Captains of Industry

Essay by sportstar13College, UndergraduateB, April 2013

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Captains of Industry Paper

Post-Civil War (Reconstruction Era) laid the groundwork for what the United States economy is today. The United States switched from an agricultural society to a more urban society. With the invention of steel beams to build with, it provided the opportunity to create larger buildings on less land thus creating more opportunities for people to live in urban areas. The industrial revolution in America shifted the focus from agricultural jobs to factory jobs such as textiles, oil and steel production. With all the new industry hundreds of new jobs became available to the immigrants from other countries and the freedmen flocking to the north for these opportunities (Trochim). Freed slaves from the Civil War also came to the city to find jobs and start new lives. All the new industry and jobs opened the door for self-made men such as Carnegie, Ford and Rockefeller. The self-made man was common in this era, these types of men wanted to go from being nothing to having all the riches they could dream of and this all came from capitalizing on the new industry.

Men such as Henry Ford were captains of their industry. Henry Ford not only cornered the market on automobiles, but he did so through his own intuition and intelligent business decisions. He created the assembly line, increasing production ten-fold by eliminating the need for skilled workers and also reduced the reliance on individual workers (Brinkley). Henry Ford's concept was soon adopted by not only the automobile industry, but virtually all manufacturing jobs and some companies still rely on it today.

In the big cities such as New York, Chicago, and Pittsburg manufacturing jobs were skyrocketing, and with the ever growing population in America, it fueled growth and prosperity. The growing population and influx of immigrants...