This chapter covers the industrialization of America from 1865 to 1900. This transformation was based on railroad expansion, which in turn encouraged other industries as well as the development of large-scale corporations. Labor unions organized on a national level for the first time to counter the size and power of the employers, but with only mixed success. America also continued to urbanize, with rapid unplanned growth of the cities that, among other things, produced residential patterns reflecting social class divisions. The South tried to participate in the growth under the motto of the “New South,” but the results generally reinforced old social and economic patterns. The “Gospel of Wealth,” conceived by industrial giant Andrew Carnegie, and similar ideas reinforced differences between the rising middle class and the factory workers, but leisure-time activities such as sports added to national unity and a distinctive American identity.
After reading this chapter you should be able to:
Describe the rapid industrialization and large-scale business organizations that characterized the economy as well as the gospel of wealth ideology that supported it.
Discuss the effects that dramatic economic change had on labor and labor organizations.
Outline the explosive growth of the cities as the economy expanded, including the various problems that developed from the concentration of the population.
Explain the concept of the “New South” and why it did not materialize except in the Piedmont communities.
Summarize the interests and issues in society and culture in the “Gilded Age.”
Discuss how new leisure time helped build a greater sense of national identity and at the same time created more conflicts over control of parks and recreation areas.
Summarize how the industrialization and urbanization of America affected community. Use Chicago, Illinois, as a specific example of these changes.
How did the conquest of the trans-Mississippi West prepare the way for the industrial age? (Review Chapter 18.)