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American History Since 1877 Essay


The growth of the American large-scale enterprises relied heavily on the industrial power where modern business methods combined capital in order to access the entire American market, which had no boundaries like Europe. During this time, American population rose from 40 million in 1870 to 60 million in 1890; this was due to the massive immigration into the continent[1].

At the same time, there were developments in the railway network that connected cities. These changes favored the development of large-scale enterprises such that, by 1865, the Union of Stock Yards in Chicago began operating.

They could transport their livestock to Chicago for auctioning. It was Gustavus F. Swift’s innovation and design of a cooling system that helped the locals preserve their beef for future markets. Swift continued to set up an enterprise that could process fertilizers and other usable by-products. He monopolized the entire Kansas City, Omaha, and Forth Worth. This market nature led to the rise of other enterprises that had similar structures as Swift’s enterprise. The interstate commerce facilitated the growth of large-scale enterprises.

The oozing up of petroleum from the bowels of the earth made the rural Americans experiment on how to extract kerosene; this idea led to the rise of crude oil industries in Pennsylvania and Cleveland, Ohio. John D. Rockefeller, on his part, took a broad perspective on the oil business by involving partners and borrowing funds to expand the business.

The genius went ahead and took over the Cleveland industry; his designs of structuring businesses to serve at the national level also helped in the expansion of small businesses to large corporations[2].

Additionally, the Americans nature of consuming all mass-marketed products from all over the continent coupled with the absence of social classes made the citizens work towards developing their enterprises. The mass innovations in national marketing and advertisements by businesses led to stiff competitions among industries. Clearly, the rapid growth of the railroad networks after the Civil war facilitated the expansion small manufactures to large-scale levels.

The expansion of Americans economy between 1870 and 1900 led to the need for America to conquer the world market. For example, the quadrupling of the GDP fast-tracked the interest of American overseas with firms such as Singer Sewing Machine establishing its factory in Glasgow, Scotland and Rockefeller Standard Oil launching its branches across Europe[3].

The US growing economy made them record a high outflow of the dollar in paying dividends and interest to foreign investors; this prompted them to export more products and services than they did to imports in order to balance the dollar.

Clearly, American economic interest in Canada, Europe, China, and other countries were meant to balance the consumption of the US’s products that outran the US citizens thus avoiding wastage. Their interest after the Civil War came at a time when they were looking for assistance from partners in developing their economy. At the same time, European nations opted to expand their influence into Africa and Asia, a resolution of the Berlin Conference of 1884.

According to Captain Alfred T. Mahan, Americans had to look outward in considering their roles in the world so that they could realize growth for the country. The US Navy, for instance, aimed at protecting their trading interests abroad. This had been evident when the then Secretary of State Olney remarked that US being a great industrial nation, should have a commanding position among the powerful nations on earth[4].

In addition, the diplomacy of expansionism made Americans believe that their country should be an imperial power. Their eager to conquer the world came at a time when they needed economic partners that could aid the growth and sustainability of their economy. The two activities believed in exercising control over the world; the control could be in the form of ideological issues, economic, social, and political perspectives.

During the World War II, the federal government was tasked with coordinating the flow of resources that were vital in the war. For example, it had to raise an army, assemble the indispensable workforce, and coordinate the change from civilian to military production. Notably, powerful European nations like Britain and Germany were concentrating on the war at this time; therefore, US had the opportunity to manufacture and supply weapons to the fighting blocks.

The federal government wielded a lot of power when they took the initiative of remaining neutral and opting to finance the war. The government could even employ over 3.8 billion civilians during the reign of the war; the number was fourfold the normal tally of employed civilians. Moreover, the urgent need of military resources made the government convince companies like General Motors and Ford to manufacture tanks that were essential during the war period[5].

The federal government received a lot of money from the economic engagement with the countries that were at war, some of which were tax levies. The engagement in supply of weapons and other military resources led to the massive growth of the US economy thus resulting to the growth of the federal government.

World War II exposed the military capabilities of the European giants and their designs of weapons. The outsourcing of weapons by Britain from US worked in favor of the latter since it copied and advanced the technology that Britain used in making their weapons. The war even made the fighting blocks run out of weapons hence relying on US to advance. Clearly, the war enabled US to build its military industry.

Bibliography

“Capital and Labor in the Age of Enterprise 1877–1900.” Web.

Robertson, William. The history of America. London: W. Strahan, 1977.

Zinn, Howard . “.” History Is A Weapon. Web.

Footnotes

  1. “Capital and Labor in the Age of Enterprise 1877–1900.”
  2. “Capital and Labor in the Age of Enterprise 1877–1900.”
  3. Zinn, Howard . “A People’s History Of The United States.” History Is A Weapon.
  4. Zinn, Howard . “A People’s History Of The United States.” History Is A Weapon.
  5. Zinn, Howard . “A People’s History Of The United States.” History Is A Weapon.
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IvyPanda. "American History Since 1877." August 12, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/american-history-since-1877/.

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IvyPanda. 2019. "American History Since 1877." August 12, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/american-history-since-1877/.

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IvyPanda. (2019) 'American History Since 1877'. 12 August.

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