How A Changing Economy Impacts the Country Without the wanting of capitalistic change, this country would never be America. Instead, Native Americans would be migrating in teepees while buffalo and wild horses roam the grounds in place of cars. Without change, the youth of today would have no aspiration to get a degree, proper education, and life fulfilling job, because they would still be put in factories and sweatshops with despicable conditions. Without change, women, African Americans, and children would not have the human rights they have today, because they fought, shedding blood sweat and tears to receive them. The U.
S is labeled as a capitalist economic system which means Americans are competitive. Capitalism, is based on a definite “one man for himself” ideology. Americans strive to come out on top, and in the process they change, evolve, and struggle, and not just one person struggles, but the entire economy struggles in some form when someone else fights for the best spot on the social class attainable. Even still if a short-term effect on the country may result in a struggle, in the long-term people will receive the good change can provide. In short, yes, change is good for the economy.
When America started out, the country was flooded in population with the true natives: Native Americans. The Native American culture consisted of hunting and migration. They relied on buffalo for food, shelter, and clothes, and did not believe in practices White Americans did when they came to the country.
White Americans did not appreciate their culture as well and they had clashed, the outcome– the Indian Wars, which were brief bloody battles. There were stories of unprovoked American Indian attacks that had outraged the country, and the last of these “mini wars” was, the Battle of the Wounded Knee. There were quotes from the perspective of Europeans from their reasonings of why the wars had to have occurred. One quote from the Friends of the Indian Conference, represents the role of the white American in the life of a Native American. “We must make the Indian more intelligently selfish before we can make him unselfishly intelligent … and into trousers… with a pocket that aches to be filled with dollars!” According to Gates, these changes were vital for the American lifestyle, and their goal was to change the culture of Native Americans through assimilation. Most Americans desired making money, which required a minimum percentage of a “selfishly intelligent” mind. The white American didn’t appreciate nor respect Native culture and wanted them to adopt their practices of developing a capitalist country because that was how they planned to improve the economy, and planned to assimilate Natives in order for them to be like them.Once Native American culture was imperialised, the country was agricultural.
Farming had given people jobs, especially after the civil war, when beef was in high demand due to major migration toward cities. The times of agricultural dominating the economy put cowboys in great demand, they worked 10-14 hours per day on ranches, and longer on trails. White Americans never learned to deal with large herds and Mexican settlers taught them to round up, rope, brand, and care for animals and cattle. All these changes were good for the economy, because it developed the country into a growing nation. As the economy evolved, 400 million acres of forests had transformed into flourishing farms and prairies, leading to the next biggest step-factor: railroads.. An economy is established into a strong nation through growth of intelligence and knowledge of becoming successful.
Railroads became something that helped anyone from common people to the wealthiest– they were a national network! The Central Pacific railroad employed Chinese immigrants, the Union Pacific employed the Irish, and veterans would lay tracks across terrains, however their job was dangerous since Native Americans attacked. The first railroads statistics included 2,000 employees killed and and 20,000 injured. Even with the downfall, the railroad played a role in bringing diverse regions together as a united nation. The success of railroads impacted industries and businesses Americans had. After the Civil War, agriculture was the leading push factor of America, until the 1920’s. Only 60 years later, industrialization was the leading power to not just America but globally. (Cotter, Nicholas.
“Ch. 6 The Expansion Industry.” quizlet.
com)This immense change was thanks to the support of great wealth from natural resources like oil, government support, and growing urban population. Edwin L. Drake started the use of steam engines to drill oil, and oil removal from Earth’s surface was practical. The breakthrough of success was attracting people from Kentucky, Ohio, Illinois, Indiana, and Texas. After all these changes took place, Westward Expansion trended.
The West was crucial to expand on since more land was available for people to settle. Lincoln’s Homestead Act attracted migration out West by providing civilians 160 acres of land for the cost of a small filing fee and five uninterrupted years of residency before they got ownership. The Expansion gave people opportunities to fulfill their American dream, and many of them had jobs in railroads and industry. More farming land also led to innovation of agriculture and technological advancement. Exodusters were freed slaves who migrated as well to escape prosecution with hopes of an improved reality where they were treated equally. With many opportunities at the people’s feet, capitalism spread throughout. America became a system that even less fortunate could soak in benefits and begin to reach, ¨the American Dream¨ to an extent. All these changes benefited the economy which satisfied American citizens.
