The Civil War is seen as a turning point in America’s history. More specifically, Industrialization in the Civil War caused a shift in our countries focused and began what is now known as the Second Industrial Revolution. At the beginning of the 19th century, the US was just beginning to industrialize. There were many great advancements in both transportation and manufacturing. No longer did a certain region of the United States need to be entirely self-sufficient due to the ease of access to goods. Industrialization during the Civil War opened the door to all kinds of new inventions and ideas that changed the United States for the better.
Pre-Civil War America was growing rapidly with floods of immigrants coming over from across the Atlantic Ocean. With great expansion of the country, there became a great need for a way to transport goods cross-country. The need for the massive industry was obvious: in order to reach California’s burgeoning port cities like San Francisco and to expedite the exportation of gold from the mines, railroad tracks would need to be laid across the plains to reach the Pacific and open up trade networks. Before the war, railroad lines were primarily situated in the North of the country and were used for moving supplies and soldiers around quickly. After the war, various acts were passed in order to restore order in the South, these acts included plans for railroads. Before the
war, the north was much more industry based, with many factories and mills, and the south was more agriculture-based, with their main incomes being cotton and other cash crops. After the war, they were much more equal with the south becoming much more Industrial.
Inventions during the Second Industrial Revolution were connected. The popularity of the railroad lead to the growth of the telegraph machine. Telegraph lines and railroad lines were bound together as telegraph polls dotted the distance of railroad lines. The Telegraph, and later the telephone, welcomed in the era of instant communication and connected the country now more than ever. This was a huge change that Americans had to adapt to. A whole new sense of world unity was created through these new technologies. These technologies also increased the pace of life and improved workflows, such as mass production and scientific management, and overall contributed greatly to economic growth.
The Civil War best reflects a major turning point in our nation’s story. While one can argue that there are many more important events, the nation unifying once more and becoming stronger than before has led to a country that has since been unstoppable. Through industrialization, railroads created a way for Americans to expand westward and also helped by transporting goods to and from big cities. For many Americans, railroads and the West seemed the embodiment of the American dream. The Civil War, although a major flaw in our countries history was, in the end, one of the reasons why we are a strong independent country today.
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