The Negative Effects Of Industrialization In A Fierce Discontent?

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During the second half of the 19th century, the United States underwent its Industrial Revolution. This massive industrialization was characterized by the substitution of the agrarian style economy and the introduction of the industrial machine based economy. In the novel A Fierce Discontent, Michael McGerr discusses the negative effects of the Industrial Revolution as it examines large-scale poverty, urbanization, monopolies, and submissive gender roles that resulted from the shift of economic system. Consequently, these new deplorable conditions became the basis for the Progressive Movement. The movement was composed of middle class reformers who had grown displeased with the negative externalities that emerged from industrialization. The large inflow of people into large industrial cities seeking new opportunities cause the…show more content…
Thus in the novel, Michael McGerr exposes the negative effects of industrialization in the United States as a detrimental factor to the rise of the Progressive Movement and its aspirations to change the new social makeup of the country. The Progressive Movement in the United States presents the efforts of working class citizens aiming to change what they perceived as a non-functioning state. McGerr argues that Progressive Movement’s mission was to bring change the arbitrary manner in which the American government, American traditions , and the economy functioned under this new industrial norm. He describes these aspirations for change as he states “progressives aimed at people more than institutions; they wanted to change big businessmen as well as big businesses “ ( McGerr 80). The people oriented movement sparked a change in thinking about how society should operate by challenging the individualized focus of society in exchange for a collective movement that benefitted for the larger part of society.

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