Prior to the civil war, most industries in America were small-scale, mostly cottage industries. The businesses were small and mostly carried out in homes and communities, and they had few employees. After the civil war, the country experienced major industrial changes. Hand labor was replaced by machines that increased production levels in the industries. Moreover, inventors developed new products in large quantities to satisfy the demand of the public. As a result, many large businesses came up such as steel, coal mining, petroleum and railroad companies which provided employment to thousands of people. Besides, a new railroad network was established to distribute goods in different parts of the country.
Various factors contributed to these industrial transformations. First, it is due to the improved communication and transportation network in the U.S. By 1890s, and the country had the most developed railroad system in the globe. This helped to link different cities in the state that facilitated the transportation of raw materials like coal, iron and minerals for industrial use. The trains also helped to transport finished products to consumers hence promoting business expansion. The linkage of the railroad and telegraph also helped to standardize its operations. The growth of capitalism in the U.S was also perceived to contribute to industrial growth. Under this system, labor, capital, and goods were traded and the gains distributed to the individuals/investors. During this period, the capitalists such as Andrew Carnegie and John Rockefeller benefited from capitalism. Capitalism influenced the economy of United States during that era, and it continues to influence it today. Abundant of natural resources also helped to transform the U.S into an industrial society. The countrys plenty water supply helped in running industrial machines. Minerals such as coal and iron ore were used in steel industries that played a role in industrial transformation. Lastly, availability of labor led to industrial growth after the civil war. During this era, many people moved from the farms into the city. This plus some immigrants provided enough labor force for the industries and businesses.
In what ways did Progressivism include both democratic and anti-democratic impulses?
Progressivism was meant to enhance democracy in the United States. However, this is not true since the democracy was more focused on the native whites and middle class and less on the non-whites, poor and the immigrants of America. This progressivism entailed both democratic and anti-democratic impulses.
Progressivism had democratic impulses in some ways. This evident in the fact that it rallied behind the selection of women to elective posts. Furthermore, its push for practices such as secret ballots and direct democracy measures is a clear indication of a democratic impulse. Finally, the adoption of the 17th amendment that gave people the opportunity to elect the US senators directly shows that progressivism had democratic impulses.
However, some practices indicate that progressivism entailed anti-democratic impulses. Since it was believed that white Americans, middle class and native-born were superior to the others and should have more powers, policies were enacted with the aim to limit the political power of other people. Moreover, legislation was put in place to regulate the behaviour of other people. For example, progressivism wanted to control the consumption of alcohol because they felt it affected the immigrants and the poor. It could be democratic if the immigrants and the poor could make their decision on this issue instead of being controlled. Another good example is the establishment of a practice like at-large city elections. This was put in place since progressivism did not want the immigrants and the poor to elect their representatives in areas of the city. They believed that these people were educated enough to elect good representatives. Therefore, at-large city elections were established so that the vote of the native-born and middle class that were many, could cancel out that of the poor and the immigrants. This clearly indicates that progressivism had both democratic and anti-democratic impulses.
Causes of the Great Depression, and how effective were the governments responses by 1932
The occurrence of great depression started in 1929 and stayed up to 1939. It had drastic effects on world trade such that it caused the revenue of the country to plummet. It affected the U.S economy so much such that it started with the collapse of the prices at the New York exchange market. It also affected financial institutions and banks especially those with portfolios in the stock market. The great depression began in the United States but became a worldwide issue affecting the global economy.
The great depression was caused by underlying imbalances and weaknesses in the economy of United States. It exposed the weaknesses of how financial and political institutions failed to cope up with the experienced downward economic cycle. Before the great depression, the government did not act on time to deal with the business downturn instead relied on market forces to avert the situation. However, market forces alone were not able to attain economic recovery during the early years of the great depression.
Despite the shrinking economy, the government had to provide essential services to the public. At the same time, the government had to contribute to the crisis by cutting off part of its expenditure and laying off some employees. However, the reaction from the government was seen as ineffective since it could not deal with the reality.
Why World War II is considered a watershed period both socially and technologically?
Many historians describe World War II as a watershed event because of the effects it had on the history of America both socially and technically. Involvement in the war pulled U.S out of the great depression making it regain its reputation in the globe. During this period, military drafts were established thus providing employment to people fighting for their nation. Particularly, there was the urgency for the production of airplanes, war material, ships and non-military goods. This provided jobs to more citizens of America thus leading to economic revitalization. President Truman enacted the Employment Act of 1946 which would ensure that America does not experience another depression. The act was to enhance maximum purchasing power and employment production in the country.
World War II was brought about several changes of the social aspect. The roles of women changed dramatically in the society. During the war, because many men went to the war, women took up their positions in the industries and other parts in the social life. When the war ended, they continued to hold their positions because of the reduction of the numbers of men. This changed the role of women in everyday life. It made women participate actively in many aspects of life. Nowadays, women take part in all jobs that men do such as in politics and economics. Moreover, women continue to fight to be as equal as men. All these developments are a watershed of the World War II.
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