colonization Essay

colonization Essay

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From the beginning of American colonization we were a mainly farming people. The basis of our society was built upon agriculture, and little else. The rise to corporate capitalism has had such a profound impact on American society, it is impossible to study any aspect of United States history post Civil War without a direct relation, on any level, to the industrial revolution. America would not be the superpower it is today had we not made the change from an agricultural society to an industrial one long ago. The rise of corporate capitalism radically changed the way Americans lived forever.

In the years previous to those following the Civil War, the American lifestyle was pretty much the same. People lived on the farm, and everybody contributed to the families well being. After the Civil War, the technological change in America was so great, it forced people to reconstruct the way the lived their lives. New inventions and technology bombarded every aspect of the American life. “Whereas only 276 inventions had been recorded during the Patent Office’s first decade in the 1790s, during the single year of the Columbian Exposition [1893] 22,000 patents were issued” (Martin 420).

The government’s role in the rise of corporate capitalism varies depending upon whom you asked the question to. Some said the government held to the laissez-fair policy, while some said that they favored the big business and disregarded the common worker as a non-issue. “Government’s proper role was to leave the economy alone, so as not to disrupt the operation of the natural forces that ordered the economy” (Martin 426). In a actuality, both are probably right. “To a large extent the industrialists got what they wanted- a laissez-fair policy that left them alone, except when they needed help” (Martin 426). The government set out no regulatory rules to the large corporations until the Interstate Commerce Commission in 1887.

In 1886 the Supreme Court passed a ruling that allowed the 14th amendment to include a corporation as a “person.” States could then not deny equal protection without due process of law, and the courts were now in charge of setting the limit of “reasonable” profits by corporations (Martin 428). This once again left the common laborer to be subject to the ruling of their superiors in the business world.

Industrialism was growing so rapidly,...

... middle of paper ...

...nvironment. While the 8-hour workday and end of child labor was a long way off, this strike helped to hasten the coming of these events.

The rise of corporate capitalism had such a profound positive impact on our nation as a whole, its nearly immeasurable. Without it, America would not have become the world superpower that it is today. The shift from and agricultural society into an industrial one may have been difficult for those in the immediate wake of it, however, it was a new situation to everybody. Such great technological advances had never been seen before in America or anywhere else at any time. I believe it would be impossible for a nation to go through such tremendous changes without some misuse of power, and burden on the lower classes of people. After time, things were smoothed out and ran in an acceptable manner to everybody. The big bosses were still making their money, and the lower working class people were granted the 8 hour workday, as well as having conditions improved in the workplace. Overall, I believe this to be the most important time in US history. It has developed us as a nation, and set us apart as independents strong enough to provide for ourselves.

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