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The Industrial Boom

  • Date Submitted: 01/28/2010 09:05 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 49.2 
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Question: What factors helped to promote America’s huge industrial growth during the period from 1860 to 1900?

Industrialization in America did not begin until about a hundred years after it began in England and other European countries. Although once it began, it kept on going. Within forty years America was producing anywhere between double to five times the amount of steel that Germany or England was producing. This was called The Industrial Boom. During The Industrial Boom many of the things that are used today were created, like the first car, telephone, light bulb, vacuum, even the shaving razor. Oddly, before 1860 America didn’t even seem like it would ever become an industrial nation, but rather it would always be an agricultural nation. So what caused this transformation of a country that was mostly farms into one of the greatest industrial nations in the world?

In the graph of Document #2, it shows that between 1860 to 1900 there was an increase of railroad track of about 160,000 miles. This all began after the Civil War when congress decided to build a transcontinental railroad. Congress provided subsidies to railroad companies who built the railroad tracks. The railroad was probably the biggest factor in promoting industrial growth in America. To small businesses, the railroad allowed them to ship out mail and products more quickly. It also created new ways of managing businesses which is now how most businesses are managed today. Aside from helping small businesses, the growth of the railroad created thousands of jobs for Americans. Steel workers were needed to turn millions of tons of iron in to steel; lumberjacks cut down forests for railroad ties, and coal mining jobs to mine coal to fuel the train engines.

In Document #1 it tells us that during the1850’s the English government sent a committee of businessmen to observe how American industrialists operated their factories. The report that was...


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