Explain the effect of the Second Industrial Revolution?

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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The Second Industrial Revolution is generally said to have started around 1870 and to have lasted until the First World War.  This industrial revolution had many impacts. I will list a few such impacts, but I suggest that you consult your class materials in case you are supposed to list specific effects of the revolution.

  • The Second Industrial Revolution led to the rise of big business.  The advances of this revolution made it possible for companies to grow much larger than they previously had. Big companies were a defining feature of the US economy during and after this revolution.
  • The Second Industrial Revolution helped create a large middle class.  As businesses got bigger and as technology became more advanced, more white-collar jobs were created.  There were more managerial jobs and other jobs that paid well enough to create a larger middle class than the US had ever seen before.
  • The Second Industrial Revolution created much more of a consumer culture than the US had ever seen before.  Many of the innovations of this revolution were ones that led to a boom in consumer products.  This meant that there were more things available for people to buy for their own use.  This led to the creation of a culture in the US that emphasized materialism and the desire to have more goods.
  • It eventually made life much easier and more fun for people.  The consumer goods produced in this time period made household word, for example, much easier than it had been.  The revolution also helped bring about things like the boom in movies, recorded music, and eventually radios.  These things meant that people had more leisure time and more things to do with that time.

All of these can be seen as effects of the Second Industrial Revolution.  Again, please consult your class materials in case you are supposed to come up with a different list than this.

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