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Effects Of Growth Of Industry In Modern America

2460 words - 10 pages

The growth of industry and businesses in the United States of America occurred by the monopolization of the American market. Over time some firms grew large enough to control as much as 25% of their industry like United Steel. Such big companies would lead to greater jobs plus greater economies of scale, being able to produce at lower costs and so theoretically could sell their products at a lower price. Therefore, most would say that this growth was beneficial for American society and has led to the ‘American Dream’ ideals associated with USA. However, there are benefits and costs to everything. Similarly, there were incredible costs from which these benefits were founded. Therefore, I ...view middle of the document...

Therefore the growth intended to improve the standard of living of the American citizens did not occur. Workers suffered from The supposed better ‘life’ and values of the American Dream led to high influx of people, especially into already over-crowded cities, which led to a host of problems on its own. The increased population density was not healthy. There weren’t enough resources for everyone and so it leads to greater tension within the community.
The fire also showed the inabilities of the public infrastructure as there wasn’t space in the morgues for all the dead bodies, the fire ladders couldn’t reach past the seventh story and there wasn’t even enough water to quench the fire. So though, many people now had jobs because of factories, they lived awfully, worked in worse places and when calamity struck the Municipality was helpless.
This growth itself wasn’t sustained and when industries did expand so, it was immense leading to a lot of immigration into the cities depopulating the rural areas. This too proved problematic. In trying to reduce the unemployment and sustain the agrarian lifestyles, the government passed the Homesteader’s Act in 1862. However the Railroad Companies - credited for helping to modernize the rural areas by making these places more accessible – contracted people to apply for the Homestead Act and inevitably get a hold of the land later. The government, too spent a lot of money and land giving these rail companies, namely to Union Pacific and Central Pacific. Forty-five million acres of land was distributed between the two companies as well as the companies being able to apply for loans of up to $48,000. Though, incentives were needed as these were low demand areas, the rail companies profited immensely whereas, the Government could’ve implemented the resources in other areas, more useful for the citizens.
The extent of the large firms’ influence over the Government is also illustrated by how most of the land from the Homesteader’s Act became Bonanza Farms and big cattle-rancher associations could not only collectively drive up the prices of cattle, but had enough political power to get many laws passed in their favor. The Wyoming Stockgrowers’ Association, for example, were, very successful in driving out their competition and did in so in unethical ways such as the lynching of Ella Watson, coercively taking the competitor’s cows and mass murdering 2000 sheep because they ate the grass that should be reserved for their cows. This kind of big business bullying was also depicted in the movie, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance which goes to show that a community living in fear and uncertainty is never beneficial.
This aggressive monopolization did lead to the passing of the Anti-Sherman Trust and the Interstate Commerce Act, to name a few, that tried to curb the influence of these large firms. However they still remain at large and are a huge influence on the government to this day. Many believe that America’s...

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