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Development of Industrialization Essay


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Development of Industrialization


Industrial development in the US began at the onset of the 19th Century, continued progressively prior and even after the culmination of the Civil War. When the War ended, there were a healthy number of small industries in the country though manual labor was universally common restraining production capacity (Henretta, Edwards, Self & Hinderaker, 2014). Capital was also another factor that challenged expansion and also the fact that most industries served a limited market. However, a few years after the War saw a dramatic transformation of the country’s industry. Machines led to increased production as it replaced manual labor (Henretta, Edwards, Self & Hinderaker, 2014). This paper seeks to discuss the primary factors that promoted the growth of industrialization from 1865 to the end of the 19th Century.

Big Business

Enhanced methods of production through mechanization of production processes spread to every US states and even at community levels. This meant that workers produced more outputs as large industries hired numerous employees (Henretta, Edwards, Self & Hinderaker, 2014). Division of labor also became the mainstay of American industries. Similarly, numerous inventors generated novel ideas which lead to the development of new product segments. The country’s vast natural resources also played a great role to the onset and development of big business (Henretta, Edwards, Self & Hinderaker, 2014). Abundant water resource powered industrial machines, forests offered lumber for wooden products and construction materials and iron was mined for the manufacture of machines and equipment (Henretta, Edwards, Self & Hinderaker, 2014). Coal was also used to generate power.

The burgeoning population provided a huge market for the many industries finished goods as well as services (Henretta, Edwards, Self & Hinderaker, 2014). The railway transportation also spread out all over the country allowing for new local markets to be exploited. Railway construction also led to the employment of many of the country’s people. The communication system also boosted industrial development as it replaced traditional mail delivery systems ensuring smoother big business operations (Henretta, Edwards, Self & Hinderaker, 2014). On the same note, big business prompted a phenomenal rise in investments through corporate bonds and stocks which further led to greater industrial expansion (Henretta, Edwards, Self & Hinderaker, 2014). The banking system thrived as banks financed economic growth and opened up to the interior parts of the country.


The American public during this period called for a reduction of poverty, better conditions of living for the poor and more so, regulation of big business (Henretta, Edwards, Self & Hinderaker, 2014). This led to a government that sought to distance itself from corruption and remain highly responsive to society as well as meet other set goals (Henretta, Edwards, Self & Hinderaker, 2014). For instance, labor and farmers unions emerged to champion for farmers and workers rights. This allowed farmers to realize good returns from their trade while also ensuring that workers got better working conditions with improved pay (Henretta, Edwards, Self & Hinderaker, 2014).

Another major reform occurred in this periods and it concerned women suffrage which was the starting point for the path to ensuring women had the right to vote that officially began in 1869 (Henretta, Edwards, Self & Hinderaker, 2014). More so, especially the public became aware that they possessed a voice which they used to call for greater reforms and as such, transformed the country’s political landscape with Democrats and Republicans looking to support populist leaders (Henretta, Edwards, Self & Hinderaker, 2014). This allowed for state and local governments to formulate policies for greater support to the poor. Another aspect that influenced the development of the US was foreign affairs. At the turn of the 19th Century, the country became a leader in world affairs and by extension, the 1898 Spanish American War led to the transformation of its foreign policy (Henretta, Edwards, Self & Hinderaker, 2014). More so, its trade with European countries grew as the areas previously held by Spain now independent could not send products to Europe. The country’s shipping industry thus developed as a result therein.



Henretta, J. A., Edwards, R., Self, R. O. & Hinderaker, E. (2014). America: A Concise History, Volume 2, 6th Edition. London, UK: Macmillan Publishers.

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