Chapter 24 13 Themes
Industry Comes of Age
Big ideas matter. Here are the most important themes for this chapter.
The over-arching theme of chapter 24 is that America’s economy turns from agricultural and handiwork to industrial and machine work.
- Before the Civil War, railroads had become important. After the war, railroads boomed and were critical to the nation. Railroads, along with steel, were to be the skeleton on which the nation’s economy would be built.
- A class of millionaires emerged for the first time ever. Tycoons like Carnegie and Rockefeller made fortunes. This type of wealth was championed by “Social Darwinism” where the strong win in business.
- Unfortunately, many of the mega-industries, like railroads, grew at the expense of the “little man’s” interest. As businesses, they were out to make money, and they did. But the working man cried foul.
- To right these wrongs, the anti-trust movement began (to bust up the monopolies) and organized labor got a jumpstart (although they were still rather ineffective).