This period in American history was marked by a movement away from an agrarian, rural society and towards a more industrial and urban civilization. Prior to this era, most manufacturing was done in the home, using basic crude machines or hand tools. Most people lived in rural communities and were agrarian in nature. Life revolved around the homestead and people produced most of their own food, clothing, tools and furniture. Specialized machinery and factories soon replaced the hand tools and steam power brought improved systems that allowed production on a massive scale. These factories required massive amounts of resources and the completion of the transcontinental railroad in 1869 made it easier to transport raw materials, products and people. In addition to the resources, these factories needed huge amounts of manpower. Seeking better living conditions and higher wages, people flocked to the cities ...
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...of world power.
The Industrial Revolution was responsible for many new and unique achievements in technological and industrial practices. It was also accountable for numerous other consequences that had long lasting effects on not just America, but the world as a whole. It had a huge influence on the shift of people from rural areas into the cities and an even larger impact on immigration. This industrialization also led to a significant shift in wealth and helped to create the middle class. However, the most significant effect of the industrialization of America is that it shifted the balance of power and eventually led to America becoming one of the world’s superpowers. Stephen Gardiner, a British architect and writer summed it up nicely when he said; “The Industrial Revolution was another one of those extraordinary jumps forward in the story of civilization.”
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