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Chapter 20

An Industrial Society, 1890-1920

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Sources of Economic Growth

• Innovations and Breakthroughs


– Technology combined with new corporate
structures and pioneering management
techniques

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Technology
• Electrical industries
– Thomas Edison
– George Westinghouse
– Nikola Tesla
• Henry Ford
– Model T (1909)

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Corporate Growth
• Demand for mass-production allowed for growth
in sophisticated, organized corporations
• Employment numbers in corporations grew
– Chicago International Harvester
– DuPont Corp.
– Ford Motor Company
• Nationwide transportation and communication
created huge national market

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Change in Distribution of American Workforce, 1870-1920

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Mass Production and Distribution

• Mass production techniques resulted in


– Increased speed in production
– Lower unit costs
– Replace skilled workers
• James Buchanan Duke
– Innovations in mass distribution
• Advertising
• Regional sales offices

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Corporate Consolidation
• Corporate expansion wanted to avoid
market instability
• “Pools,” “cartels,” “trusts”
• American Tobacco Company
• James B. Duke
• U.S. Steel Corporation (1901)
• Andrew Carnegie
• J.P. Morgan

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Revolution in Management

• Senior managers take over long term


planning from owners
• Middle managers do day to day operations
• Scientific management and university
trained managers
• Research departments

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Scientific Management on the
Factory Floor
• Frederick Winslow Taylor
– Scientific management
– The Principles of Scientific Management (1911)
• Henry Ford
– Highland Park
– Assembly line
• Led to mental stupor and physical exhaustion
• Ford’s solution
– $5 day
– Sociology department
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Model T Prices and Sales, 1909-1923
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“Robber Barons” No More
• Upper class scared into moderating its image
– Alexander Berkman’s attempted assassination of Henry
Clay Frick
– Controversy over Bradley Martin ball
• Andrew Carnegie
– “Gospel of wealth"
• John D. Rockefeller
– Rockefeller Foundation

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Obsession with Physical and
Racial Fitness
• Theodore Roosevelt: “the strenuous life”
• Fitness craze
– Bicycle riding
– Healthier eating
– Sport competitions in American universities
– Reflected dissatisfaction with regimentation of
industrial society
• Native-born, often wealthy, Americans and their
quest for racial fitness

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Social Darwinism
• Charles Darwin: “survival of the fittest”
– Social Darwinism: Darwin’s principles used to
describe a struggle among races
• 19th C. Social Sciences took shape:
– Economics, psychology, sociology, political
science and anthropology
• Increasingly global economy heightens
awareness of differences in civilizations
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Immigration
• High rates of immigration between 1880-1920
– In many northern cities more than half of the
population were immigrants or 1st generation
Americans
• Few immigrants from Latin America before 1810
• “Old immigrants”
– Northwestern Europe (Britain, Scandinavia, Germany)
– Racially fit, culturally sophisticated, politically mature
• “new immigrants”
– From Eastern and Southern Europe
– Seen as racially inferior, culturally impoverished,
incapable of assimilating American values and
traditions
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Immigrants and Their Children as a Percentage of the
Population of Selected Cities, 1920
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Sources of Immigration

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Causes of Immigration
• Religious or political persecution
• Main reason: economic hardship
– European population expanded faster than lands
there could support their people
• Rural ways of life in Europe were threatened by
industrialization and urbanization
• European village artisans unable to compete with
mass-produced goods
• Commercial agriculture and competition from
American grain exports force peasants off land

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Patterns of Immigration

• Need for a contact in America (family member,


former neighbor)
• Temporary residency was sought by many
immigrants
• Many Jews came as families, intending to stay in
the U.S., rather than return to religious persecution
• Immigration moved in tandem with U.S. business
cycles

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Chinese and Japanese
Immigrants
• Chinese and Japanese immigrants contributed
greatly to 2 important western economic sectors:
railroads and agriculture
• Chinese Exclusion Act (1882)
• Japanese immigration banned in 1907
• 1790 Naturalization Act interpreted to preclude
citizenship for East Asian immigrants
• Motive for immigration similar to European
• Angel Island San Francisco
Immigrant Labor
• Immigrants did arduous work in most major
industries
• Triangle Shirtwaist Company (1911)
• Problems for workers
– Chronic fatigue and malnourishment
– 60 work week average
– Average yearly income $400-500
• Immigrants most vulnerable during Depression
• Robert Hunter
– Poverty (1904)
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Living Conditions
• Many families lived in crowded, dilapidated 2 or 3
room apartments
• Tenements
– Lower East Side of NYC
– Crowded
– Lack of windows, ventilation
– Poor sanitary conditions
• High rates of deadly infectious diseases (Typhoid, Diptheria,
Pneumonia)
• By 1900 some cities make improvements
– Housing inspections
– Sewer systems
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Building Ethnic Communities
• Immigrants:
– Resourceful
– Self-helping
– Mutual aid

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A Network of Institutions

• Many groups reestablished institutions of


homeland
• Clan Na Gael
• Turnevereins
• Foreign language newspapers
• Fraternal Societies

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The Emergence of an Ethnic
Middle Class
• Small retail businesses and peddlers
• “Sweatshops"
• Padroni
• Amadeo P. Giannini
– Bank of America
• Japanese fruit and vegetable farms
• Led way for future generations to
Americanize and assimilate
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Political Machines and
Organized Crime
• Corruption and organized crime
• Bosses and Graft
– “King Richard” Croker, N.Y.
– James Michael Curley, Boston
– Vice protection
– Kickbacks
– Vote fraud
• Kennedy Family
• Underworld of Urban Life
– Mafia, Gangsters, and Tongs
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African American Labor and
Community
• Many Blacks remained predominantly rural and
Southern
– Sharecroppers and tenant farmers
• Some blacks migrated to industrial areas for better
opportunities
• Black were still treated worse than newest
immigrants in labor force
• Jim Crow laws
• Blacks used as strikebreakers
• Intensifying racial discrimination
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Workers and Unions
• Middle-class success still eluded most
immigrants and black in pre-WWI era
• A better life for many factory workers
meant improving their working conditions

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Samuel F. Gompers and the AFL
• Legal environment hostile to unions
– Government often crushed strikes
– Strikes seen as violation of Sherman Anti-Trust Act
– Injunctions often prohibited strikes
• American Federation of Labor (AFL)
– “bread and butter” issues
– Many local prohibited Blacks from joining
• Lochner v. New York (1905)
• National Civic Federation
• United Mine Workers (UMW)
• International Ladies Garment Workers Union
(ILGWU)
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“Big Bill” Haywood and the
IWW
• Industrial Workers of the World (IWW)
– Accepted immigrants
– Big Bill Haywood
– Anti-Capitalist
• "Ludlow massacre" (1913)

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The Joys of the City

• “Nickelodeons”
• Early movies

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The New Sexuality and the New
Woman
• Vamps vs. Victorianism
– “Separate spheres”
• “New women”
– Educated, middle class women
– Young, single, working class women
• Dance Halls
• More premarital sex

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The Rise of Feminism
• Charlotte Perkins Gilman
• Margaret Sanger and birth control
• Emma Goldman and “free love”
• Alice Paul and militant women’s suffrage
• Greenwich Village
– Crystal Eastman and Heterodoxy
– Max Eastman and The Masses
• Cultural Conservatism
– Vice Commissions
– Mann Act
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Conclusion
• 1890-1920:
– Corporate power, innovations and demand for
manufactured products stimulate urban growth
– Millions of immigrants came to America
– Many thrived, many remained impoverished
• African American status
– Working-class Americans make gains through
political machines and unions
– Growing gap between Rich and Poor

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