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American Colossus

Page history last edited by Mr. Hengsterman 1 year, 6 months ago

American Colossus: The Triumph of Capitalism [1865 to 1900]

In the decades between the Civil War and the turn of the twentieth century, a few

breathtakingly wealthy businessmen transformed the United States from an agrarian economy to a world power.




Image result for promontory point







A widely circulated photo of the Golden Spike celebration in 1869
excluded Chinese laborers who built the Transcontinental Railroad.
Read more at the San Francisco Examiner 


AP Focus: The Development of manufacturing on a large scale. This includes steel, oil, mining, and railroads.   Also impacted by Industrialization were social networks and consumer goods 


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The Bessemer process was the first inexpensive industrial process for the mass production of steel from molten pig iron before the development of the open hearth furnace. The key principle is removal of impurities from the iron by oxidation with air being blown through the molten iron. The oxidation also raises the temperature of the iron mass and keeps it molten



The Economics of Industrialization


1. Production by machine rather than by hand


2. Involvement of an increasing proportion of the work force in manufacturing concentrated in large, intricately organized factories


3. Accelerated technological innovation, emphasizing new inventions and applied science


4. Expanded markets, no longer local and regional in scope


5. Growth of a nationwide transportation network based on the railroad, along with a communications network based on the telegraph and telephone.


6. Increased capital accumulation for investment/expansion of production


7. Growth of large enterprises and specialization


8. Steady increase in the size and predominance of American cities  



Industry in America  1800-1900A Short Timeline



1814  The Lowell System


1824  The American System



1862  The Civil War Era



1900  Consolidation-Specialization





The Impact of Industrialization on American Society;










All encompassing system that impacts people at all levels and relationships


Will impact human relationships beyond the work a day world.. WHY?   They move, how they work






Industry can create very different outcomes at the same time


Unifying elements 

Dis-unifying elements 

Makes country smaller
drops travel time
brings people into an integrated marketplace (same consumer goods)
Middle class develops (white collar) staffing offices of huge companies

$ to buy modern goods


Workers cannot afford the new goods

 They only avenue for participation is as an overworked and underpaid factory worker


The leads to labor conflicts 1880-1890

Management  vs. labor


These conflicts will disrupt the entire economy



The US has always been stratified, but during the Age of Industry the GAP GROWS


In the year 1900, Andrew Carnegie, owner of Carnegie Steel Corporation, earned $23 million dollars. At the turn of the century,
when the average worker earned $957 for engineers (the aristocrats of the railroad) 





"Sweat of the laborer lubricated the vast new industrial machine. Yet the wage workers did not share proportionately 
with their employers in the benefits of the age of big business."






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