From Revolution to Reconstruction

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Assimilation is the concept that eventually immigrants or their decedents adopt enough of the American culture that while they may retain aspects or traditions of their cultural heritage, they are identifiable as uniquely "American". Most if all of these cultural traditions (language, foods, etc..) have been replaced with "Americanized" traditions. 

(1) Do you feel the United States is more similar to a “melting pot” or a “salad bowl?” Explain your answer.
Impact of Industrialism
General Impact of Industrialization

In the mid 1800s, the development of new machines and tools led to an explosion of factory construction, and a boom in mass production.  Immigration, a population shift from rural to urban areas, and the expansion of the railroads led to the development of a national market for finished goods.  Shrewd businessmen like Rockefeller, Carnegie and Morgan pushed these revolutionary changes ahead.


The rapid influx of people to cities placed a burden on urban areas with which most municipalities could not cope.  With people flooding into cities in search of jobs and a better life, there was not enough housing to go around, and far too little public assistance available.  The poor, tired and dirty workers eventually organized labor unions to resist employer exploitation, but that only led to a new round of difficulties and problems for the urban poor.


Overall, when economic transformations occur, the average standard of living also tends to improve.  In a market economy, such as the United States, industrialization eventually led to greater opportunities for most workers.  Business growth often leads to greater competition among manufacturers, and increased interdependence of the society.


One negative aspect of the combination of industrialization and urbanization is the decay and disappearance of the extended family.  In the more costly city, most people just couldn't afford to have large families, like those needed to keep a farm running.  The cost of living was too high.

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