Jeremy Keeshin Ch. 18.

pp 511-536 Themes: Communication & Competition

The competition created by the industrialization of American society in the later part of the nineteenth century led to the expansion of communication throughout the nation. The countless inventions of the time period coupled with the instinctive drive of many of the elite businessmen provided for a constantly progressing society while widening gap between employer and employee. After the Civil War, railroads were the predominant way to move goods and ideas across the continent. Since railroads were the dominant medium, entrepreneurs and thinkers across the nation searched for ways to make them into a lucrative industry. The amalgamation of the use of the Bessemer Process to refine steel along with the aspiration for expansion led to the completion of the transcontinental railroad by the end of 1869. This allowed the country an efficient way to transport goods to places where they would not normally appear. The transcontinental railroad helped different societies around the nation communicate, as it was the connection between meatpacking Chicago and fruitful Florida as well as the St. Louis brewery. The inventions of the telephone by Alexander Graham Bell and the phonograph by Thomas Alva Edison aided as well in the spread of ideas throughout the country. The phonograph offered a way to record thought. The telegraph revolutionized the transfer of ideas. However, after 1876, the telephone allowed communication like never before. The country was finally catching up to Europe after lagging for quite a while. Vital to the expansion of industry at this time was the abundance of natural resources still on the continent. Currently, the availability of oil remains to be a pressing issue, as President Bush addressed oil autonomy in his recent State of the Union speech. At this time, the ubiquity of metals and petroleum throughout the states allowed for the enormity of the steel and oil industries. Many hard-working capitalists seized on the booming industries of steel and oil. Andrew Carnegie, the self made champion of the steel industry was a prime example of the American industrialist. John D. Rockefeller, another ambitious capitalist, was the epitome of the strong competition in the economy. The founder of Standard Oil, he saw efficiency and the elimination of the competition crucial to his success. His views were very similar to those of J.P Morgan, a banker whose financial power allowed him to extend great control over both the steel and railroad industries. These men made up a small percent of the companies in the nation; however, they were responsible for much of the industrial output. It was competition that fueled them and their callousness that set them apart from their employees. Many large companies did not look out for their workers and this led to much unrest within the unions. The Great Strike of 1877 in the railroads and the Haymarket Riot and the Homestead Strike all were explicit examples of how discord between the employer and the employee led to problems. The vertical integration made workers’ efforts even more feeble because they were dealing with a company who owned much of that specific industry. American industry was forever changed.

Jeremy Keeshin Ch. 18. pp 511-536 Themes: Communication & Competition

Trends/Ideas Communication- transportation, telephone, telegraph Growth/Expansion Progress/Competition Monopolies- Rockefeller, Morgan destroy competition Important Events/Legislation – include date and then a brief definition, significance And General Notes Natural Resources abundant- coal, iron, timber, petroleum, waterpower (Current Events) Railroads Trunk Lines linking east and west Transcontinental Railroad- unity, progress , 1869 Steel is the new stronger better metal of progress Bessemer Process, late 1850s, blast of air through molten iron results in better steel mass production of steel vertical integration- almost sole ownership by one company Oil Trust-business organization Standard Oil Trust 1881 to manage properties Inventions: typewriter, calculator, camera Advertising gets big helps out department stores, “chain stores” catalogs 1882 Chinese Exclusion Act prohibits immigration of Chinese for 10 years Working conditions poor, wages low, unequal among gender, race and religion Knights of Labor- union-like for “producers” against monopoly- IDEALISTIC American Federation of Labor (1886) craft union alliance –PRACTICAL Employee, employer unrest, lots of strikes: Great Railroad Strike of 1877, Haymarket Riot (1886), Homestead Strike (1892) “Who” – key personalities – a brief and compelling ID JP Morgan- banker who helps out railroads, most powerful figure in American finance Andrew Carnegie – master of the steel industry, sells to Morgan, company becomes US Steel John D. Rockefeller- builds Standard Oil Alexander Graham Bell- invents telephone. Wow Thomas Alva Edison- inventor, phonograph, light bulb Samuel Gompers- AFL union leader, pragmatic,