The Impact of the Industrial Revolution in America
There is no question that the Industrial Revolution had an enormous impact on American society between 1870 and 1940, but the question is what kind of an impact did it have during this period. The overall effect of the Industrial Revolution turned out to be a positive push towards modernization in America. As Stephen Gardiner, a British architect and writer during the 20th century, said, “The Industrial Revolution was another one of those extraordinary jumps forward in the story of civilization.” While Gardiner hit the nail on the head with his quote, the part of the story that most people tend to forget is just how quickly we Americans, made that extraordinary jump forward. There were Americans, who, at one point in their life were
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This quickly led to the “big boom” for the American economy. For the first time people were able to buy manufactured goods at a reasonable price, and because it wasn’t nearly as expensive as it used to be, this made American consumers excited for the present and future again. Once consumers began to buy more goods, the American economy started to grow. Then, once more companies became technologically sound, competition began, which drove the prices down and increased consumer demand. This was how the free economic market of America was supposed to work. Andrew Carnegie even once said, “We accept and welcome... as conditions to which we must accommodate ourselves, great inequality of environment; the concentration of business, industrial and commercial, in the hands of a few; and the law of competition between these, as being not only beneficial, but essential for the future progress of the race.” This became the beginning of economic America on a global scale.
However, not everyone was enjoying his or her new life during the Industrial Revolution. Many poor people were forced to share an apartment with 6 or 7 other people. Living in such unsanitary conditions usually caused disease and sickness. Factory conditions also made the workplace a very unsafe environment for people. It was always dark and there were never any precautionary safety measures taken. During this