Second Industrial Revolution

The Industrial Revolution was a period characterized by growth of industries most of which depended on agricultural products for raw material it is, therefore, right to mention that the first industrial revolution was born out of the agrarian revolution. The former was mainly experienced in Europe which had cottage industries (Foner, E., & In Forman, S. 2012). This paper will look at the immediate period before the second industrial revolution and the factors that led to the Second Industrial revolution, as well as, the transformations that occurred. This opinion paper will dwell on the second industrial revolution what did it mean for America? What were the causes and the impacts of the Second Industrial Revolution? The paper will center on the manner in which the resources were allocated and the settlement that was practiced by the American people. The second Industrial Revolution was the rise of America never to fall again. We shall dwell on the key events, features and lifestyles that existed during this period of time.
The second Industrial Revolution occurred between the years 1870 & 1914. This period is significant to the American people because it was the birth of the largest economy of the world. Prior to this period, the vast resources of America were underutilized with an exemption to cotton. Cotton was produced in America and shipped off half way across the globe to the Great Britain. The First Industrial Revolution had just ended a new nation had just been formed after taking over Texas, and the retreat of the Great Britain from Oregon. The stage was set, all eyes were fixed on this new nation, and the questions on everyone`s mind were: what kind of a nation will America be? Will they rely on slave labor? Still others wondered what would happen to the large reserves of resources, but every American had a dream to make the place better for the yet to be born sons. This was the origin of the American dream.
As events unfolded, so did a unified nation. In early 19[th] century, Americans had been forced to adjust to the aftermath of the 1[st] industrial revolution. A period characterized by bad economic conditions, and the bloody civil war during which they unified to fight for one course. The period between 1750-1850 marked the start of a robust economic growth with cotton being the main commodity. However, it is the onset of the second industrial revolution that stirs up the soul of the sleeping giant. This was brought about by a culmination of many factors which included and not limited to
* Sufficient natural resources
* Availability of cheap labor from European immigrants
* Availability of an expansive market for the manufactured goods
* Expansion of railway lines which opened America to the rest of the world through the sea.
In the Second Industrial Revolution, the American community was liberated from the big agrarian oriented entities. During this period, new labor laws, as well as, production methods and processes came into place. These two factors were the fuel behind Second Industrial Revolution. Innovations also played a greater part in the revolution. For instance, the invention of steam boats, eerie canal, roads, and railroads opened up areas that had not been thought of before. Additionally, the opening up to the Atlantic was the golden goose for America because it was the biggest driver of the economic growth.
The living style of people changed remarkably and people started to move away from farms to live in towns or near towns. This meant that there was more labor for the industries than the agrarian activities. The government supported and merited industrial innovation while at the same time enacting laws that helped America to trade with other nations. This helped create wealth for the nation. To protect American infant industries, high tariffs were put in place. This helped in keeping competition at bay. Towards the end of 1913, the US was largely interconnected, and a robust economic growth was recorded arising from expansion of factory production, and increased mineral resources.
As a result of the factors discussed above, America had become a manufacturing giant, growing in leaps and bounds surpassing the annual output of the Great Britain, Germany, and France combined together. This in turn, translated to increased purchasing power of the American currency, and a rise in the living standards of the American people. As all these events unfolded, communication became an important component of the American lifestyle. This urge was fulfilled with the invention of the telegraphs which were laid alongside the railway lines and supplemented each other. Telegraphs eliminated the need for face to face communication, and helped save the time consumed in travelling long distances.
The Second Industrial Revolution orchestrated the World War 1 onslaught as a competition in arms production precipitated. As European countries returned home to devastated economies, America was still intact and her economy still thriving because she was able to lend reconstruction loans to the countries of Europe. Finally, it is evident that since the Second Industrial Revolution America has been at its best economically and industrially. Though she has had her moments it is still baffling how a nation could rise from such lowliness to the heights where she is today.
Foner, E. & In Forman, S. (2012). Give me liberty: An American history. New York, NY: W. W. Norton,