After the end, of Civil War and Reconstruction, America’s economy entered the second industrial revolution that brought great advancements in Agriculture, manufacturing, and transportation that began in Britain. This made it easier for farmers to produce commodities in large quantities for trade. The revolution was fueled by the government’s participation in promoting industrial and manufacturing projects (Sinclair, and Kathleen, 2003).
The land was allocated for railway companies to encourage construction of transportation infrastructure. Enactment of high tariffs by the government protected the American industries from outside competition. The improved transport system brought about efficiency, and this created opportunities to create more wealth at a time when most people still resided in their farms.
This marked the start of shipping of goods across the Atlantic and vice versa. The revolution transformed the nature of how business was conducted in the United States. The second revolution was due to an expanding market for the manufactured goods and a growing labor brought in by immigrants from Europe and Africa (Sinclair, and Kathleen, 2003). Immigrants also brought new Inventions and ideas that were later incorporated into the system.
The telegraph and later the telephone ushered the era of instant communication and profound change for most Americans. The living standards and consumer purchasing power greatly increased the pace of life and the manner in which people lived. Due to the numerous inventions and new ideas that helped propel the economy forward, the second industrial revolution is considered one of the most successful and beneficial to Americans.
The turn of the twentie...
th century marked the beginning of a progressive era and civil-rights movements that included the fight for political reforms (Sinclair, and Kathleen, 2003). This was a time for great social and economic advancement. The progressive era was characterized by change and innovation regarding social welfare. This came as a response by different groups, to the issues experienced as a result of rapid industrialization and urbanization during the second industrial revolution.
Some of the problems included widespread poverty and exploitation of labor. Black and white liberals struggled to eliminate racial discrimination and other oppressive acts by forming organizations as well as citizenship schools to champion for equality for all, including the right to vote. The progressives championed to abolish the harsh treatment and abuse that came with capitalism.
Muckrakers were influential journalists in the progressive movement, and they exposed corruption, wastage, scandals in the government as well as corporate world and the widespread poverty that rocked the country. Although the movement is said to have lasted through 1920, it still lives through grass root movements like the progressive majority, which are still working to help citizens take control of their government.
This period also saw America, with her allies go to war. World war one, was a military conflict that began as a local war between Austria and Serbia from 1914 to 1918, after the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, on June 28, 1914 (Sinclair, and Kathleen, 2003). At the time, Senator George Norris felt that there was no valid reason for the country to go to war and that it remains neutral. It was not until three years later that the United
States entered world War one with its allies. The United States contributions to the war were decisive. The entrance of the American troops neutralized the German offensive, and by 1918, the war was over.
The end of the First World War ushered in a new era, the 1920s, also referred to as the roaring twenties. This was an era of economic growth that turned many Americans into a consumer society. As the industries expanded, many people got employment. For the first time, more Americans lived in cities more than in their farms. The retreat from the progressive movement saw business interests come to the forefront of public concern.
Society changed a lot in favor of some while others felt marginalized. Some people felt that the changing society posed a threat to their lives and rights as Americans. With this fear came a threat and fear of change unless it was in line with their views. One of the most significant elements that helped the industry become successful was the government policy. The hands-off approach to the government, which was the stack contrast during the progressive era, and the protection of the commercial sector were major factors involved.
People, both rich and poor all found a way to have fun and live comfortably. This was the greatest decade until the crash of the stock market and the great depression in 1931. Those who got wealth and prospered during the economic boom in the 1920s felt the effects of economic crisis.
As the 1920s witnessed economic growth, sales were often encouraged by offering credit, however, by 1929 the economy was deteriorating and production was beginning to fall. The price to earnings ratio was at all-time high as the stock market prices had reached record levels. On Black Monday as the stock market prices began to crash, panic spread throughout the stock exchange as people tried to offload their positions as the decline persisted. On October 29, 1929, the stock market crashed and investors including banks lost billions of funds (Sinclair, and Kathleen, 2003).
This resulted in an economic downturn that lasted ten years. During the 1930s, the United States found itself majorly preoccupied with domestic economic issues from the great depression, as the crisis was looming in other parts of the world. Hitler after suffering humiliation in defeat from World War 1 launched a campaign to unify all Germans in Europe. Preoccupied with its economic problems, America tried all it could to stay away from being drawn into the growing conflict. This proved to be impossible, and by 1941, President Roosevelt had deployed American troops overseas.
The World War 2 proved to be significant to the course of American history. It rescued the country from the economic crisis as creating full employment for millions of Americans. The black community, as well as women, experienced a dramatic change like never before. More than six million women were able to find jobs for the first time.
The end of the war also set the stage for the cold war, and tensions were high as the United States and the Soviet Union struggled for control of Poland. It got worse through the
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