Industrialization after the Civil War


The industrialization which took place between 1865 and 1920 had effect o the society, economy and the politics of U.S. The effect of industrialization revised the working and living conditions of citizens, the rise of businesses, and the role in foreign affairs came into existence due to industrialization. However, there were some negative effects associated with industrialization in America. Therefore the purpose of this paper will be to discuss some of the events which took place after the civil war.

Three major aspects of the industrialization

The three aspects affected by industrialization in America were society, politics and economy. Society was highly influenced by industrialization because there were building of companies, railway was being used to distribute goods and services to different nations (Arrington, 2013). Also, there was movement of many people from the south and farm areas ending towards the Northern urban areas. United States was shifting from agriculture to being more industrialized. Therefore they needed iron and steel for industrialization (Gilder Lehrman Institute, 2009). The society contributed a lot to the industrialization aspect by working in those factories to earn money, as well as working in steel plants.

Economy is the second aspect of industrialization. Economy played the overall role towards industrialization since all the factories, trains, and stores were built contributing to economic growth. Immigration of people made the economy to change the society into an urban industrial state (Schultz, 2013). Industrialization reduced investment interests in machine production because the machines were used to produce other goods thus increasing the productivity. Increased productivity led to economic growth through rising the living standards of people. Due to economic growth, more employment opportunities were created rising the income of the people.

Politics is the last aspect. The aspects of politics was reflected in business sector rather than to the urban people who were poor not even the working class.  Schulz (2013), states that different politicians from state, local and federal government provided their friends with land grants and government contracts. Politicians were more corrupt and they rooted public funds.

5 groups that were affected by industrialization

Industrialization impacted on  the first group, the middle and low class because, building of assembly lines left the lower class jobless (Rees, 2015). When the economy had growth rate of employment had increased, however as the industrialization stepped on low class become victims as the factories were built for extensive production. Use of machines for production purposes left many unemployed. According to Gilder (2009) building of factories left may people unemployed because assembly lines could produce goods within a short period of time as compared to man. Also Gilder Lehman Institute argued that workers were being defended by labor groups from greedy employers who looked at the workers as cost of production instead of regular individuals. However, most of the low income earners secured some good jobs in the newly formed factories to work with the machines thus increasing their level of earning (Morris, 2013).

The second group was the Native Americans. Due to industrialization, America by roads, railroads were expanded and from there more towns were build causing reduction in Indian land thus forcing the Native Americans to take small portions of land in different parts of the country (Rees 2015). Consequently, with the building of new urban areas, factories growing constant and need for land to build more factories forced the Natives to move to even much smaller areas (Morris, 2013). As stated by the University of Michigan, “there were sprouting up of new urban areas as cities started to grow with factories, mills and need for other structures to expand industry which led to taking the Native American tribes land”. After displacement they moved close to the factories hoping to get employment. There they experienced harsh conditions as the housing was poor and unsanitary was very high causing diseases and epidemics. A positive effect of industrialization was that some secured jobs in those industries, though they were paid low wages due to lack of skills (Rees 2015).

The third group was the immigrants. Europe had experienced some tremendous population growth forcing some people to migrate. Some came to the US from eastern, central and southern Europe to seek land for cultivation. This was due to the industrial revolution in Europe which had drawn people from the agricultural areas to the urban areas causing overcrowding and unemployment (University of Michigan <nd>). Those immigrants were affected because they came into America never knowing any English nor had any work skill.

The fourth group of people was the children. Due to industrialization, more industries were build and they needed cheap labor. For that reason children were used to provide the cheap labor because they worked for minimal wages as compared to adults. Due to child labor, some of the children even become deformed and crippled.

The fifth group of people was the African American. They possessed no skills hence they were assigned with inferior jobs (Morris, 2013). They had limited access to education. They suffered low wages as well as discrimination. However, before industrialization black Americans were working as slaves in the big plantations of the Native Americans but due to industrializations those plantations were deployed to build factories thus making the blacks free from slavery and hard labor.

Another group of people were the women. They worked under low pay and they were not given equal opportunities as men. Women were also denied the right to vote.

5 ways in which industrialization affected the average American

Averaging Americans suffered low wages. Most of the workers in the factory were women and children who were paid low wages. The average Americans lacked the relevant skills. Secondly, industrialization led to women and child labor (Rees, 2015). Women and children were faced with long working hours as well as harsh working conditions. Many were faced with dangerous health issues and short lunch breaks. Average Americans Also faced against poor housing (Schwab, 2017). The average Americans were oppressed because authorities never enforced laws. Business men did what they wished to and never followed the law. Average Americans also experienced poor housing due to displacements from industrialization.

There were positive effects too whereby; economically, there was diversity of the market and people never needed to go to one place and buy their products, industrialization led to reduction in transportation cost for the average American because more roads and rails had been build, farmers were introduced to new and better farming technologies with introduction of farming machines (Rees, 2015). Above all average woman was transformed to a better positional change. Women could now work in the office and factories unlike traditionally when women were associated with only taking care of the household.


In conclusion, American industrialization caused tremendous change in the life of different groups of individuals as discussed in the essay.

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