HIS 405 Week three case study industrialization

HIS 405 Week three case study industrialization


The Industrial Revolution

The industrial revolution brought about significant changes in America, marking a shift where the industrial economy took precedence over agriculture. Initially, industrial growth had started in Britain, and the American colonies lagged behind due to abundant land and the need for labor-intensive agricultural practices. As a result, investments in machine production were slow to develop. However, there were numerous scientific discoveries made during this period.

The start of the Second American Industrial Revolution required additional advancements in technology and various other factors to truly transform American society. This era of industrialization brought about significant economic growth and reshaped the way people lived and worked. The impact of these developments was far-reaching and had a profound effect on various aspects of American life.

The second Industrial Revolution, which is typically recognized to have occurred between 1870 and 1914, witnessed a distinct wave of inventions and innovations compared to its predecessor. The period from 1859 to 1873, in particular, stands out as a time of remarkable and abundant technological advancements.

HIS 405 Week three case study Industrialization

The Second Industrial Revolution

During the Second Industrial Revolution, the United States experienced significant economic changes, characterized by substantial growth in the industrial sector and the expansion of businesses. The proliferation of new technologies necessitated large-scale production to meet the growing demands of the market. However, this rapid industrialization also brought about social challenges and conflicts.

The nation grappled with various social issues arising from its industrial development, leading to the emergence of national labor unions and unprecedented clashes between capital owners and the working class. These conflicts highlighted the tensions and struggles between different societal groups during this transformative period in American history.

The second Industrial Revolution, also known as the Technological Revolution, brought about significant advancements and transformations in various industries. It marked a transition from iron to steel, steam power to electric power, and the discovery of oil and gas, all of which greatly propelled the industrialization of America.

During this period, several notable inventions emerged. The Singer Sewing Machine, an improvement upon Howe’s original patent, revolutionized home sewing. Alexander Graham Bell’s telephone patent introduced a groundbreaking means of communication. The discovery of oil and gas fueled the development of tractors and automobiles. Another crucial invention was barbed wire, which facilitated the containment of cattle and reduced conflicts among cowboys and ranchers during herding.

HIS 405 Week three case study Industrialization​


One of the most impactful advancements of the second industrial revolution was the widespread adoption of electricity. In the early years, oil and gas lamps were used for lighting purposes. However, the introduction of electric lighting in 1879, with Thomas Edison’s invention of the electric lamp using a carbon filament and platina contact wires, was considered a groundbreaking achievement and one of the era’s greatest inventions.

These inventions and advancements played a pivotal role in shaping the industrial landscape and improving various aspects of daily life during the Second Industrial Revolution.

Electricity played a crucial role in the late 1800s, particularly with the advent of electric lights, which enabled factories to operate for longer hours and increase their production capacity. Furthermore, the evolution of electricity greatly advanced communication during the industrial revolution. While the magnetic telegraph laid the groundwork for improved connectivity, the development of the Morse Code further expanded its capabilities.

An article from Scientific America highlights the excitement surrounding the establishment of “lighting lines” between Washington, New York, and Vermont. This development was seen as a catalyst for enterprise and an opportunity for industrial progress (MUNN & COMPANY, 1846). The integration of electricity into communication networks opened up new possibilities for the exchange of information and facilitated advancements in various industries.

HIS 405 Week three case study Industrialization​

The Second Industrial Revolution transformed Americans from self-sufficient individuals to consumers who relied on mass-produced goods available in the marketplace. As more Americans migrated to cities for factory jobs and other employment opportunities, they became dependent on purchasing the necessities of life rather than producing them at home. People no longer had to farm for their own food, raise cows for milk, or make their own clothes. The rise of mass production necessitated mass selling to meet consumer demand, which was largely fueled by advertising (Fowles, 2011).

A significant milestone in the expansion of distribution networks occurred in 1869 with the completion of the east-west connection of the United States through the railroad. This development facilitated the movement of large quantities of goods to meet consumer demands created by advertising. The rapid growth of the population and the rise of cities provided essential marketplaces for the distribution and sale of goods (Fowles, 2011).


In my research, I came across an intriguing excerpt from the Scientific America Journal that emphasized the importance of advertising. The journal itself was advertised as the foremost advocate of industry and a source of knowledge on mechanical and other improvements. It proudly declared its content to be more interesting and intelligent than six regular papers combined. With a price of just over 8 cents per weekly issue, the journal positioned itself as a valuable resource for everyone, particularly for young readers and students seeking knowledge beyond what they learned in school (MUNN & COMPANY, 1846).


Economic Growth and the Early Industrial Revolution. (n.p.). Retrieved from


Fowles, Jib. Advertising and Popular

Culture. 1996. Sage Lane, King, Reichert. Kleppner’s Advertising Procedure. 2011. 18th ed. Prentice


Industrial Revolution Inventions and Technology. (n.p.). Retrieved from


Industrial Revolution Inventions. (2014). Retrieved from



The Development of Industrial

United States. (n.p.).Retrieved from


Mowery, David and Rosenberg, Nathan.1989. Technology and the Pursuit of Economic Growth.

Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

MUNN & COMPANY. (1846, September 26th). Scientific American, The advocate of

Industry and Journal of Scientific, mechanical and

Other Improvements.Scientific American, 2(1).Retrieved from


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