Urban Change InterCity social divides aNd economiC oppurtunity

Economic Oppurtunity

Wages and conditions were very bad although there was a lot of job openings in the beginning of the industrialization era. Many businesses would hire immigrants because they knew they would work for any wage/condition. Many immigrants took the jobs regardless because they had spent everything to come to America. Immigrants mainly clumped on the jobs in factories and other unskilled jobs along the ports because they were so poor they couldn't really afford to move. Many immigrants, because of the low wages, had all of their family members take jobs, such as their children, to be able to survive. Many Chinese immigrants found the job of working on the railroads, they took all the railroad jobs so white workers got angry and went on strike, didn't work as the railroad companies just hired more Chinese workers - Chinese Exclusion Act was in response to this and was an act banning Chinese immigrants from coming to America.

Economic and Racial Divide in Cities

Immigrants and African Americans were always at a disadvantage because of the restrictions that were forced upon them. They could not become completely normal members of society with well paying jobs because they were seen below the white man. These immigrants and African Americans were never able to use their full potential while working in cities during the late 19th and early 20th century. Employers used racial minorities as strike breakers in industrial strikes. This weakened the ability of unions to win strikes and also contributed to more hatred against blacks and other minorities within the white working class. Racial divisions within the working class actually weakened the ability of workers as a whole to bargain higher wages with their employers. White workers would have been better off economically if there was less inequality and more solidarity between white and black workers.

Contributors to Economic Opportunity

Many American entrepreneurs aided the formation of cities by creating job opportunities within them. With Andrew Carnegie's contribution of creating the first way to mass produce steel, and steel relevance at the time, many jobs and factories were created because of it. Carnegie's steel production made the city of Pittsburg. During this time many cities started to sprout up around industrial centers. John D Rockefeller created oil refineries in Ohio, and grew the city of Cleveland by doing so. Cornelius Vanderbuilt created the New York Central Railroad, which connect Boston and New York. With the increased ease of trade and commerce, more jobs were readily available.

Sources

http://www.nber.org/reporter/winter06/collins.html

http://www.ssc.wisc.edu/~wright/ContemporaryAmericanSociety/Chapter%2014%20--%20Racial%20inequality--Norton%20August.pdf

https://www.gilderlehrman.org/history-by-era/essays/rise-industrial-america-1877-1900

http://www.historywithmrprice.com/unit-3---industrialization.html

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