Industrialization and Immigration Essay

2267 Words 10 Pages
An outburst in growth of America’s big city population, places of 100,000 people or more jumped from about 6 million to 14 million between 1880 and 1900, cities had become a world of newcomers (551). America evolved into a land of factories, corporate enterprise, and industrial worker and, the surge in immigration supplied their workers. In the latter half of the 19th century, continued industrialization and urbanization sparked an increasing demand for a larger and cheaper labor force. The country's transformation from a rural agricultural society into an urban industrial nation attracted immigrants worldwide. As free land and free labor disappeared and as capitalists dominated the economy, dramatic social, political, and economic …show more content…
Likewise, the government began to play an active role as there was a burst of enthusiasm for scientific investigation. Statistical studies by the federal government of immigration, child labor, and economic practices; social research by privately funded foundations delving into industrial conditions; vice commissions in many cities looking in prostitution, gambling, and other moral ills of an urban society (598).

Not only did a big portion of the urban working class experience unsuitable working conditions, but their pay and skill level was often not enough to promote them out of industrial employment. Employees found themselves trapped with employers and earning low wages, with many hovering in the poverty range. Reform was necessary to help the poor. Now, with the strife-torn 1890s behind them, reform became an absorbing concern of many Americans (597).

As the nation came to grips with what mechanization had done to the labor force, the progressivists took an active approach to correct problems they encountered. They began a tax on corporations (612). Roosevelt was troubled by the threat posed by big businesses to competitive markets (615) and showed disdain for those who sought profit by betraying the public (613). They aimed to strip power of the employers and sought to advance the undermined working
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