Rapid economic expansion required a labour force to make
goods for the consumers. Even after the civil War and almost 500,000 dead the
population was still able to provide enough labour and consumers.
The population grew nearly 20 million every 20 years which
was due to better pay and health care as well as the increase in immigration to
the USA. The among of immigrants coming in where from 2.8 million in 1871-80 to
8.8 million in 1901-1910
The amount of immigrants coming into America was seen as the
greatest mass migrations in history which had people coming from Europe and
Asia, who were looking for a better standard of living in the USA. These
immigrants where accepted as they brought more labour as well as more consumers
to the American market.
Availability of Land
US manufactures gained a lot of business in the 1870s and
1880s as there was a massive expansion in the United States. The New
settlements required many goods from barbed wire to kettles as well as railway
tracks and guns.
Much of the land was fertile but was unsuitable for small
scale farming by families which led to larger and wide spread farms which had
manufactures building newer and better agricultural tools to help develop the
The Availability of land also meant that there was no
problems finding space for new factories and cities.
The increase of trains around America meant that more cities
could be built inland and away from the sea and navigable rivers as the trains
could bring goods to consumers where ever they were which lead to the use of
catalogues which meant more wide spread consumerism.
The railways employed nearly 1 million workers by 1900 which
provided an example of how a large company could work. The Railways started the
American industrial revolution and then helped to carry on its expansion in the
years that followed.
The Role of the government
The government was meant to have no role other than an
economic one, except the president was not allowed to intervene and Congress
showed no desire to get involved.
were no laws about labour, so businesses made it so there worker did lots of
work in very dangerous conditions.
There were little laws put in place to restrict business
owners from doing whatever they wanted when it came to looking after their
America prided themselves on the fact that they had no class
system which was true but only if you were a white man. Self-made people where
seen as celebrities back then.
Technological and business innovation
The 1870s and 1880s were full of men prepared to experiment,
adapt and develop ideas, which led to them making a large amount of money.
Andrew Carnegie and the United States Steel
Andrew Carnegie saw the processes being used in England to
manufacture steel, so he brought it back to America and developed huge
factories that made the process quicker and cheaper and was creating more steel
than all of Brittan by 1900. His Annual profit was $42 million.
When men applied for better pay and work condition he
brought in arm guards to squash the rebellion which resulted in several people
being killed or wounded.
Thomas Edison and electricity
Thomas Edison saw the Commercial value in Electricity which
made Edison have three good examples of entrepreneurship of the age:
1. He was reasonable for a large number of actual
inventions, such as the electric lightbulb
2. He had the skill to industrialise those inventions, make
them commercially viable, and produce and sell them on a large sale
3. He developed the first great industrial research
laboratory, with chemists, engineers and mechanics, to work on more similar
also helped to introduce the copyright law in the late 18th century
and the early 19th century.
Availability of capital
Entrepreneurs needed money to start their business
especially if there business required a lot of generators and cable to provide
electricity. After the civil war many factories needed money to repair which
led to the development of the stock system in New York.
The Stock exchange was very large and was making $6 billion
which made it the second biggest stock exchange in the world at the time.
The Rise of the corporation and the trust
There were no rules and regulations against businessmen who
went on to create corporations.
A corporation could buy and sell railways as well as sue and
be sued. This resulted in the growth of giant industries as there were no rules
about accounts or reporting anyone.
Congress was intent on making home made goods sell better
than overseas items which meant that some foreign items had taxes of 50% to
ensure that the local goods sold more due to them being a lot cheaper.
Tariffs where an important discussion in the 1880s and 1890s
as they were under fire from consumers who didn’t always want to buy the local