The Americans Celebrated their first century of independence in 1876. Survivors of the recent civil war observed the century proudly and rather self-consciously and above all in the grand centennial Exposition held in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. They spread over several hundred acres, the exposition occupied around 180 buildings and that attracted over nine million visitors, and about one-fifth of the country’s population at a time. Fairgoers strolled through exhibits of life in colonial times, then hurried off to see the main attractions which machines, inventions, and products of the new industrial era.
A Japanese pavilion generated widespread interest in the culture of Japan. There was also a women’s building, the first ever in a major exposition. In the entire exposition, the main focus was machinery. Machinery Hall was civilization. Long line of the curious waited to see the telephone, Alexander Thomas A. Edison displayed several recent inventions, while nearby, whirring machines turned out bricks, chewing tobacco, and many other products. Fairgoers first saw the public display of the typewriter, Elisha Otis’s new elevator, and the Westinghouse railroad air brake. A Giant steam engine dwarfed everything else in the air.
Alone, it supplied power of eight thousand other machines, large and small, on the exposition grounds. Corliss poor design was soon obsolete, but for the moment it captured the nations imagination. It indicated a swift movement toward an industrial and urban society. Industrial growth was thing to remember, neither a simple nor steady nor inevitable process. It involved human decisions and brought with large social benefits and cost. The growth varied in many industries and many years. It was concentrated in the northeast in 1980, more than 85 percent of Americans manufactured goods originated. Industrial development proceeded at an extraordinary pace.
Between 1865 and 1914, the real gross national product the total monetary value of all goods and services produced in a year with prices held stables. They also grew a rate of more than 4 presents a year, increasing about eightfold overall. Founded in 1886, the American federation of labor was a loose alliance of national craft unions. It organized only skilled workers along craft line, avoided polities, and workers for specific practical objective. Born in London tenement in 1850, Gompers was a child of the union movement. Settling in New York, he worked as a cigar maker, he also took an active hand in union activities, and experimented for a time with socialism and work class politics. The Homestead Strike troubled many of the American who wondered whether industrialization, for all its benefits, it might carry a heavy price in social upheaval, class tensions, and even outright warfare
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