories and practices.
From 1870 to 1900 the United States became the most industrialized nation in the world. In numerous sectors such as steel and timber production, mining of coal, iron, silver and gold, meatpacking and other industries, the US emerged as a leader. In general, the nation saw a huge upsurge in the pace and scale of industrialization which had altered businesses, commerce, the environment, job opportunities and daily life. With the development of industries around major cities, people moved from farms and the countryside to the cities for work. But agriculture was not neglected as advancements were made with agricultural machines. The established political and legal systems which the US had inherited from the British model, encouraged entrepreneurship and rewarded innovation and initiative. The nation was socially more mobile than any other, and receptive to change.
Three important developments in the mid 1850s spurred the Second Industrial revolution in America. One, was the transportation system was developed and expanded. Two, electrification was successful exploited and put to use. Three, major progress was made to the industrial system such as improving the refining process and hastening production. The government passed a protective tariff to protect American manufacturers.
There was a great demand in the railways, not only for transportation of goods but also to make it more durable. This led to development and production of cheap mass produced steel which during the time saw its use in many aspect of industrial activity. After steel, the industrialization took on to include chemical and electrical industries, petroleum refining and distribution and eventually ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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