How Steel changed America One of the greatest discovers that transformed cities to what they are now is steel industry. The rise of the steel industry in the United States drove America’s growth as a world economic power. “The industrialization of America made steel the number-one selling product. Steel was used in the construction and maintenance of railroads as well as nearly every other industry of the day (Carnegie, Andrew). ” Even thou steel had been used during the early days of European settlement began it was not until the 19 century when new technological advances that allowed steel industry to produce tons of steel for cheap.
One of technology advances that made it possible to produce more steel was Bessemer converter which was invented by Henry Bessemer. “His machine, the, blew air over molten iron from a blast furnace so as to remove impurities and create a substance of a uniform consistency(Rees, Jonathan). ” But steel was not produce in mass amount until Andrew Carnegie came and created a steel industry that can produce more steel then anybody out there.
“Carnegie’s first experience in industry came when he invested in the iron business during the 1860s.
His genius was to champion technological innovations like the Bessemer converter and the Jones mixer, which sped the delivery of iron from the blast furnace to the converter, in order to cut production costs and undersell his competitors (Rees, Jonathan). ” Steel only had one competitor to compete with it market and that was iron. Iron was push aside in the market because steel was cheaper to produce and steel was also stronger. “As steel prices dropped dramatically, consumers increasingly chose the cheaper, harder, more durable metal (Rees, Jonathan). This made it more affordable to buy for the making high rise building, bridges, rails roads and anything that needed to be built to last for a long time. “Mass production of steel was an outgrowth of the nineteenth-century “transportation revolution “Steel and the Steel Industry (Rees, Jonathan). ” Steel made it possible for cities to expand. In 1870, there were only two American cities with a population of more than 500,000; by 1900, there were six, and three of these — New York, Chicago, and Philadelphia — boasted over one million inhabitants. A lot of this happened because of the rail roads but a lot of the building that happen in these cities would have not been possible it was not for the steel industry.
“Because the birth rate in the United States declined in the late nineteenth century, urban growth reflected an internal migration of Americans from farms and small towns to the larger cities and the overseas migration that brought millions of people to U. S. shores (CliffsNotes. com). ” Has cities became crowed and land became scares there was a need for high rise building and construction begin. The availability of cheap steel, improved fireproofing, and the electric elevator allowed for the construction of taller and taller buildings (CliffsNotes. com). ” The growth of the steel industry gave a rise to massive industry’s that hired worker. The workers of the day were mostly farm workers. Once the industry revolution started they were hiring thousands of people and this was causing a shift for people to start moving into cities and getting paid as factory laborers. “In this way industrialization provided jobs for the millions of immigrants coming into the country and so led immigrants to stay in the cities to work.
However the jobs were low paying and so made the majority of the “American City” poor and forced to live in slums (David Gardiner). ” The growth of American as a major player in the world was because of the steel industry which gave a rise on how to build industries that maximizes its profits by keeping wages low. This might be consider creed or against the law now days but at the time there was no law that protect the employees. This helped keep prices low on steel and help builders buy steel for cheap which cause a boom on huge projects like building huge bridges and building like never seen before.
With the big boom on building also cause people to move to cities and kept them there because they had steading work. This gave a rise to modern cities all across the United Stated and creating professionals jobs has we see today. “America’s emergence as the world’s greatest industrial power at the end of the nineteenth century was based on the mass production of steel. In the process of contributing to the transformation of the country’s economy, the steel industry itself was transformed.
The technological and organizational changes in the American steel industry during the nineteenth century were both causes and effects of an increasingly diverse, rapidly urbanizing industrial society (Carnegie, Andrew). ” References “Carnegie, Andrew. ” Gilded Age and Progressive Era Reference Library. Ed. Lawrence W. Baker and Rebecca Valentine. Vol. 3: Primary Source. Detroit: UXL, 2007. 51-59. Gale U. S. History In Context. Web. 25 Oct. 2012 CliffsNotes. com. The Rise of Urban America. 25 Oct 2012 <http://www. cliffsnotes. com/study_guide/topicArticleId-25238,articleId-25184. tml>. David Gardiner (2011) The Rise of the America City. Retrieve from http://apnotebook2007. pbworks. com/w/page/35209082/The%20Rise%20of%20the%20America%20City Rees, Jonathan. “Iron and Steel Industry. ” Dictionary of American History. Ed. Stanley I. Kutler. 3rd ed. Vol. 4. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 2003. 426-429. Gale U. S. History In Context. Web. 25 Oct. 2012. “Steel and the Steel Industry. ” Encyclopedia of the United States in the Nineteenth Century. Ed. Paul Finkelman. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 2001. Gale U. S. History In Context. Web. 25 Oct. 2012.
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