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The Impact of the Industrial Revolution

Thesis

This exhibit demonstrates that industrialization proved to be a turning point for the US because it left an impact on society in many positive ways as well as shaping the future for the United States.

Before the Industrial Revolution, Americans were living in small towns and getting around in horse-drawn carriages. Before the development of machinery, manufacturing was mostly done in their own homes using their hands. Food was produced locally by farms which were located everywhere and were self-produced by families.

Section 1: Population Growth

Sources: 1 (Maps) and 2 (Numbers)

Without the Industrial Revolution, the US wouldn’t have become as populated as it is today.  Comparing the two maps, one from 1870 and the other from 1890, you can see the substantial difference between the two maps. While the Industrial Revolution was happening, a mass immigration occurred in 1880 which affected the population. When the immigration happened the amount of workers in the United States more than doubled starting from 18.1 million workers to 40.5 million workers. Overall between the years of 1800 and 1890, the population was at around 5 million people but by the time it was 1890, the population was at around 62 million people in the United States mostly living in the eastern part of the US in major cities. That is around twelve times more people than there was in 1800. The reason for people to come to the US was to seek out better economic growth, a place to explore new opportunities, and to be able to start a new life.

FullSizeRender

Population of US in 1870

1890

Population of US in 1890

 

Section 2: Advancements in Technology

Sources 3 (Time) and 4 (Words)

Throughout the time of the Industrial Revolution many new inventions and voyantadvancements in technology and medicine had arisen which had an impact on society. On October 16, 1846 America had discovered its first major medical advancement which was surgical anesthesia. The reasoning behind creating anesthesia was that some surgeries weren’t possible without causing too much pain which limited surgery to only a few types of procedures. Amputation was a major surgical procedure, especially during wars, which inflicted great amounts of pain and the patient only had a fifty-fifty chance of living. With the anesthesia, the pain will go down and they would have a higher chance of living. Many of the popular inventions that were created included the steam engine, the cotton gin, the telegraph/telephone, the car, and numerous others. The telegraph, created by Samuel F. B. Morse, evolved into the telephone, invented by Alexander Graham Bell, improved communications which led to our modern forms of communication like the cell phone.

 

Section 3: Machines and Modern Business

Sources 5 (Social Media) and 6 (Image)

Prior to the Industrial Revolution, the only “business” there ever really was, included farming and trading. Everything was also done by people which required them to hand-make clothing, harvesting and planting crops one by one, manufacture products by hand, along with countless

Textile

First Successful Textile Factory

others. The steam engine was the start of powering machines in various factories, mills, and mines. Besides powering machinery, the steam engine powered ships, steamboats, railway locomotives, and road vehicles. The cotton gin was a lifesaver for farmers and for those who worked on farms. Instead of having to handpick and separate cotton for hours, Eli Whitney created the cotton gin which created greater productivity by separating the cotton and its seeds much easier. With the production of cotton increasing, the production of clothing also increases. In the 1850’s a gun was created by Samuel Colt which had interchangeable parts which would lead to the making of the sewing machine. This machine revolutionized the making of clothing. Clothing was starting to be made in factories instead of at home which led to women having job opportunities in the textile industry.

 
With that being said, due to all of the hard work of those who have lived here in the past, those positive changes that were created during the Industrial Revolution shaped what the United States is what it is today.

 

Works Cited

Source 1 (Maps): Census History Staff. “History.” Population Distribution Over Time – History – U.S. Census Bureau. U.S. Census Bureau, n.d. Web. 7 May 2017.

Source 2 (Numbers): Hirschman, Charles, and Elizabeth Mogford. “Immigration and the American Industrial Revolution From 1880 to 1920.” Social Science Research. U.S. National Library of Medicine, 01 Dec. 2009. Web. 6 May 2017.

Source 3 (Time): “Industrial Revolution Inventions Timeline – 1712-1942.” The Story of America RSS. Stories of USA, n.d. Web. 2
6 Apr. 2017.

Source 4 (Words): “Industrial Revolution.” Dictionary of American History. Encyclopedia.com, 2003. Web. 6 May 2017.

Link to Voyant: https://voyant-tools.org/?corpus=68573fac8eb509c8d4521d5a2ee5274a

Source 5 (Social Media): Kelly, Martin. “Significant Events of the American Industrial Revolution.” ThoughtCo. ThoughtCo, 3 Apr. 2017. Web. 7 May 2017.

Link to Social Media Post: http://pin.it/9YY4E6m

Source 6 (Image): Corrick, James A. The Industrial Revolution. San Diego, CA: Lucent, 1998. Print.

Other Sources Used:

Hansen, Bert. “Medical Advances in Nineteenth-Century America.” The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History. The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, 21 June 2012. Web. 7 May 2017.

 

 

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Working Conditions

The working conditions, as you may know, weren’t very solid. Workers had dealt with long hours with little to no pay, punished for being late, having very few food, and countless other conditions that isn’t found in many of the occupations today.

I was able to find an interview called The Life of the Industrial Worker in Ninteenth-Century England which was conducted in 1832 by Micheal Sadler. In this interview Sadler interviews five people about their work life. Between these five people, they all have been working since their early ages of around six to eight years old and all have worked long hours from very early in the morning till late at night. One of the things that stuck out me was how they were punished for being late, trying to run away, or for not reaching the required amount of work done in a a day. Some punishments included getting beaten severely, being tightly strapped up, and whipped. Some children were also sometimes bound to the owner of the company and had no choice but to work and weren’t able to leave or try to run away. The way that these workers were paid is also different from what we do today. Sometimes they were paid by the hour but for most cases, they were paid by the work they did or were just paid a low amount for the day and for some, if they were late their pay would lower. Food wasn’t as big as an issue compared to others because they usually got forty minute to hour long breaks for lunch and dinner. The only catch was that if their work was too poor, they weren’t able to eat and if they didn’t eat, the food would be taken away. The working conditions of those  during the times of industrialization were harsh and are unlike how they are today.

Today, work is something many go to in order to make a living and be able to do activities or buy things they want. Compared to the time of the Industrial Revolution, working conditions have changed drastically. Now workers get time off, decent hourly wages, better work hours, and many others. However, in a recent article I found about Blue Apron, warehouse workers are complaining that they are experiencing chaotic and violent working conditions. Blue apron is a subscription box that sends ingredients and recipe cards to customers that subscribe to it. This company plans to surpass $1 billion in the next year and the demand for these boxes are putting pressure on the workers. According to the employees, they have reported of being injured by using equipment they weren’t certified to use, having various threats including: bombs, assaults, and weapons, and reports of being choked, bitten or punched. With the high pressure, more staff was wanted and the company hired many workers that came from agencies where they weren’t background checked or didn’t abide by their policies. This event relates back to the working conditions during the Industrial Revolution because of the fact that because the companies are under pressure, they tend to do things out of the ordinary. However, back then it was normal but now most of those things are considered a crime. This shows that even though the revolution is over, some of it an still linger on today.

Del Col, Laura. “The Life of the Industrial Worker in Nineteenth-Century England.” Victorian Web. West Virginia University, n.d. Web. 05 Apr. 2017.  http://www.victorianweb.org/history/workers1.html

Kosoff, Maya. “Blue Apron Warehouse Employees Complain of Chaotic, Violent Working Conditions.” The Hive. Vanity Fair, 03 Oct. 2016. Web. 05 Apr. 2017. http://www.vanityfair.com/news/2016/10/blue-apron-warehouse-employees-complain-of-chaotic-violent-working-conditions

 

 

 

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