Compare and contrast of the 18th and 19th century in America: econ/social/polit

Topics: Social class, 18th century, 19th century Pages: 2 (663 words) Published: November 13, 2002
Thesis: The 18th and 19th century were drastically contrasting eras of social and political evolvement but comparable in the successive mentality of economic expansion.

New advantages in natural resources in the United States brought striking transitions in the economic stance of the nation and developed into distinct eras. The coal era of the 18th century was marked by the usage of coal as a main source of energy, heat, and transportation. The 19th century brought the advantages of oil in transportation and heating and its integral fuse into daily life as well, but also new cultural aspects. The 18th and 19th century were drastically contrasting eras of social and political evolvement but comparable in the successive mentality of economic expansion.

The economic advancements were pursued for the purpose of profit, a factor seen in both eras with the advent of trusts, monopolies, and investment capital. During the coal era, the amount of factories increased across the country creating jobs and the first breed of multi millionaire tycoons like Carnegie and Rockefeller. But because of the monopolistic control of business and the labor force, wages were low leading to unrest, boycotts, and strikes. Similarly, the oil century lead the industries to use preventive measures against such resulting strikes. The answer was higher wages and worker benefits, which lead mass consumerism never seen before in the coal century.

The social aspects of both eras are easily derived from the economical constraints of the time period. In the coal century less money and long hours did not allow for free time spent shopping. The major social uprisings occurred during this era because of labor demands from the public against the economic monopolies' stance against worker's rights. The social aspects of the oil century contrasted drastically because of the availability of money and leisure time. Also the economic freedom of most middle class Americans allowed for investments in...
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