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Second Industrial Revolution

The Second Industrial Revolution was a phase of rapid technological advance and widespread adoption. Telegraph and railroad lines, gas and water supplies, and sewage systems were built across the country. The automobile was invented and Henry Ford developed the assembly line, which allowed for mass production. Perhaps most consequential was the invention of electrical power and the telephone.

Deteriorating economic conditions and political strife in Europe and China, coupled with demand for labor in the U.S., resulted in dramatic increases in immigration. Difficult and dangerous working conditions led to the formation of the labor movement and reforms.

After centuries of settlement, the American frontier closed. The Wounded Knee massacre was the last of the major confrontations with Native Americans and by 1890 most tribes had been forcibly moved to reservations.


  • The New Industrial Age - The United States was transformed from an agricultural to industrial society in the years following the Civil War.... Continue Reading
  • Railroad Era - The earliest forms of railroads in America were used in mines and quarries; heavy loads were transported by horse-drawn carts running on wooden or iron tracks.... Continue Reading
  • George Westinghouse - George Westinghouse was an inventor and entrepreneur who created a series of "fixes" that enhanced railroad industry function and safety.... Continue Reading
  • Thomas Edison - Thomas Edison was a prolific and influential inventor in the late 19th and early 20th century whose inventions include the phonograph, motion picture camera, and the lightbulb, along with a means to h... Continue Reading
  • Nikola Tesla - Nikola Tesla was a brilliant visionary, physicist, inventor and electrical engineer of the late 19th and early 20th centuries.... Continue Reading
  • Henry Ford - Henry Ford was born on a farm just outside of Dearborn, Michigan.... Continue Reading
  • Sherman Antitrust Act - The last third of the 19th century witnessed the development of business conglomerates or trusts.... Continue Reading
  • Panama Canal - American interest in linking the Atlantic and Pacific oceans by means of a canal across Central America had existed for many years.... Continue Reading
  • World's Fair-1904 - The 1904 World’s Fair, also known as the Louisiana Purchase Exposition, was officially opened on April 30th by David R. Francis. Francis was the... Continue Reading

  • Business Leaders of the Gilded Age - Mark Twain wrote of the Gilded Age, a time of enormous wealth accumulated by a few. Their success spread a gleaming gold leaf over American society.... Continue Reading
  • Labor Movement - The beginnings of the American labor movement... Continue Reading
  • The Grange Movement: Patrons of Husbandry - Oliver Hudson Kelley was an employee of the Department of Agriculture in the 1860s.... Continue Reading
  • Immigration Act of 1924 - During the Harding administration, a stop-gap immigration measure was passed by Congress in 1921 for the purpose of slowing the flood of immigrants entering the United States.... Continue Reading

  • Little Big Horn - The background behind this infamous battle, also known as "Custer's Last Stand," comprises an effort to subdue Native Americans living in the Dakota and Montana territories who were fighting for their... Continue Reading
  • Geronimo - Geronimo was born in southern Arizona, present-day Clifton, and given the name Goyathlay, meaning "one who yawns."... Continue Reading
  • Wounded Knee Massacre - The 1870s saw a continuing intrusion into the sacred Black Hills of present-day South Dakota by gold-hungry white men, and settlers who coveted the area's rich soil. The situation spurred a succession... Continue Reading