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Copy of Industrialization and the Gilded Age
Transcript of Copy of Industrialization and the Gilded Age
the Gilded Age
Alexander G. Bell
Orville & Wilber Wright
electric light bulb
New Types of Business Organization
Entrepreneurship and the Gilded Age
An entrepreneur is a person or group who starts their own business. During the industrial revolution, entrepreneurs used large-scale production (factories) to lower the price of goods and improve their quality to make huge profits. Because of the the entrepreneurs' lavish lifestyles, the late 1800's were known as the "Gilded Age".
Some people called them "Captains of Industry" because they created the industrial revolution. Others called them "robber barons" because of the ruthless tactics they used to destroy the competition and keep workers' wages low.
Philanthropists or Monopolists?
Many business owners were also philanthropists, which means they donated money to good causes like building libraries, hospitals and music halls or endowing universities. People like Andrew Carnegie support the "Gospel of Wealth" theory, which stated that wealthy people had a responsibility to give back to society.
Some business owners were accused of having a monopoly (having complete control over the supply of a product or service). In a free enterprise system, monopolies are considered bad because it limits peoples' choices.
The Pros and Cons of Big Business
large businesses are more efficient, leading to lower prices
they hire large numbers of workers
they produce goods in large amounts
they have resources to support expensive research and invent new things
they have an unfair advantage over small businesses
they sometimes take advantage of employees
they are less concerned with how they do business
they cause more pollution
the can unfairly influence the government
Discuss: Do you think it is fair for the government to create laws that limit big business?
Laws Regulating Big Business
At first, the government did not regulate big business. This is the theory of laissez-faire economics (the theory that the government should not interfere in the free market).
What IS the government allowed to do?
create tariffs (taxes)
But the questions was...SHOULD the government be allowed to create laws limiting the power of businesses? Reformers thought the government had a responsibility to limit some of the powers of big business.
Laws Limiting Business
Interstate Commerce Act-
this law made it illegal for railroads to charge different rates for different people. It also created the Interstate Commerce Commission to monitor the railroads.
Sherman Anti-Trust Act-
this law made monopolies illegal because they prevent fair competition.
New inventions and technologies helped fuel economic expansion in the late 19th century. Steam and electricity replaced human and animal strength. Iron replaced wood, and steel replaced iron.
The Bessemer process, invented by Henry Bessemer, was a new way to produce steel in a cheap and efficient way.
One of the most significant developments was the use of electricity for telephones and telegraphs. This allowed people to communicate over great distances.
Traditionally, businesses were owned by individuals or small groups. But a new type of business called a corporation began to emerge.
A CORPORATION gives shares (called stocks) to investors. This makes each investor a shareholder, or partial owner, in the company. Shareholders get a portion of the profits that the company earns.
Corporations made it possible for people to raise large amounts of money to form businesses. This led to the creation of large numbers of railroad companies, iron mines, steel mills, and mass-production factories, resulting in the American Industrial Revolution.
Read the statements below about what makes an effective business owner. Put a G beside the statements that you think make a Good owner. Put a B beside the statements you think make a bad owner.
A. _____ An owner who pushes his employees hard to be productive.
B. _____ An owner who provides health benefits for employees.
C. _____ An owner who creates rules for safe working conditions.
D. _____ An owner who fires workers who don't work hard enough.
E. _____ An owner who puts competing companies out of business.
Put a star beside the statement that you think is the MOST EFFECTIVE business practice.
One consequence of America's economic growth was the increasing exploitation of industrial workers.
The average work week was 10-14 hours per day, six days per week. Pay averaged $3-12 per week, but immigrants were usually willing to work for less. Women and children made less than men.
Boring, Repetitive Tasks
Industrialists only cared about producing more goods at a faster rate- workers were not human beings, just one more part of the machine. Workers could be fired at any time for any reason. They did not get insurance, worker's compensation for injuries on the job, or paid sick days.
Working conditions were often extremely hazardous. The work required no skill, just boring, repetitive movement. There was little or no safety equipment, and thousands of workers were injured or killed in industrial accidents each year.
"The Sweatshop" by Morris Rosenfeld
The machines are so wildly noisy in the shop
That I often forget who I am.
I get lost in the frightful tumult-
My self is destroyed, I become a machine.
I work and work and work endlessly-
I create and create and create
Why? For whom? I don't know and I don't ask.
What business has a machine thinking?
Rosenfeld was a Russian-Polish immigrant who worked in the garment industry in New York City. Rosenfeld wrote this poem about how he felt at work.
How would you summarize Rosenfeld's feelings about his work?
Suppose you were going to interview him. What two questions would you ask Rosenfeld?
What does the poem tell us about the lives of American workers?
Textile mills and coal mines needed children to perform tasks that adults were too big to do. Children were often exposed to moving parts and dangerous machines while they were working.
Injuries to children in factories were high. About one-fifth of all American children under the age of 15 worked outside the home in 1910.
The Rise of Unions
Some workers formed unions in order to work together and demand changes in the work place. Unions organized strikes and other forms of protest to get better working conditions.
The Knights of Labor and the American Federation of Labor are two of the most well known unions that developed during this time. These organizations fought for a number of things that would make workers life easier, including:
8 hour work days
end to child labor
equal pay for women
Government's Attitude Toward Unions
Most government leaders favored big business and opposed labor unions.
most business leaders supported political campaigns.
most politicians and businessmen believed that workers were greedy and that the businessmen were making America prosperous
government leaders feared the disruptive effects strikes had on the economy
public opinion supported the big businesses. Most people believed that businesses should be able to treat employees however they wanted.
Public Attitude Changes
Gradually public attitudes towards unions began to change to benefit the workers. Events like the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire were largely responsible for changing opinions.
In 1911, 146 female workers died in a factory fire at the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory. The factory doors had been locked to prevent theft, which left the workers trapped inside the burning building. There were no sprinklers and only one fire escape.
Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire
The theory of Social Darwinism states that success and failure in business should be governed by natural law, and no one (not even the government) should intervene.
According to Social Darwinism, the marketplace should not be regulated, the government should not make laws limiting big business, and business owners were allowed to run their businesses however they wanted.
Take a Card...
On your notecard, write a ONE SENTENCE summary of what you learned in class today.
Complete the sentences...
Use the words in the word back to fill in the blanks. Then complete the sentences to explain your comparison.
Soccer Spaghetti Peanut Butter Swimming
1. Industrialization is like ______ because...
2. Working in a factory is like ______ because...
3. Labor unions are like ______ because...