What triumphs did the late-nineteenth century witness in the realms of industrial growth, urbanization, and technological innovation? What challenges did these developments pose for urban dwellers, workers, and recent immigrants? How did city officials and everyday citizens respond to these challenges?

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The late twentieth century saw major advancements in rail transportation, manufacturing generally, and mass-produced consumer goods specifically. Assembly line techniques led to efficient and standardized production. As factories became the dominant site of production in the US, other, more individual and autonomous forms of production ceased to be economically viable....

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The late twentieth century saw major advancements in rail transportation, manufacturing generally, and mass-produced consumer goods specifically. Assembly line techniques led to efficient and standardized production. As factories became the dominant site of production in the US, other, more individual and autonomous forms of production ceased to be economically viable. This caused a pull toward cities and new industrial jobs that we can understand as urbanization.

Ultimately, the second industrial revolution led to abysmal working conditions for most people in the US. The atrocities of child labor, long shifts, poor wages and unsafe working conditions all led to the strength of the labor movement in the early 20th century. Most workers recognized that the second industrial revolution stripped them of their ability to have a measure of autonomy in their work and increasingly positioned them as mere cogs in the machines of industrialization. Social reform and more radical political movements all created pressure that eventually led to government officials passing labor reform of various sorts: including bans on child labor, the institutionalization of unions, and the standardization of the 8-hour work day.

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