Industrialization American Changes Between 18651920

Industrialization American Changes Between 1865-1920 Industrialization American Changes Between 1865-1920 Between 1865 and 1920, industrialization caused significant changes in many peoples lives. First, the development of a new railroad system help settle the west and made it more accessible to people. Second, public transit systems in big cities provided an outlet from congested cities. Last, the discovery of a method for transmitting electricity help to light up our daily lives. I feel that these are three of the most important changes in peoples lives caused by industrialization.

First, the building of railroads out west played a huge part in the successful expansion of our country and the fulfillment of American dreams. Priot to the development of a more efficient railroad system, the movement of people and freight were relatively slow, difficult, and costly. Because of different rail gauges, sometimes freight had to be unloaded and then reloaded on boxcars. Second, most goods had to be produced and provided locally on a small scale. As a result, prices for products were very high.

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Nevertheless, with the help of federal grants, railroad promoters were able to build a more efficient railroad system that would connect the settled east with the unsettled west. After the completion of the new railroads system, farmers were in reasonable distance of railroad depots, which meant manufacturers could locate their plants anywhere and be able to bring in raw materials and send their products wherever they could find customers. Also, freight and passengers could travel by rail without interruptions. With the railroads connecting the east and the west coast, many people moved westward and began to take advantage of the opportunities that the west offered, such as cheap land, gold, new businesses, and more. Through the development of a transcontinental railroad system, the west was settled and many American dreams were in reach. Second, the development of new public transit systems, was important in shaping the design of our cities and the growth of our cities by enabling people to move further away from the inner city.

Early on, large cities had very little and inadequate transportation. Their main source of transportation were horse drawn wagons and walking. As a result, most people lived or took housing near downtown, which was where most of the working establishments were located. This made the big cities very congested. However with the breakthrough of the “el”, electric streetcars, and subways, around 1867, cities began to open up more.

Those who were fortunate enough to move out of the slums and into better surrounding neighborhoods, did so. The more affluent of the white-collar classes moved into the suburban areas. In contrast, many of the very wealthy continued to live in city mansions. The new transit systems in most cities allowed people to escape the chaos of urban life and provided potential for growth of our cities. Last, Thomas Edisons discovery of electricity and a method of transmitting it, was significant in many ways.

Due to this discovery, businesses could operate around the clock. We were no longer limited to the hours of daylight that the sun provided. Now, that cities were liberated from darkness people were able to be more productive, as well as businesses. Because electricity was supplied to homes and businesses, everyone was able to benefit from it. Due to industrialization, many changes were made in peoples daily lives. First, work was no longer limited to daylight hours. Second, improvements of public transit systems in cities allowed us to live further away from the chaotic city.

Third, railroads help to create new national markets and make dreams possible for American people.