Industrialization changed the lives of many, including immigrants and the working class in the United States. As a result of industrialization, many Americans were drawn to cities since that is where most of the industrial reform took place. This obviously created more jobs and became a major advantage for the working class, especially immigrants. Once people started industrializing and saw the tremendously positive effects they continued in the same fashion with bright ideas and kept the economy flowing in the right direction.
There were many benefits of this progressive revolution. Among the benefits were specialization and mass production of different products ranging from clothes and textiles to agricultural goods and the processing of natural resources. Industrialization also promoted the independence of the nation as a whole. We were no longer as dependent on Europe and other countries for capital and goods. The United States gradually became a key exporting nation.
Other positive changes included the availability of mass transportation and a very influential economic state. Mass transportation subdivided cities by creating a real means of getting around and sure enough, helped businesses in corporate America. The economic change helped bring human and economic resources together within the cities. Together these two co-existing forces finally created a decent sense of organization in a country that was in desperate need of some whether people realized it or not.
With the reforms came challenges. The biggest problem was for citizens and immigrants of different backgrounds to find some common ground and work together as one big organized unified effort to promote stability, peace and real progression of the nation. Maybe that’s when the saying “easier said than done” was created because this era epitomized it as good as any. As much as idealists wanted for the American population to become a “melting pot,” it was not happening.
People had their own philosophical views and immigrants felt the need to preserve their culture and keep their identities for themselves and their children. For the most part, no matter how hard native-born citizens tried to Americanize immigrants, these newcomers would not allow themselves to forget their roots.
This new experience and the needs of people itself called for further changes to meet the demands of this diverse population. Such changes included housing reform, improvement of housing technology, and better sanitation/construction technology to meet the conditional needs of everybody. Soon enough, increasing demand for sewers, police and fire protection, schools, parks, and other related services also emerged. These demands were answered, but it wasn’t easy and the response wasn’t always prompt.
A need for more justice and less corruption in law enforcement arose. This in turn led to the rise of political machines that provided the relief, security and various services that people wanted in return for political power. Basically, they solved corruption with even more corruption on a more secretive level through methods of bribery and graft. Nevertheless, these leaders and bosses got the job done by satisfying the interests of the urban working class and others.
All these new radical reforms and changes that occurred brought, in a way, both a challenge and an embrace of the new industrial order. It was a challenge in the sense that they continued the ever-lasting struggle to unify the nation and the never-ending effort to minimize increasing corruption. However, it was evident that the nation was getting stronger as a whole. It is also evident that all these reforms and ideas continued, in the same manner, to get us where we are today. United we stand, divided we fall.
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