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CDV of the Week: #1 LIFE

Unit 1: Industrialization & Urbanization
How did the United States become an industrial power?

A combination of key factors contributed to industrial growth after the Civil War.  To expand industries, entrepreneurs took advantage of
  • New technological advances,
  • New management techniques
  • Available investment capital
  • The abundance of natural resources and immigrant labor
  • The expanding consumer markets at home and abroad.

While reading chapter 13, we will learn about two leaders of the American Industrial Revolution: Andrew Carnegie and John D. Rockefeller. Andrew Carnegie used improved technology in the production of steel. He also used new organizational principle of vertical integration o become the most cost effective producer of steel in the world.  Carnegie also benefited from the geographic advantages of the American iron ore ranges and their proximity to water transportation or railroads. He profited from the multitude of immigrants who worked for low wages and in poor working conditions. Little government regulation and no income or corporate taxes also aided people like Carnegie.  

Workers responded to industrial growth by organizing labor unions and joining political movements to improve their work lives. They organized unions to push for better hours, wages, and working conditions.  Unions often used strikes to accomplish their goals. Strikes such as the 1913 Western Federation of Miners’ strike against the Calumet and Hecla copper mines in Michigan, and the Homestead and Pullman Strikes were often marked by violence and often ended with government intervention.  

At the national level, major manufacturing centers developed in Pittsburgh, Detroit, and Cleveland near coal and iron ore supplies. The industrial centers were tied together by a growing network of railroads and water routes to transport raw materials and finished goods.

As we read chapter 15 and 18, we will discover that several problems were created by America’s industrial and urban transformation between 1895 and 1930. The population of cities swelled due to massive immigration which led to crowded slums and unhealthy living conditions.  Workers labored long hours for little pay in often unsafe conditions and child labor became endemic.  Corrupt city bosses used machine-politics to secure immigrant votes to maintain power. In this unit, we will analyze the causes, consequences, and limitations of Progressive reform in the following areas:
  • Major changes in the Constitution, including the 16th, 17th, 18th, and 19th Amendments
  • New regulatory legislation (e.g. Pure Food and Drug Act, Sherman and Clayton Anti-Trust Act)
  • The Supreme Court role in supporting or slowing reform
  • Role of reform organizations, movements, and individuals in promoting change
  • Efforts to expand and restrict the practices of democracy as reflected in post-Civil War struggles of African Americans and immigrants.  

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