The Gilded Age Essay, Research Paper
Important Changes of the Gilded Age
The changes that occurred in the Gilded Age led to shaping American into the superpower and well respected international country that it is recognized as today. The most important changes were the discovery of uses of copper, the assembly line production technique and the completion of the first transcontinental railroad.
The uses of copper that were introduced during the Gilded Age allowed the development of necessities of life as we know it in the United States today. Because of its ability to transmit electricity and sound, it is used in telephone and telegraph systems and electric lighting technologies that were developed and introduced during the Gilded Age. It is almost impossible to imagine what our present day lives would be like without telephones, computers and other electronic devices that evolved from the inventions that developed from the discovery of uses of copper during this great period.
Henry Ford s use of the assembly line in manufacturing the first cars in large numbers would survive and evolve to being one of the most efficient techniques of manufacturing otherwise complex and time-consuming products. The assembly line, which is still in use in many factories today, would cut the time of production and would also cut down the skills necessary to build and manufacture products. Before the assembly line, for example, a product would be crafted by a skilled person who possessed the knowledge of making the product. It would take a long time to manufacture because the manufacturing would be done alone or by a few workers. The assembly line would have a line of workers who would do just one function of the manufacturing process. For example, one worker would only put on a tire and that s what that one worker would do all day long. The assembly line would, in turn, require only laborers, instead of skilled workers, to be used on the assembly line. Laborers would be paid much less than skilled workers and would work towards the manufacturer s advantage. Ford s use of this technique of labor management would allow him to make his millions quickly and efficiently. This change in focus of function instead of skill would allow efficient productivity. Without the assembly line, factories today would run more slowly and would have much smaller output than with the assembly line.
Another change from the Gilded Age would be the completion and use of the first transcontinental railroad. Not only was it functionally great, but it was symbolic also. This would join the west and the east in a week s time journey instead of taking several months. It was also a symbolic change in that the East and West were finally connected. The West would become a more accessible area for resources and settlement. This was a proud achievement of the United States also because of its own greatness in length and size. The railroads were a crucial part of the industrialization of the U.S. during this time period. They were an important part of transportation during these times.
The Gilded Age gave birth to many of the corporations that exist today. The ideas, inventions and discoveries of this time were necessary for America to be where it is at today.