Industrialization and Segregation - DOC by 6fk1zPh0


									                                  Industrialization and Segregation

VUS.8 ~ How was the transformation (change) of the American economy from a primarily agrarian
        (farming) to a modern industrial (factories) economy accomplished?
      ~ What were the major inventions that improved life in the United States?
      ~ In what forms did prejudice and discrimination take during this time period?
      ~ What do we emphasize “Jim Crow” and the responses of Booker T. Washington and
        W.E.B. DuBois?
      ~ What were the causes and the impact of the Progressive Movement, include the excesses
        of the Gilded Age, child labor and antitrust laws, the rise of labor unions, and the success
        of the women’s suffrage movement?

         During the period from the Civil War to World War I, the United States underwent an economic
transformation (change) that involved a developing industrial (factory-based) economy, the expansion of big
business, the growth of large-scale agriculture, and the rise of national labor unions and industrial conflict.
Technological change spurred (encouraged) growth of industry primarily (mainly) in the northern cities.
Both inventions and innovations (new ways of doing things) caused this technological change.
         One major innovation was the development of the modern corporation. Corporations replaced family
owned businesses as the main form of business organization in the United States. A corporation is a type
of business that raises capital (money) through the sale of stock. Stock is shares of ownership in a
corporation, and stockholders are part owners of the corporation. Two advantages of a corporation are its
ability to raise large amounts of money through the sale of stock and limited liability. Limited liability
(responsibility) means the corporation acts as an artificial legal person. It can sue and be sued, pay taxes,
go into debt. Therefore, the corporation itself, rather than the individual stockholders, is responsible for
the business’s actions. For example, cancer victims, who were smokers, have successfully sued tobacco
companies for damages. However, only the tobacco corporation itself is liable; the individual stockholders
are not personally responsible for causing the smokers to develop cancer.
         Many inventions also stimulated (encouraged) the growth of industry in the United States during
the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. First, the development of the Bessemer steel process
made possible the large-scale production of steel. The Bessemer process was a cheap and practical method
of making steel by forcing a blast of cold air through molten iron to clean it of impurities. Henry Bessemer,
an Englishman, developed this process in 1857, while William Kelly of Kentucky claimed to have made the
discovery before Bessemer. These two men’s rival patents were merged in the United States in 1866 and
almost immediately American steel mills used the Bessemer process in steel production. Since steel is both
lighter and stronger than the iron from which it is made, steel permitted the construction of skyscrapers
in modern American cities. Second, Thomas Edison perfected the light bulb, making it financially practical
for commercial and home use. Soon electricity became a major source of power and light. Third, Alexander
Graham Bell invented the telephone. Fourth, the Wright brothers flew the first successful airplane. Fifth,
Henry Ford used the first conveyor belt assembly line in the manufacture of automobiles. The conveyor
belt brought the cars to the workers, each of whom performed a specific task in the assembly process.
         The expansion of big business in the late nineteenth century produced several extremely wealthy
businessmen, or captains of industry. These included Andrew Carnegie in steel, J.P. Morgan in finance,
John D. Rockefeller in oil, and Cornelius Vanderbilt in railroads.
         Three reasons existed for the economic transformation of America. First, the federal government
blended the policy of laissez faire capitalism with special considerations for some manufacturing and
railroad corporations. (Capitalism is an economic system based on private ownership and free competition.)
Under capitalism the goal of businesses is to make a profit. The Scottish philosopher Adam Smith had

