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For each laborer killed directly, several were maimed, and several more found their lives shortened by coal dust, lead, and other poisons.
The promise that America held for these new immigrants contrasted sharply with the rise of legalized segregation of African‐Americans in the South after Reconstruction.
Meanwhile, ongoing industrialization and urbanization left their mark on how people spent their daily lives and used their leisure time.
Teddy Roosevelt, who had a front-row seat in these developments, described the birth of a new American state that broke significantly from its laissez-faire precursor: "The development of industrialism means that there must be an increase in the supervision exercised by the Government over business enterprise.
The years of industrial expansion after the Civil War brought significant changes to American society.
Fossil-fueled machines operated by unskilled or semi-skilled newcomers displaced skilled workers in many industries (with coal mining an ironic exception).
Industrial America Essay
Working people exerted less control over production than ever before; American labor leaders increasingly decried the degradation of work as all sorts of time-honored trades and occupations became obsolete.
In 1870, there were only two American cities with a population of more than 500,000; by 1900, there were six, and three of these — New York, Chicago, and Philadelphia — boasted over one million inhabitants.
Roughly 40 percent of Americans lived in cities and the number was climbing.
Start with the electric- or cable-powered streetcars that Americans increasingly used to travel between work, home, downtown shopping districts, and peripheral amusement grounds.
Then move to the houses and apartments in which Americans increasingly used coal for cooking and heating.