In, the aftermath in what was the Civil war, most of the south and parts of the north’s land had been decimated and ran through. This along with urbanization of land that was once mostly rural used for farming every day good and mass producing exports like tobacco, cotton, and lumber. (Cite) Plus, the expansion of the United States territories westwards. These lands were either acquired through purchase from other countries or from winning them in war.
The time period that this is generally known as is, the Second Revolution or the Technological revolution. This time period last between the years 1870-1914. Between these years the United States was affected economically, socially and technology. The separation between the rich and the poor was auntalked about problem that could not be silenced anymore. The social impact might have been the biggest of them all. By the end of the Second Industrial Revolution in the United States 40% of the population lived in cities compared to 6% in the beginning of the 1800s.(cite) In, 1846 the United States acquired Oregon from Great Britain with the signing of the Oregon Treaty.
It took many disputes over land borders and years of being stubborn on both sides for this deal to get done. In 1848, the southwest part of today’s United States was obtained from Mexico by way of the Treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo.(Engelman, 2018) This along with the annexation of Texas created a necessity for more jobs, food, education and other important factors in a nation that is expanding and becoming themselves.
With all of this expansion going towards the west people needed away to travel that way and once arriving be able to send and receive goods back and forth to the east. At this time, even with railways being around horses were the main source of travel especially for short distances. The Second Revolution saw a mass expansion of the railway system across the United States and horses were replaced by oil and electric powered vehicles.
In order to reach new territories especially port cities like San Francisco and to obtain the newly found gold reserves. The increase of steel production in the 1860s helped this happen. Since there was so much steel railroads could be completed at a lower price. Also, since steel was more durable and stronger than iron which is what used to be used to make the rails, the new iron rails could be rolled because of their longer length. Cities were also becoming more and more developed and industrial by the year and needed better means of transportation systems.
The first automobile was created in 1886 by Karl Benz (cite) and changed how we travel until this very day. It, had wire wheels which differentiated from the wooden frames that carriages had and more importantly was the first automobile to be powered by itself unlike how carriages were pulled by animals most often horses. While being very effective and the easiest way to go from place to place in cities cars were took a long time to assemble and were very expensive meaning only the upper class could afford them and that class of people was pretty small compared to the impoverished.
In 1896, Henry Ford began his path that would lead him to become a pioneer in the automobile industry by building his first car. In 1903 the Ford Motor Company was founded. Ford and the people who worked under and alongside him at the company struggled with ways to produce these cars all while in keeping Henry Ford’s vision of a car that is efficient and affordable. The solution that they devised was a newly built factory with machines that were systematically positioned in the work sequence. All unnecessary human motions were eliminated by placing all work and tools within easy reach, and where practical on conveyors, forming the assembly line, the complete process being called mass production. However, the biggest overall change in this time period energywise is that electricity replaced steam power.
Electricity which many people give the credit of being discovered by Benjamin Franklin who, was one of the greatest scientific minds of his time. Franklin had many interest throughout his life but was very well versed in many areas of science. He also was an inventor and one of his inventions were the bifocal glasses.(Cite) Electricities importance in the Second Industrial Revolution is astronomically significant. Great developments in communication where a result of the advancements of electricity. In, 1876 Alexander Graham Bell invented and patented what he would call the telephone.
Bell, described what the telephone did by saying If I could make a current of electricity vary in intensity precisely as the air varies in density during the production of sound, I should be able to transmit speech telegraphically. (cite) The first telephone call was completed successfully by Bell to his assistant Thomas Watson and said Mr. Watson, come here. I want you.(cite) Three years later, another man with the first name Thomas had made a discovery involving incandescent lamps other wise known as light bulbs.
Edison is often given credit for this discovery but it is shown others came up their own versions before Edison. The reason that Edison is often noted for is because his version worked better in three different ways than his predecessors. Edison’s light bulb had effective incandescent material, a higher vacuum than others were able to achieve and a high resistance that made power distribution from a centralized source economically viable.(cite)
In, 1878 Thomas Edison filed his for patent for his new device and after two years of adjustments and modifications to this device, his company Edison Electric Light Company (cite) began to market the new commodity. Today we see the light bulb as a convenience and that is in big part because of Edison. Technology boomed during this time period and we saw advancements in transportation, energy and power, and in many other fields but this was not the only impact this revolution had.
When the 20th century had rolled around the United States had felt the impact the revolution had. Urbanization was increasing at a rapid rate and because of that, people went from living on farms and producing goods to moving into cities and working in factory jobs.
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