The History of America

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American History 1865-1900 Introduction Two major historical turning points during the post-Civil War period (1865-1900) were the dramatic rise of industrial America (industrialization) and the development of the American West. This paper reviews and critiques those developments Two major turning points: the rapid growth of American industry & settlement of the West. The Library of Congress (LOC) reports that the U.S. emerged after the Civil War as an "industrial giant"; the industries that really took hold were petroleum refining, electrical power development, steel manufacturing and the railroad expansion (which relived on steel) (LOC). The growth of industry changed America dramatically; a class of extremely wealthy industrialists emerged but a prosperous middle class also emerged. The "blue collar working class" was "greatly expanded" in that era, and because "…millions of newly arrived immigrants" were available, American became "…more diverse than ever before" (LOC). Just a few years after the end of the Civil War, railroad construction "increased dramatically," the Library of Congress explains. This was part of the development and settlement of the American West; in fact between 1871 and 1900, about 170,000 miles of track was added to the railroad system, and part of this was the building of the transcontinental railroads. "The railroad opened the way for the settlement of the West" and railroads "provided new economic opportunities" (LOC). The railroad

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