Capital vs. Labor

1055 Words5 Pages
Chapter 19 of Liberty, Equality, and Power, asks what the most significant ways in which the ongoing struggle between capital and labor reshaped American society during the late 19th century (Murrin, 523). In response, one of the most important contributions was the introduction of new technologies utilized primarily in factories. This in turn lead to the revolutionizing of production lines, and corporations. This domino effect continued on to spur the birth of unions in the United States, who organized rebellions against corporate power still used today. Finally during this time women underwent a transformation of their civil rights, as well as their role in society. The introduction of new technologies was a double-edged sword in forming society. On one note, inventions like the phonograph, or the electric dynamo brought entertainment and commonplace items to the middle class, as well as household appliance to today's society. Another benefit, included the shift from steam engines to that of internal combustion, seen in automobiles (500). On another side, factories became more efficient by means such as the open-hearth process used in steel mills, leading to lower wages, and longer hours for workers (500). Although the first example has provided today’s society with modern appliances, the latter was more significant during the early 19th century. Now that production lines were more prominent, workers no longer needed to be skilled in multiple jobs, and in turn they were easily replaced by those willing to work for the lowest price. As factory operators pushed their employees to work longer and harder in order to increase profits, unions were formed. An example of this would be the fraternal organizat... ... middle of paper ... ...found that the book gave perspective to each of the individual classes, rather than covering only the bourgeois or the proletariat. Today you will scarcely find a job or institution were women are not allowed, had I not read this chapter it would have been very difficult for me to understand what women at this time went through. Understanding how the people of this time period lived allows me to relate this information to today’s society. This will aid me for the exam by allowing me to connect with these events, in a very personal manner. However I believe that if there were more potential questions at the end of the chapters it would provide more food for thought, and better help one learn the material. Furthermore being able to use more outside material for this assignment, would have led to a more diversified view, as well as more supported arguments.
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