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By the time of the Civil War, the technologies upon which the First Industrial Revolution was based were established in the United States. In the years following the war, the nation's industrial energies were focused on completing the railroad and telegraph networks of the North, rebuilding those of the South, and expanding those of the West. Once the devastating depression of the 1870's depleted, the stage was set for the Second Industrial Revolution.

New inventions came about to ease the production of goods that were being supplied. The creation of factories emerged by retailers who were struggling to meet the requirements of the masses surrounding them. The formation of power driven machinery was initiated in order to compete with others. These machines began to replace skilled craftspeople. Since this involved less people, labor costs were reduced, as well as the prices for the goods that were produced. Depending on the country's needs, the machinery produced products by the thousands or even millions.

The impact of these new inventions caused a dramatic drop of the life expectancy of the average citizen to an upsetting fifteen years of age. Because most families were rather poor, everyone had to work. Since there were no child labor laws, children were sent to work in coal mines, and silk mills. Women also had to work, mostly in textiles factories or as seamstresses. Women and children were expected to work up to sixteen hours a day, doing labor that could cause serious injury, such as carrying extremely heavy loads. They were paid ridiculously low wages for their work. Women were paid around five shillings per week, and children were paid about one. Prior to the industrialization, women were never considered as an economic working force, but instead to take care of the household. During the industrialization, women had a big impact on the future but it was not easy for them, since it was often difficult to achieve their goals for equality in the male dominated society. Upon entering World War I, women hoped for more rights. They also had hopes of becoming equal to the white male. Without women, the Industrial Revolution would have never come about. Women make up roughly fifty percent of the world's population; therefore a revolution without women would have been impossible since they were an important work force, such as in cotton factories or other textile manufacturing markets. For the first time as a work force, and a strong political voice, without women the industrial revolution would have failed.

In the late 19'th century, many new immigrants came to America with hopes to escape religious and political persecution, to find better employment opportunities, for more freedoms, and a chance to start over again. The immigrant work force grew fast as the demand for factory labor grew. These immigrants were important to industrialization in the United States. They were willing to work in unsanitary work conditions for little pay. Because of this, American industries were able to hire more of these types of workers. Although they were unskilled, the type of jobs they were required to do were jobs that didn't demand much knowledge.

Workers during the Industrial Revolution had hoped for benefits, such as health, cleaner working conditions, better pay, and less working hours. Industrial workers often felt overworked because of the long, stressful hours placed upon them by their employers. Labor unions began to emerge as a result of the long hours and awful working conditions. These workers were locked up all day in factories that were eight stories high. They were given absolutely no relaxation until the heavy engine stopped. After leaving work, they would go home to get refreshed for the next day. This left these industrial workers with no time for association with their families.

Before the time of industrialization, the United States was an agrarian society. Most of the people were Protestant, English-speaking, Anglo-Saxons from Northern and Western Europe. Many of them came to the United States because of political persecution, overpopulation, overused land, and shortage of jobs due to industrialization in Europe. When it came to the newly freed slaves, they're hopes were to be paid for the work that they had been doing and to be able to have more freedoms. During industrialization, the freed slaves dreamed of progress and self improvement. Some blacks had started their own businesses, bought land, and went into other professions. Another improvement was the fact that a lot of new schools were being made for blacks. Black people began to achieve more rights and therefore wanted to become more involved since they were being rewarded for it.

People like Andrew Carnegie, John D. Rockefeller, and J. Pierpont Morgan were among the big business leaders in the U.S. during the time period of the Industrial Revolution. These business men created large organizations predominantly through two approaches. The first approach involves the combining of firms into a single corporation, and the second being, taking over of all the different businesses on which that specific company relied on. These business men, and others like them, were in charge of major companies.



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