Essay on The American Industrial Revolution Of The 1800s

3193 Words Apr 23rd, 2015 13 Pages
The American industrial revolution of the 1800s was powered by coal. This newly harnessed energy source is what made the industrial innovations, like the fabrication of steel and iron, of the 1800s possible. In the early days of its mining, 1840, only 7,000 men were mining coal in America, but by 1870 the number of miners increased to 186,000. This increase was only the beginning. In 1900 the number of miners had surged to as many as 677,000. With the increase of workers came the increase of tons of coal that was being mined. The coal was used to power the technological innovations that steadily reshaped American culture. Though there were many benefits, the mining of coal came with heavy consequences, especially at the expense of those who mined it. Coal mining had always been a dangerous profession, but as the demand for the commodity increased so did the dangers that were associated with it. Miners worked long hours, with pay solely dependent on the weight of the coal mined, safety measures were cut in order to save money, and miners and their families continued to become “enslaved” to the coal town operator. These factors, along with the ever-rising dangers of coal mining, were responsible for the social unrest growing within the coal fields. Miners began calling for social justice and unionization. Beginning as early as April 1894, with the help of the newly formed union group, like the United Mine Workers (UMW), nationwide strikes broke out. The momentum did not last…

Related Documents