Table of Contents
The Industrial Revolution led to a widespread establishment of industries all over the USA. It set the foundation for jumpstarting the economy of America that had traditionally relied on agriculture. It began in the early 1800s, preceding the period of the American Civil War and gaining momentum right after the war. Manual labor was quickly replaced by the machines that were more convenient and efficient. The government took into developing the infrastructure, especially the railway network, which opened up the interior and connected the industries to the internal markets, changing American society and America forever.
Impacts of Industrialization on the American People
Industrialization had far-reaching effects on the way of life of the citizens of America. Firstly, it significantly raised their standards of living, as it was responsible for increasing the disposable income. Americans were able to purchase more goods and services aimed at improving their livelihoods. With the extra income, many Americans could now afford to use products and facilities that were previously affordable to the elite (Rees 76). With industrialization, most citizens jumped from the low class to the middle class, while others proceeded to the high-class.
The provision of social amenities was improved with industrialization. The local authorities gained the financial muscle to spearhead the development of parks, health centers, schools, and social halls. The citizens could take time off their busy schedule to take a walk in the park to relax. With the development of health facilities, the health of the citizens was significantly improved, which raised the life expectancy (Licht 99). Schools and technical institutes were established to reduce the ignorance of the citizens and improve their literacy in addition to providing a pool of trained human resources.
Industrialization brought about rural-urban migration. With the development of the industrial towns, more people were attracted by better facilities available around these towns. Where industries developed, the need for services targeting the pool of employees attracted other investors in social services (Cochran 55). Because of the financial abilities of the employed people, the services provided were more diverse and unique as compared to those in the rural regions. People were attracted to these areas to enjoy the comforts and the pleasures that were associated with towns.
The Role of Immigrants
The immigrants played a very pivotal role in the success of industrialization. Arriving to America, they brought knowledge and expertise that was important in the setting up and running of various industries. It should be noted that the Industrial Revolution had started in Europe before it spread to the rest of the world. It was the immigrants from Europe who had imported industrialization into America. Additionally, they brought with them inventions and technologies that facilitated industrialization (Rees 123). With the experience they had acquired from working in the industries in Europe, these immigrants also provided trained workforce for the industries.
Factors that Promoted Industrialization
Agriculture provided some of the raw materials that were processed in the industries. Furthermore, agricultural goods were vital in feeding the population of workers who had flooded towns to work in the industries. Ready market also promoted industrialization, as the American population was large, which provided a market for the products from the industries. The demand for the goods and services was higher than the supply, which encouraged the expansion of industrialization throughout the country. In regards to political stability, which was another factor promoting industrialization, America was a relatively stable country providing a good environment for industrialization to thrive. The legislations were not too restrictive, which encouraged more investors.
The Fate of Urban Centers
Industrialization attracted people to seeking gainful employment in the industries. Those who were lucky to find a job settled around the industries. These settlements eventually developed into industrial towns (Meyer 83). The urban centers that existed before industrialization expanded at the onset of industrialization. With urbanization, moral decay of society such as prostitution and drug began to develop. There was an increase in the environmental pollution while the resources around the urban centers were overstretched by the growing population. With time, there was a need to have some order in these urban centers, which resulted in the establishment of urban councils for administration purposes.
With all above-mentioned, one can state that industrialization was one of the best things to happen to America. It significantly improved the standards of living of the citizens and set a strong foundation for the development of the economy. While there were some unpleasant repercussions such as environmental pollution and prostitution, the successes achieved by industrialization far outweighed the negatives.