Reading guide What is meant by the age of big business?



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Date18.04.2016
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TypeReading guide

Damian Lee

American Studies

Kyle/ Van Over


The Expansion of American Industry

Chapter 7, Section 1



Reading guide


  1. What is meant by the age of big business?

It is meant by the age of big business when business leaders pooled funds and resources to form large companies.

  1. What are the inventions that transformed American life following the Civil War? In what ways did these inventions change life?

Some inventions were electricity, telephones, steel and refining oil. These changes brought better living conditions and technology.

  1. What were some of the factors that helped spur economic development after the Civil War?

Some factors were the introduction of new technology, the migration of different people into North America seeking the American dream.

  1. What does the term “social Darwinism” mean? How does this term applied during the era of industrial expansion?

Social Darwinism means all animal life had evolved by a process of natural selection, which only the fittest survived to reproduce. This term applied during the era by rich and smart people taking advantage of the poor, unfortunate, and dumb people to survive.

  1. What is a monopoly?

Monopoly is when a company eliminates or buys it’s competitors.

  1. What is the definition of a cartel? How was it used by industrialists?

A cartel is a loose associations of business, mostly formed secretly, making the same product. These associations would limit products when supply was low to make the price high.

  1. What is a trust? How was it used by industrialists?

A trust is a combination of companies that turn over their assets to a board of trustees to control prices and competition in a particular industry. Trust was used so people who owned a particular industry could hold control of their competitors.

  1. What is a horizontal consolidation, and how was it used by industrialists?

A horizontal consolidation is ownership in one area of production of industry, having influence on every aspect of the making. This was used by Rockefeller. He controlled the process of refining the oil, also controlling the raw materials and the oil to sell.

  1. What made life for working people so difficult in times of economic hardship?

Low payment, unsafe working conditions, no payment increase are some economic hardships that made life for working people so difficult.

  1. How did the growth of industry affect women’s lives?

Women were only chosen for simple step garment sewing, and had less pay than men. Women in the factories did not enjoy at all, having no chances for advancement in factory work.


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