Industrialization: Global Power
The Industrial Revolution transformed North America because of the migration of the people from rural areas to urban areas. Politically, the US emerged as a global power and opened its relationship with Japan. This was a positive in American history because we gained world power.
The economy during the Industrial Revolution became dependent on child workers who were treated badly with long hours and little pay. Children as young as six years old worked 19 hour days with dangerous machinery. The conditions were terrible. This was a very negative time.
Social and Cultural
Many people were illiterate because working became more important than schooling. Learning was a privilege so only wealthy children got an education. This was obviously a bad time for the American people because people were not treated equally.
Political: Chinese Exclusion Act
In 1882 Congress passed the Chinese Exclusion Act that banned all Chinese people from immigrating to the US. This was a negative time because it barred an entire ethnicity from immigrating.
Immigrants during this time were paid less for the jobs they did. Many Americans moved from the fields to the factories. Bosses exploited the immigrants and they were treated poorly. Most of the immigrants were very poor. This was not a positive part of our history.
Each ethnic group brought its own culture, customs, language, food, traditions and dress. They lived together in neighborhoods like Chinatown, Little Italy, and Greektown. They were treated as objects not people. This was a shameful part of history in that the immigrants were treated so badly.
Political Machine: Tammany Hall
Political machines like Tammany Hall in New York City took control of the politics in the area for the Irish people that immigrated to the area. They helped a lot of people, but it was a time of corruption. This was shameful because it was based upon violence and bribes.
People moving to the cities changed the economy. Instead of growing crops, they began manufacturing items like steel. Many people now worked in factories instead of fields. This was good for America because it made more jobs available and we made more products to sell worldwide.
Americans started moving from rural areas to the urban areas. The cities were crowded and the housing was dangerous. There were poor city services like garbage collection and sewage. This was bad for Americans because it caused sickness and disease. Living with so much bacteria and waste was no way to live.
The Progressive Era
This started as a social movement and turned into a political movement. People think of President Theodore Roosevelt in relation to the Progressive Era. It was a search for order in a time of unrest. This was a proud time as people were trying to make things better in America.
This movement believed that education was important and that better schooling meant better jobs. Products became more available so it helped the economy.
Political: Annexation of Hawaii
This is the policy of extending a country's power and influence through diplomacy or military force. The United States thought Hawaii was a strategic location and annexed the islands in July 1898. This was a proud moment as we expanded.
Economy: International Markets
The economy was growing so fast in America that the domestic markets could not consume all the production. American businesses began to sell on the international market. This was a good thing because it helped with economic growth and influence in other countries.
In 1898 propaganda was used to influence Americans to want to help set Cuba free. It made Americans believe that they were the hope for Cuba. This is not good because a lot of the propaganda was exaggerated and not fully true.
World War I
Political: Proclamation of Neutrality
World War I began in 1914 when Archduke Ferdinand Franz and his wife, Sophie, were assassinated. While many world powers chose sides, America tried to remain neutral. President Wilson did not want to go to war. It was not until 1917 that the US declared war.
This was a proud time in our history that saved lives and money.
Economy: Changing Workforce
With so many men going off to war, women and children began doing the jobs left by the men. Heavy industry thrived as weapons and vehicles were being built. This is negative because the jobs that the women and children were doing were not meant for them. It was hard, forced labor.
Social/Cultural Effects: A Common Enemy
After several passenger ships were sunk by German U-boats, the American people started to rally together to hate the Germans. American propoganda provided a common enemy for the people to focus their feelings of revenge on. It also encouraged men to serve in the armed forces to protect the USA. This was a good thing because it united the American people.