Labor and Industrialization in American History Essay

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Labor and Industrialization in American History
The phrase ‘Rise Of Smokestack America’ is often used in reference to the industrial revolution during which America’s industrial growth led to the growth of factories and modern cities, the development of social classes due to division of labor and race. During this period, the American labor force transformed tremendously as the nation evolved from a largely agricultural society into a relatively modern society.
Role of Labor Force in the Transition from Agriculture to Industrialization
Until the late nineteenth century, the United States was still an agrarian community. As factories sprouted to process the products obtained from agriculture and to manufacture farm equipment, there rose stark imbalance in the wages of the agricultural labor force and the wages of workers in factories. Unskilled laborers who moved to towns in search of employment were poorly remunerated. For instance, in most factories, unskilled laborers were paid almost half of what was paid to skilled mechanics, craftsmen and artisans.
The heart of industrial growth in America depended on the services of low-wage workforce, which mostly comprised of women, children and poor migrants (Smith 18). The cheap labor provided by these workers enabled factories to maximize profits and spur the growth of industrialization further. In the later part of the nineteenth century and most of the twentieth century, there was significant growth witnessed in the…