Positive and Negative Effects of the Industrial Revolution Essay Example
The Industrial Revolution was a time of major inventions and major monopolies that impact the United States of America socially, economically, and politically. Although there were many inventions that have innovated American society, two major inventions that had a great impact on the United States were railroads and the iron plow. In addition, a monopoly like oil was created during the time period of the Industrial Revolution.
Between the time of the eighteen-thirties and the nineteen hundreds, railroads were invented. Thanks to the invention of railroads, cultural diffusion was being spread at an alarming rate. Railroads not only spread cultural diffusion like fire, but in addition provided a major benefit to one’s travel, selling products, and importing or exporting goods. The "Underground Railroad" escape route for slaves was also established in eighteen thirty-one and used railroad terminology for its secret codes. The Civil War open the way for the use of railroads as an important means of transporting troops and supplies and the wounded in hospital trains.
Another technological development that has played an important role in transforming American society is the steel plow. The steel plow was being used for farming on Great Plains easier during the eighteen sixties up until the nineteen forties. The steel plow was an agricultural advantage due to the fact that it was able to break up tough soil. Unlike iron and wood plows, both of these types of plows have failed to meet the requirements of breaking clay-like soil. Therefore, when steel plow came out in stock, this was a tool worth ‘gold’ to the farmers.
The monopoly of oil was created by Rockefeller. He “...secretly arranged for discounted shipping rates from railroads. The railroads carried crude oil to Standard's refineries in Cleveland and kerosene to the big city markets. Many argued that as "common carriers" railroads should not discriminate in their shipping charges. But small businesses and farmers were often forced to pay higher rates than big shippers like Standard Oil.” (http://www.crf-usa.org/)
He accomplished this by buying other oil companies through bribes one can’t even imagine. It was almost impossible to resist such bribery. Through this method, he controlled an unpredictable oil market that was divided into eleven districts within the United States.
People began to protest against the monopolies that were made, therefore, due to a lack of competition and a hostile nation of people the Anti-Trust law was passed by the government. “The common law, inherited from England, condemned the restraint of trade. Monopolies tended to restrain trade by keeping prices high, suppressing product improvements, and making excessive profits. Competition among many independent firms was necessary to assure fair prices, high-quality products, and reasonable profits.”
There are obviously many more technological advantages that brought a change in America. But specifically focusing on the iron plow and the railroad, both innovations are responsible for the change in travel and agricultural work. Railroads later on in history to this present day brought about many new updates to our advantage. Inventions such as Subways and steam or water powered trains stemmed off of the innovation of railroads. Steel plows, on the other hand, has created a great evolution in farming. The way agriculture is being done now is much faster and easier since the nineteen forties, thanks to John Deere who invented the steel plow. In addition, because of major monopolies, a law has been passed that there must be competition in order for one to start a business.