Describe two developments of industrialization that positively affected American lives or the United States in general.
There were several developments that resulted from industrialization that had positive impacts on American lives. One development was that industrialization helped make people’s lives easier. As a result of industrialization, new inventions occurred. Many of these inventions gave people more free time and helped Americans do various tasks with less effort. For example, the invention of the vacuum cleaner allowed people to clean their homes faster. Washing machines allowed people to clean their clothes in an easier manner. These inventions gave people more free time to do leisurely activities.
Another positive development from industrialization was that transportation and communication improved significantly. With the development of the steam engine, river travel became easier. The steam engine also helped power trains. It became easier and quicker to transport people and products by land and by water. Later, the invention of the automobile allowed people to travel by land in a quicker fashion. People could go where they wanted to go at any time once the automobile was invented. The invention of the telegraph and the telephone also helped people communicate in an easier fashion. Messages could be sent quickly by telegraph, and people could have conversations by phone. Improvements in both transportation and communication positively impacted the lives of the American people.
One positive effect of industrialization was that it raised the standard of living for many Americans. Though some industrial jobs, such as those in factories and coal mines, were unsafe and not well-paid, there were also some safer clerical positions that provided middle-class incomes for people. In addition, the products made in factories, including housewares and clothing, provided comfort and ease to many Americans who could afford them.
In addition, industrialization provided greater job opportunities and increased independence for women, many of whom worked in factories. Women who worked in factories, particularly during the first wave of industrialization before the Civil War, often lived in dormitories and attended lectures and other opportunities for self-improvement offered by mill owners. Women enjoyed greater independence from their parents than they had previously, when they often lived at home until they married, and they began to exercise greater control over their lives, including decisions about when and who to marry.
Two developments that were positive for Americans as a result of industrialism were transportation and communication improvements. As companies moved to mechanizing operations, they became more profitable and grew larger in scope. As a result, improvements in transportation were needed to get goods to distant markets. Industrialism was directly tied to the expansion of the railroads and the construction of the Transcontinental Railroad. Canals were built for the same reason, as was the interstate highway system later in history. All of these improvements in transportation made America smaller and unified the distant regions of this country.
Communication improvements had the same effect on the United States in terms of making the nation more unified. Companies needed to connect to various operations. The telegraph and telephone did just that. In general, industrialism was responsible for a variety of technologies that improved the lives of Americans.