Industrial Giant of the World (1870–1910) for AP U.S. History
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Summary: During this era, there was massive industrial growth in the United States, making America the major industrial producer of the world. This growth was largely a product of the expansion of heavy industry; steel was an important component of this industrial growth. The development of the assembly line and Taylorism, which encouraged efficiency in the workplace, created a factory setting where skilled workmanship was de-emphasized. Horizontal and vertical integration allowed major American businesses such as Standard Oil and United States Steel to expand greatly. American workers began to unionize in this era through labor organizations such as the Knights of Labor, the American Federation of Labor, and the Industrial Workers of the World. "New" immigrants from eastern and southern Europe took unskilled jobs in many of the expanding factories but were not wanted by some labor organizations. The American city was also greatly transformed in this era. Political machines dominated many city governments, although efforts took place at the federal level to create a professional civil service system.
Taylorism: following management practices of the industrial engineer Frederick Winslow Taylor, the belief that factories should be managed in a scientific manner, utilizing techniques that would increase the efficiency of the individual workers and the factory process as a whole.
Horizontal integration: a strategy of gaining as much control over a single industry as possible, oftentimes by creating trusts and holding companies; this strategy was utilized by John D. Rockefeller and Standard Oil.
Vertical integration: a strategy of gaining as much control over a single industry as possible by controlling the production, marketing, and distribution of the finished product. Andrew Carnegie and U.S. Steel are the best example from the era of this approach.
"Gospel of Wealth": the philosophy of Andrew Carnegie, who believed that wealthy industrialists had an obligation to help local communities and philanthropic organizations.
Knights of Labor: established in the 1880s, this was the major union of that decade. It was made up of unions of many industries and accepted unskilled workers.
American Federation of Labor: national labor union formed by Samuel Gompers in 1886; original goal was to organize skilled workers by craft.
Industrial Workers of the World: more radical than the American Federation of Labor, this union was formed in 1905 and attempted to unionize unskilled workers not recruited by the A.F. of L. Members of this union were called "Wobblies."
Gilded Age: a depiction of late-nineteenth-century America that emphasizes a surface of great prosperity hiding problems of social inequality and cultural shallowness.
Pendleton Civil Service Act (1883): federal act that established a civil service system at the federal level; for the first time, not all government jobs would be political appointments.
Tammany Hall: political machine that ran New York City Democratic and city politics beginning in 1870; became a model for other urban political machines in the late 1800s.
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