Most saw that change was good for America. (CHECKED)”Make a career of humanity. Commit yourself to the struggle of equal human rights.” Martin Luther King’s quote of humanity effectively speaks about how humans struggled for rights. In the contexts of this text, the people who struggled were the ones who were the easiest targets: lower class citizens. Children and the conditions they were put in daily were the first change that occurred from a voice that rose to many. Progressivism was needed when the laws itself couldn’t protect someone from a struggle.
Children were forced into labor, working hard hours for low wage to help their parents receive more money since the wage for adults was often minimum. Labor forfeited a chance for education, yet children were ideal for maneuvering factories with their little hands and feet. The conditions of these factories were unsanitary and lead to frequent accidents and fatigue. The National Child Labor Committee sent investigators to study the issues of child labor and brought proposals to congress.
Jacob Riis described the condition of sweatshops which were a dominate workplace for women/children. “… There is no such thing as dinner hour; men and women eat while they work, and the ‘day’ is lengthened at both ends far into the night.” (“How the Other Half Lives.”)Eventually laws prevented child labor which allowed children an education. The fact that children of the 21st century are put in schools now proves that our economy differentiated for the better, when child labor ended.
(CHECKED)Another form of progressivism was during Teddy Roosevelt’s presidency. Roosevelt created the Square Deals which were an outstanding benefit. One square deal that stands out is the Food and Drug safety act. The purpose of this act was to prevent corrupted manufactured goods that were deleterious. Following the Food and Drug Safety act was the Meat Inspection Act. Roosevelt hired staff to inspect meat packaging. According to a slice of an Upton Sinclair except, one can get a feel of how disturbing the condition meat was in beforehand.
Sinclair explained that the beef was placed in tanks full of chemical and their form of transportation were trucks that took the meat to a cooking room to be treated in a way similar to garbage.After people found out the truth, there was the Meat Inspection Act, which ended all unsanitary conditions. Food and Drug Safety is only one example of all the amazing progress that occurred during Teddy’s presidency. Roosevelt also listened to what the people asked for when the coal miners went on strike. They wanted a raise in salary by 20 percent and a nine hour workday. Roosevelt came to a compromise so the coal miners salary is raised by 10 percent yet they still had a nine hour work day and could not go on strike for three consecutive years (526). Teddy was a true progressive and fought hard to give civilians a greater change in their economy.Throughout history, of course not all change brings great fortune.
Sometimes it brings suffering which is known looking back at the Great Depression. The Great Depression was an economic slump that lasted approximately a decade. America, along with other countries suffered a great inflation. While it may be said otherwise, the stock market accelerated the Great Depression, it never was the root of the economy’s dejection. The stock market did result however, in Americans buying on the margin constantly. With credit available, debt soon became an issue and caused an uneven distribution in income where the rich gained while the poor remained on the bottom. Over 70% of families made less than $2,500 a year, and the depression affected civilians equally.
From immigrants to the working class, people could not afford much more than one new outfit, electric lights or even basic necessities such as the refrigerator (672). The physiological effect that the Great Depression had on men was, they became homeless and were no longer able to provide for their families when “breadwinner” roles became unavailable. Meanwhile children had lost the one thing they needed to become a successful adult: an education. The government depended on tax revenue for schools which was lost during the depression. The children’s opportunity to grow as a human being was abandoned by adults and many were either put back in factories or grew up on the streets.
Woman were affected by the depression by having to take care of their families more than ever. The pressure to keep their family running as it had been post-Great Depression was a challenge, families constantly depended on organizations such as charities and churches. The resolution to this was when FDR made an inaugural speech which impacted the country. In the speech the quote “we have nothing to fear but fear itself” became a popular quote that at the time, gave Americans a sign to show how the government would change their lives. The New Deal was one of the main efforts to pull people out of poverty and the speech was created to explain the process behind it.However the Great Depression did not end until the end of WWII and through Franklin Roosevelt’s help during his presidency.
Franklin wanted to stabilize the economy while the war established the sharp decline of living standards people suffered through during the depression. WWII set income controls and rationed goods and this lifestyle pursued because people believed it was resourceful, which it proved to be in the end.America’s economy is forever changing, as it has been the second people step foot on this land now rich not just resources but history. This country is rich in people who have done greatly to give us the lives we have today, as well as future souls and intellects who ambition for great success and will leave their mark on this country. Because some humans have a greed for wealth yet others have a greed for change, and whatever one lies at heart will determine the outcome of how that individual will affect their lives and our economy.
“We may come from different places, and have different stories, but we share common hopes and one very American dream.” — Barack Obama.Work Cited– Luther, Martin. How the other half lives.net. Web. 25 Jan. 2018.
Scribner’s Books, 28 Feb. 1890. Web.
25 Jan. 2018.