Industrialization Input to US Economic Development Essay
Apart from the positive intentions of industrialization, there has been a continuous debate concerning the beneficial nature of this historical phenomenon. I support a perspective that industrialization triggered the development of various problems including using child labor and providing unfavorable working conditions, low salaries, and insufficient quality of the products. Consequently, the primary goal of this paper is to discuss these issues in detail since it helps provide argumentation to support my central claim. In the end, conclusions are drawn to summarize the main findings of this discussion.
It is widely known that industrialization caused the rapid development and growth of the manufacturing segment in the United States of America due to the optimization of the production process. This matter increased demands in the workforce while child labor started gaining its popularity to fill these gaps (Weir 251). At the same time, it could be said that the economic environment of the era required children to work, as their salaries formed a substantial part of their family’s income (Weir 251). Children helped their parents to overcome the difficulties of that time and supplied their family members with food and drinks to avoid starvation. This matter implied that children had less time to devote to studies and become qualified professionals shortly. The absence of childhood and no time for education could be discovered as the major adverse consequences of industrialization.
Alternatively, one could not underestimate the importance of the fact that factories and production plants were built and developed rather quickly and sometimes did not comply with safety regulations. Their major focus was to increase their revenues, and, as a consequence, they did no pay substantial attention to providing a safe working environment. For example, both children and adults worked in toxic settings, used broken or ineffective machinery, and had to spend 12 hours a day in the factory (Horn xxvii). A combination of these factors increased the number of incidents in the workplace, and many employees had both physical and mental problems due to high levels of stress. Consequently, apart from the rising productivity of factories, these matters were viewed as negative outcomes of industrialization and their impact on the health of the nation could not be ignored.
Alternatively, it remained apparent that industrialization increased manufacturing opportunities by expanding product lines and making the process automatic (Finley 134). Nonetheless, as it was mentioned earlier, owners of the factories prioritized increasing profits and did not care about working conditions. The major consequences of this matter were low salaries, as it was one of the ways to reduce costs. The workers were not paid according to the standards, and their rights to raise, reasonable pay, and promotion were entirely ignored. At the same time, the lack of motivation and severe working conditions damaged the quality of products (Finley 134). In this case, it was questionable whether they were safe to consume, and it could be summarized that industrialization decreased the well-being of the nation and its prosperity.
In the end, this discussion helped understand that apart from positive intentions of industrialization and its contribution to the economic development of the United States of America, this phenomenon negatively affected the social well-being and life of the citizens. In this case, children were required to work, as it formed a substantial part of the household’s income. Meanwhile, adults had to devote their lives to dangerous manufacturing and consumption of unsafe products. Overall, it could be said that that industrialization contributed to the development of the economic segment while others were not fully improved.
Finley, Laura. Crime and Punishment in America: An Encyclopedia of Trends and Controversies in the Justice System. ABC Clio, 2016.
Horn, Jeff. The Industrial Revolution: History, Documents, and Key Questions. ABC Clio, 2016.
Weir, Robert. Workers in America: A Historical Encyclopedia. ABC Clio, 2013.
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Apart from the positive intentions of industrialization, there has been a continuous debate concerning the beneficial nature of this historical phenomenon. I support a perspective that industrialization triggered the development […]