Captains Of Industry Essay

909 words - 4 pages

Captains of Industry PaperPost-Civil War (Reconstruction Era) laid the groundwork for what the United States economy is today. The United States switched from an agricultural society to a more urban society. With the invention of steel beams to build with, it provided the opportunity to create larger buildings on less land thus creating more opportunities for people to live in urban areas. The industrial revolution in America shifted the focus from agricultural jobs to factory jobs such as textiles, oil and steel production. With all the new industry hundreds of new jobs became available to the immigrants from other countries and the freedmen flocking to the north for these opportunities (Trochim). Freed slaves from the Civil War also came to the city to find jobs and start new lives. All the new industry and jobs opened the door for self-made men such as Carnegie, Ford and Rockefeller. The self-made man was common in this era, these types of men wanted to go from being nothing to having all the riches they could dream of and this all came from capitalizing on the new industry.Men such as Henry Ford were captains of their industry. Henry Ford not only cornered the market on automobiles, but he did so through his own intuition and intelligent business decisions. He created the assembly line, increasing production ten-fold by eliminating the need for skilled workers and also reduced the reliance on individual workers (Brinkley). Henry Ford's concept was soon adopted by not only the automobile industry, but virtually all manufacturing jobs and some companies still rely on it today.In the big cities such as New York, Chicago, and Pittsburg manufacturing jobs were skyrocketing, and with the ever growing population in America, it fueled growth and prosperity. The growing population and influx of immigrants produced a rock solid labor supply that expanding companies desperately needed. With such exponential rates of growth came issues as well. Factory workers were subject to sub-par working conditions, which would eventually be the root cause of labor disputes such as the Homestead Strike (Brinkley). The poor working conditions along with some workers being forced in to living in Tenements. Rooms designed for one to two families would often house over fifteen to twenty. That paired with the fact that these rooms would often lack ventilation and would rarely even had windows to save money, but instead a central shaft down the middle with a common toilet room in the basement (Brinkley). While many would never want to live in such treacherous conditions, few had a choice.Workers that would stand up to the conditions would be easily replaced due to the easy nature of manufacturing jobs in general. Strikes...

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