Industrialization After Civil War

The author of this report has been asked to identify and fetter out a number of short lists as a means to answer questions. The questions all relate to the history of the United States after the Civil War as the country entered the period of industrialization. There will be three major aspects of industrialization that changed the United STtaes from 1865 to 1920 in terms of society, economy and politics. Issues that could arise include geography, entrepreneurship and so forth. The next answer will be a list of three groups that were affected by industrialization and there will also be two examples of how each group was affected. Examples include immigrants, children/women and famers. How industrialization affected the life of the average American during this period will be covered. While some may deemed them to be heroes and icons, the actions of people like Andrew Carnegie, James Fisk, John Rockefeller and J.P. Morgan had a demonstrable effect on the United States in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s.

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One aspects of the Industrial Revolution from 1865 to 1920 was the agrarian protests. They came in two major forms, those being the Granger movement and the populism movement. In terms of the Granger revolution, there were some major societal effects and dangers that came from monopolies and people started to rise up against the Rockefellers and other people that typified the monopolies. The Granger movement was founded in 1867 by Oliver Hudson Kelley. The original intent was to bring farmers together to discuss their agricultural styles as a means to correct over-expensive and generally inefficient methods. Things came to a head on Independence Day of 1873, which has otherwise came to be known as the Farmer’s Fourth of July. The Grangers read the Farmer’s Declaration of Independence. The document cited all of their grievances and complaints (Stanford, 2015).

A related but different general dynamic during the time period in question was the presence. He made wise choices with his investments and his business decisions. However, he also became a bruising monopolist that basically controlled the steel industry. Carnegie did this by building steel plants around the country and he controlled things from start to finish as it came to the steel plants. He was a man that was not even born in the United States as he was born in Scotland before the Civil War even happened. He started as a messenger boy after entering the country but rose to very high heights. However, he ended up cornering the entire market and he was able to wield this power in very widespread and perhaps even brutal ways as the prices and market itself was too monolithic and controlled (PBS, 2015).

One other major change was the multiple plights of women. They entered the official workplace and started fighting for their rights. This happened in large part because the women shifted from being member of to being part of a larger economy. Men tried to corner this on their own and women were indeed kept down. However, the women tried to assert their rights and this included working in the factories. As stated by a university document on the topic, the “transition was neither immediate nor complete (HBS, 2015). Rural women started off by taking in materials from local merchants to produce cloth, clothing, straw bonnets and so forth for cash and/or store credit. This was known as “outwork” and was one of the major starting points for women in the workplace (HBS, 2015).

One group that was affected by the industrial revolution was women, as noted above. They shifted from being in family units to starting to rise up to start voting, working and otherwise joining society. So two major examples of their plight would be being able to vote and being able to work. Another group affected were black men. Slavery was over but there were still the Jim Crow laws and their freedoms did not truly crystallize until thirty to forty years after 1920 came and passed. Examples of their struggle included the right the vote, the right to be part of society (rather than separate but equal, which was a facade) and they wanted equal treatment in bathrooms and other facilities (PBS, 2015). A third major example of a group that changed was the workforce in general that shifted from an agrarian society that was segmented to one that was industrialized and centralized on an employer-based system. As already noted, people shifted from being family units on their own farms to working for employers. One example would be men that shifted from just head of household to an employee at a factory. Women did so in piecemeal fashion but they were held back limited from doing so in all but smaller ways most of time, as noted before (UNU, 2015).

The about the general social and familial change that families experienced during the Industrial Revolution up to the point where the Great Depression started to rear its head but before the social safety net came to pass. Indeed, pre-modern families were quite different than what we know today. According to United Nations Universit, “early hunting and to have lived in small nomadic bands and later, in some locations, in larger, more settled and in hierarchy organized communities. Families evolved quite a bit through the period of the Civil War but many more changes happened after 1865 (UNU, 2015).

One huge shift in life that started after the Industrial Revolution is that both major political parties, those being Republicans and Democrats, very strongly aligned with businesses as compared to being populists or some other group. However, some the United States and there was not the feared breakdown of the family structure. For example, Japan took the string that the United States had started in the late 1800’s and they ran right by the United States without a loss of the family unit. This was apparently a concern. Even so, the businesses were all about making assembly lines and needing less labor. As the United Nations University said, “if the highest profits lie in process competition, there will also be a need to develop the market for high-tech processes” (UNU, 2015). One other major change was in the textile industry. As far back as 1760, textiles were manufactured in homes. The rise of the industrial revolution brought this to be occurring in the factories that people worked in. There was also a huge rise in the harvesting and use of coal. This led to the powering of trains and factories but it also led to a lot of pollution and this in turn led to other effects in the environment (Yale, 2015).


To put some fine points on the last question that has already been mostly answered, the family changed from being basically self-contained and self-centered to being families that would disperse for work and/or school and then they would come back together at the end of the day. It is much like today but it has become much more expansive and common now where it was it very similar across the board back then. The Industrial Revolution very much set the tone for the changes that have occurred since 1920.


HBS. (2015). Women at Work: Manual Labor. Retrieved 6 May 2015,


PBS. (2015). American Experience . The Richest Man in the World: Andrew Carnegie .

Timeline | PBS. Retrieved 6 May 2015, from

PBS. (2015). Freedom: A History of U.S.. Webisode 4: Wake up, America | PBS. Retrieved 6 May 2015, from

Stanford. (2015). The Granger Revolution. Retrieved 6 May 2015, from

UNU. (2015). Social change and the family. Retrieved 6 May 2015,


Yale. (2015). 81.02.06: The Industrial Revolution. Retrieved 6 May 2015, from