Rise Of Industrial America Essay

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Ch17. The Rise of Industrial America, 1865-1900
~ By 1900, U.S. leading industrial power by a combination of factors : * Natural Resources (coal, iron ore, copper, lead..) * Labor Supplies (immigrants)
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~ 1880s, rise of monopolistic trusts were big competition needed for natural regulation. ( Social Darwinism. - English social philosopher Herbert Spencer thought Darwin’s idea of natural selection & survival of the fittest should apply to marketplace b/c the concentration of wealthy in the hands of the “fit” was a benefit to the future of human race. - American social Darwinist, Professor William Graham Sumner of Yale argued that help for poor was misguiding b/c it interfered w/ laws of nature & would only weaken evolution of the species by preserving the unfit.
( Gospel of Wealth.
- Religion was more convincing b/c John D. Rockefeller used Protestant work ethic (hard work and material success are signs of God’s favor) to both his business and personal life & said “God gave me my riches”
- Popular lectures, “Acres of Diamonds” Reverend Russell Conwell, preached everyone had duty to become rich.
- Andrew Carnegie’s article “Wealthy” argued wealthy had a God-given responsibility to carry out projects of civic philanthropy to benefit society & he even gave out over $350 mil to support libraries, universities, & public
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- Increase of good-paying jobs = increase income of middle class.
c. Wage Earners.
( 1900, 2/3 of all workers’ wages 10hrs a day, 6days a week, which was not enough for family so used women and kids. - Wages determined by laws of supply & demand, since immigrants compete fir factory jobs, wages were barely above lvl needed. - Low wages were justified by David Ricardo (1772-1823) by “iron law of wages” argued raising wages would only increase working population & availability of workers which would cause wages to fall, thus creating cycle of misery & starvation. - Real wages rose steady (late 1800s), but still bad.
d. Working Women.
~ 1/5 women in 1900 worked for wages, who were young & single since 5% married worked outside home.
- 1900, men & women believed economically feasible for women to stay at home raising kids.
- Factory working women restricted to industries that perceived as an extension of the home (textile, garment, food processing

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