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Industrial Revolution

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Industrial Revolution

The economic history of the United States of America starts with the occurrence of industrialization, which, basically, meant switching from home production to plants and factories. The industrial revolution took place at the beginning of the XIXth century in most of the developed countries all over the world. Still it is considered more American phenomenon. This revolution changed the States so critically that I consider it to be the main factor that lead to the modern place of this country in the international environment. In my essay I will discuss some positive and negative aspects of the influence of industrialization on the United States.

In my opinion the most constructive and crucial effect of the industrial revolution in America is change in people's behavior. I believe labor is the only factor that is significant for development of any country. And the industrialization time in the States forced people to invent and implement everything they could imagine and construct in order to simplify the production process. There were very few scientists and specialists at that time in this country. So, every American had no other way to survive and earn money at that time and had to create, construct machines, build factories or work on factories. This changed the people's psychology a lot. Till now, Americans consider new inventions, new machines and processes to be the only way for development of their lives.

Another strong positive outcome of the industrial revolution is the development of infrastructure. Most of the ways of communication and transportation in America were originated at that time. By the beginning of the last century, "one half of northern farms had automobiles and telephones" (Olmstead & Rhode, 2000, pp.712-713). Well-constructed road and rail network acted as the basement for American economic growth.

The expanding industrial revolution not only demanded for the growing number of machines and factories, but also raised the need for energy and raw materials. America started using its natural resources much more extensively and had developed a number of new ways to get energy (steam power, fuels, etc.). Eric McLamb (2011) has underlined that "[w]hile [the Industrial Revolution] propelled human progress to extraordinary levels, it came at extraordinary costs to our environment..." The impact of such an effect was realized by humans only in the middle of the XXth century and we all face its consequences every day. We breathe dirty air, drink polluted water and try to spend our vacation time as far as possible from the poisoned industrial cities.

There is one more painful fact about the story of industrialization in America: exploitation of unqualified labor force. At that time no rules on the work force were adapted. So, a lot of children and women were working in dangerous conditions for very low salary.




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