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first introduced the policy of laissez faire in his 1776 book The Wealth of Nations. Laissez faire was the
theory that government should not interfere in economic affairs. Government should leave business alone.
It should neither help nor hinder business. Throughout the nineteenth century, the United States
government followed laissez faire in that it never hindered business by government regulation. However,
the federal government did give business special considerations through such practices as protective
tariffs and land grants to railroad builders in the West. In short, the American government’s version of
laissez faire did not regulate (make rules for) business, but it did help it. Second, the increasing labor
supply, caused by both immigration and migration of Americans from the farms to the cities, caused the
economic transformation of America. Third, America’s possession of a wealth of natural resources and
navigable rivers also contributed to economic change in the United States.
         Discrimination and segregation against African-Americans intensified (increased) and took new
forms in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Racial segregation means separation of the
races. After Reconstruction, Southern state governments passed “Jim Crow” laws, forcing separation of
the races in public places. Different states passed these laws in different years, but by the early
twentieth century all Southern states required racial segregation in public facilities and had denied most
African-Americans the right to vote. These laws limited the freedoms of African-Americans who lived in
the South. In addition, Southern whites directed intimidation and crimes against African-Americans.
Lynching, hanging someone without a trial, became a major form of intimidation used by Southern whites
against African-Americans. During the early 20th century, African-Americans began the “Great Migration”
to Northern cities in search of jobs and to escape poverty and discrimination in the South. This black
migration north speeded up during World War I, when the enlistment of thousands of white males in the
U.S. Army opened up jobs for African-Americans.
         Black Americans looked to the courts to safeguard their rights. They hoped the judicial branch
would interpret the laws in a way that would honor the intent of both the Fourteenth and Fifteenth
Amendments. However, in the case of Plessy v. Ferguson the Supreme Court ruled that “separate but
equal” facilities did not violate the Fourteenth Amendment. In other words, the Supreme Court said that
Southern states could legally segregate whites and blacks, as long as the separate facilities were equal. By
this ruling the Supreme Court upheld the “Jim Crow” laws of the Southern states. In practice the separate
facilities, provided African-Americans by Southern states, were always separate, but seldom, if ever, equal.
         African-American leaders disagreed about how to respond to the South’s Jim
Crow laws, as well as racial discrimination in the North. Booker T. Washington believed the way to equality
was through vocational education and economic success. He accepted social separation of the races. In
contrast, W.E.B. DuBois believed that education was meaningless without equality. He supported political
equality for African-Americans by helping to form the National Association for the Advancement of
Colored People in 1909. The purpose of this organization was to secure the legal rights of black Americans.
Ida B. Wells, who generally agreed with DuBois’ ideas, led an anti-lynching crusade and called on the federal
government to take action.
         The economic progress made by the United States between 1877 and 1920 came at a price. The
period from Reconstruction through the early twentieth century was a time of contradictions for many
Americans. Industrial development brought great fortunes to a few and raised the standard of living for
millions of Americans. However, it also brought about the rise of national labor unions and clashes between
industry and labor.
         Industrialization created many social problems in American cities. These included dangerous
working conditions for miners, railroad, and factory workers and the use and abuse of both child labor and
women workers. Factory workers faced long hours, low wages, no job security, and no benefits. Employers
often forced workers to live in company towns. Workers had to rent housing provided by the employer and
were required to pay rent, even when the employer laid them off. In the late 1800s workers joined
together to form labor unions. A union is an organization of workers, which tries to gain higher wages,
improved working conditions, and better employee benefits. The first important union in American history
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was the Knights of Labor. The Knights of Labor grew very quickly, but was destroyed by the negative
publicity that followed the Haymarket Square Riot. The Haymarket Square Riot was a violent confrontation
between workers and police at Haymarket Square in Chicago in 1886. The American Federation of Labor
grew more slowly than the Knights of Labor and also suffered many defeats at the hands of big business.
For example, the Homestead Strike was an unsuccessful and bloody strike at the Carnegie Steel Company in
1892. However, under the leadership of its founder Samuel Gompers, the AF of L survived the anti-labor
attitudes of both business and government. It continues to exist today as the AFL-CIO and is now the most
powerful union in the United States. Eugene V. Debs led the American Railway Union. Like the Knights of
Labor, it enjoyed short-term success. However, it was destroyed by the negative publicity that followed
the Pullman Strike. The Pullman Strike was an 1894 strike by railroad employees against the Pullman
Company, which made railroad sleeping cars. The International Ladies’ Garment Workers Union was an early
attempt to organize women who worked in textile factories.

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