Industrialization American Changes Between 1865-1920


American Changes Between 1865-1920

Between 1865 and 1920, industrialization
caused significant changes in many people’s lives. First, the development
of a new railroad system help settle the west and made it more accessible
to people. Second, public transit systems in big cities provided
an outlet from congested cities. Last, the discovery of a method
for transmitting electricity help to light up our daily lives. I
feel that these are three of the most important changes in people’s lives
caused by industrialization.

First, the building of railroads out west
played a huge part in the successful expansion of our country and the fulfillment
of American dreams. Priot to the development of a more efficient
railroad system, the movement of people and freight were relatively slow,
difficult, and costly. Because of different rail gauges, sometimes
freight had to be unloaded and then reloaded on boxcars. Second,
most goods had to be produced and provided locally on a small scale.

As a result, prices for products were very high. Nevertheless, with
the help of federal grants, railroad promoters were able to build a more
efficient railroad system that would connect the settled east with the
unsettled west. After the completion of the new railroads system,
farmers were in reasonable distance of railroad depots, which meant manufacturers
could locate their plants anywhere and be able to bring in raw materials
and send their products wherever they could find customers. Also,
freight and passengers could travel by rail without interruptions.

With the railroads connecting the east and the west coast, many people
moved westward and began to take advantage of the opportunities that the
west offered, such as cheap land, gold, new businesses, and more.

Through the development of a transcontinental railroad system, the west
was settled and many American dreams were in reach.

Second, the development of new public
transit systems, was important in shaping the design of our cities and
the growth of our cities by enabling people to move further away from the
inner city. Early on, large cities had very little and inadequate
transportation. Their main source of transportation were horse drawn
wagons and walking. As a result, most people lived or took housing
near downtown, which was where most of the working establishments were
located. This made the big cities very congested. However with
the breakthrough of the "el", electric streetcars, and subways, around

1867, cities began to open up more. Those who were fortunate enough
to move out of the slums and into better surrounding neighborhoods, did
so. The more affluent of the white-collar classes moved into the
suburban areas. In contrast, many of the very wealthy continued to
live in city mansions. The new transit systems in most cities allowed
people to escape the chaos of urban life and provided potential for growth
of our cities.

Last, Thomas Edison’s discovery of electricity
and a method of transmitting it, was significant in many ways. Due
to this discovery, businesses could operate around the clock. We
were no longer limited to the hours of daylight that the sun provided.

Now, that cities were liberated from darkness people were able to be more
productive, as well as businesses. Because electricity was supplied
to homes and businesses, everyone was able to benefit from it.

Due to industrialization, many changes
were made in people’s daily lives. First, work was no longer limited
to daylight hours. Second, improvements of public transit systems
in cities allowed us to live further away from the chaotic city.

Third, railroads help to create new national markets and make dreams possible
for American people.