During the years 1900 to 1909 the United States was fast becoming an industrial society, yet its laws were based on an ideal of an agrarian society. American society was changing tremendously. Between 1901 and 1909 more than eight million immigrants came to the United States, more than twice the amount in the previous decade and more than in any previous decade in American history. By 1910 one of every seven Americans had been born in another country. Even those Americans born in the United States might have felt they now lived in a different country. In 1860 five of every six Americans had lived on a farm. By 1910 nearly half of the American people lived in cities, which had grown rapidly since the Civil War. With a population of thirty million in 1860, the United States had sixteen cities with more than fifty thousand people in them. By 1910 there were ninety million Americans and more than one hundred cities of more than fifty thousand people, and three cities had populations of one million or more.
The economy, whose growth was once fueled by millions of farmers, merchants, and mechanics, now was dominated by a handful of corporations led by men who were shrewd enough to see the changes that would be brought by industrialization and centralization and who were able to exploit these changes....
(The entire section is 3535 words.)
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