As consolidation and innovation streamlined costs, it became cheaper and faster to ship raw materials, manufactured goods, foodstuffs, and oil via rail than by steamship.Railroads transported people, too, and contributed, more than any other single factor, to the transformation and development of the West.
As the railroads grew in power, they exerted increasing influence on local and state governments, eventually prompting Congress and reform-minded presidents to pass laws to regulate the new industry.
After the Civil War, rail tycoons such as Cornelius Vanderbilt capitalized on the conversion of their iron tracks to steel, which allowed them to lay more track for only a fraction of the cost.
The Gilded age and the Progressive Era are time periods that played an important role in the development of the American society.
The Gilded Age is a period of American history between 18.
("Second Industrial Revolution") Henry Bessemer and William Kelly drastically reduced the cost and time needed in producing steel from pig-iron.
They found out that that blasting air through molten iron produced high quality steel.As a result, by , the United States boasted almost a quarter of a million miles of railroad track.In turn, steel magnates such as Andrew Carnegie benefited from the increased demand for steel and responded by producing more.This inquiry uses the Industrial Age as a context for students to explore the compelling question “Is greed good?” The Industrial Age, often referred to derisively as the Gilded Age, brought about unprecedented economic growth and the advent of modern living.The effects of the Industrial Age were so essential to the economic and social development of the United States that some observers have referred to the industrial tycoons of the age as the “Men Who Built America.” However, industrial growth came at a considerable cost.Newfound industrial wealth was accompanied by the exploitation of workers, environmental degradation, and surging gaps between the rich and poor in terms of standards of living and political agency.Although more than a million Americans had moved westward in the days of “manifest destiny” before the Civil War, trains brought millions more throughout the latter half of the nineteenth century.Railways made it physically and economically feasible for Americans to settle Montana, Wyoming, Idaho, Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, North and South Dakota, Nebraska, and Oklahoma in large numbers.The Gilded Age is well known for its political scandals and extravagant displays of wealth.At the same time, this was an era of major achievements in the industry and economy, which significantly changed life of American people.