The Progressive Era

Essay by dneroJunior High, 8th gradeA+, May 2009

download word file, 5 pages 3.0

The last half of the nineteenth century marked a major transition from old to new management methods". Historians have referred to the era from 1870 to 1890 as 'the gilded age'. During this period, there was an explosion in economic growth, "between 1870 and 1920, almost eleven million Americans moved from farm to city and another twenty-five million came from overseas". They came with hope for an opportunity of employment in factories and industries. The country was ravishing in natural resources. It also had an ever-growing supply of labor with an expanding market for manufactured goods. "The rapid expansion of factory production, mining and railroad construction in all parts of the country except the south signaled the transition from Lincolns America to a mature industrial society". There was also much improvement made in the areas of technology during this era. In 1876, Alexander Graham bell patented the telephone and the typewriter and handheld camera came into use.

This helped to spur rapid communication and economic growth throughout the country. In 1879, Thomas A. Edison developed a practical incandescent lamp. There was a lot of competition among businesses and to avoid this, many corporations battled to control entire industries. This caused many companies to fall into the background or otherwise succumb to the powers of others. "The rise of large corporations threatened the already existing business order".

The expansion of railroads allowed many areas a chance to participate in commercial farming. This development also helped to create a national market for manufactured goods. "By the year 1880 the majority of the workforce engaged in non farming jobs…. And the records in 1890 show that two thirds of Americans worked for wages rather than owning a farm, business or craft shop." People from all over seemed to be drawn to the work...