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How did Americans respond to the changes of urban, industrial life between 1870-1910? Identify THREE different groups, explain who they are, and explain their responses.

After the civil war, the USA emerged as the industrial giant and industries such as the steel industry, electrical power and petroleum refining expanded. During this economic prosperity not everyone enjoyed the period; the situation of low pay led most workers to join groups and labor unions. Different groups reacted to industrialization differently.

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The middle class

After the emergence of the industrial era, there emerged a class of society called the middle class who followed the rich and powerful in terms of wealth and how they lived their lives.

In the middle class families husbands and wives had different responsibilities to undertake and children were closely supervised. Due to the improvement of the transport sector, it allowed the middle class to move out of the city centers.

The wage earners

These were individuals who did job to earn a living and involved both skilled and unskilled laborers. The unskilled wage earners had a difficult time with industrialization. The large scale industries decreased and a more personal contact between employer and employee was evident. Machines were the order of the day and this made it difficult for the unskilled laborers to adjust rapidly to the change.


These are individuals who were mostly working on the farms and had agricultural produce as their main product to the economy. Farmers who worked in a well established region were benefited from the technology that was put in a place. Also they were benefited from the easy access to the urban markets hence a thriving business for the farmers. However, farmers were on the mercy of the industrial cycles and this made them uncomfortable.

How was the “New Imperialism” understood and justified by expansionists during the late 19th and early 20th century?

New imperialism was understood by the expansionists as a competition for the resources prestige and strategic power. The expansionists justified imperialism in that due to industrialization of the powerful nations such as Europe, there was massive capital that needed investment abroad. The expansionists in the event of the expanding colonialism insisted on nationalism as a reason for the New Imperialism and humanitarian activities.  The spreading of religion was also one of the expansionist’s justifications.

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