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Factors of Industrialization: Post Civil-War

Which of the following factors influenced industrialization of the West after the Civil War? How did that factor influence industry, society, lifestyles, or the economy?
a. Railroads

b. Electricity

c. Free Enterprise

d. Natural Resources (land, minerals, timber, and oil)

e. Immigration

f. Homestead Act of 1862

Solution Preview

Which of the following factors influenced industrialization of the West after the Civil War? How did that factor influence industry, society, lifestyles, or the economy?

a. Railroads - The successes of the Union Pacific and Central Pacific railroads caused other ventures to be launched when the Federal Government offered huge subsidies and land grants. This was a radical change in philosophy, and several scandals ensued, as well as the economic Panic of 1873. However, by them the momentum had already started, and dozens of companies moved forward to increase rail travel throughout the nation. Once track had been laid, additional settlement and industrialization followed, since supply lines to and from were far easier. As with any economic development, getting workers and settlers to areas where raw materials were abundant influenced urbanization, as well as territory populations that would eventual become States.

b. Electricity - Electrification really began around 1869 with the founding of the Westinghouse Company. George Westinghouse took other people's research and patented it, and the wave of inventions that relied on electricity changed society dramatically after the Civil War. Urban areas were lit, factories were able to stay open longer, machines that needed manpower were replaced by those using electricity, transportation changed (cable car, etc.). large companies were formed and employed thousands of people to electrify the nation, and numerous inventions resulted (light bulb, telegraph, telephone, ...

Solution Summary

The solution is a comprehensive and concise discussion of the varied 'factors' (see items a to f of long description) - developments, policies and events that affected or influenced Industrialization after the Civil War. A list of sources are provided.

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