The period of Reconstruction came after the Civil war in America, in which the North fought against the Confederate Army of the South. The Union Government aimed to readmit Southern States, which were the cause of this war.
Reconstruction of the United States embodies industrialization, which predominantly stands out as the key factor of the country’s development. The period of Reconstruction follows the Progressive period, inextricable with the Gilded Age as its cradle platform (Gill, 1990).
The Gilded Age, which was the preamble of economy’s development, entails drastic economic and demographic growth. Significantly, this solves the issue of scarcity of labor and market for services and commodities. The Gilded Age comes after the Civil War and is succeeded by the Reconstruction Era. The country’s economy solely leans on the resourceful man power and ready market for its commodities (Gill, 1990).
According to these facts, there were two major turning points: the Gilded Age and the Progressive Era. Both periods have had an exploding economic prosperity impact on Northern and Western States. Therefore there were two phases the United States has passed through to annex the world’s economic, agricultural and industrial sectors.
The Gilded Age is mostly associated with the establishment of a current industrial economy, which sits between the 1870s and the 1880s. It also depicts the huge rise of American economy of that period. The U.S as a country rose drastically, and this was marked by the high wages, accumulation of wealth, Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and the formation of capital. All these had a positive impact on the social lives of American people (Gill, 1990).
In1865 the agricultural sector received a boost, especially with wheat rising by 225%. Other products, for example corn, coal and railway track miles, appreciated by 222%, 800% and 567% respectively.
The development in the agricultural sector and discovery of mineral resources prompted the construction of roads to aid transportation and create better communication networks. This even expedited the rate, at which development and industrialization paced, since remote areas were made accessible by the thick road and railway networks within and across the borders.
The administrative structure grew into organized system of governance. The revolution played a major role in the transformation in the running of businesses through the formation of per Capita income. The incomes were twice higher than in France, Germany and 50% greater than in Britain. It was an indicator of early civilization in the state.
It should also be noted, that the high influx of people was not just a result of high birth rate within the Western United States but was also influenced by the European immigrants. The immigrants, comprised of ethnically experienced group of people, were hired to work in the industries, and this with time led to the appearance of highly industrialized cities and towns. The movement of people from their native countries to work in these industries has resulted in a brain drain and deficiency of personnel in the deserted countries and their stagnated development.
The Progressive Era
The Progressive Era is identified with social advocacy and political restructuring, which flourished between the 1890s and 1920s. Everything was aimed at eliminating all vices that accrued from bad governance, for example, corruption. It led to the improvement of resource management and sanity at work stations. There was high productivity and efficiency, while in other parts these virtues struggled (Gill, 1990).
Whereas other parts of America under looked the women’s contribution in the country’s economy, the U. S. promoted women’s suffrage so as to engage them in the affairs of the country by allowing them democratic rights (Gill, 1990).
The other aspect that was highly looked into is efficiency; this was addressed through constant reviews of the old mechanisms, which underwent modernization to suit the changing times and to beat any competitor. The emphasis was drifted to engineering, scientific and medical solutions (Tucker, 1973).
Many famous persons in the history of the United States took part in the reformation of the local government, medicine, public education, finance, industry, churches, insurance, and railroads. Progressives transformed the education sector, leading to specialization and professionalism. According to Tucker (1973), the system put emphasis on research, which enabled creative and innovative thinking, incentive for flourishing economy.
The two ways, in which the legislature handed down decisions against discrimination of non-white citizens and immigrants, appeared during the Reconstruction period. The first was the abolition of slavery, and the second one was connected with granting of civil rights. The immigrants were given rights to citizenship either by way of birth or naturalization. The amendments against discrimination were proposed in early February, 1869, and were passed in 1870. The blacks were also allowed the right to vote, since this would offer them training and political knowledge (Tucker, 1973).
If President Lincoln had not been assassinated, the Reconstruction period would have passed quicker than it happened. His initial plan was to restore peace, which in itself gives room for the economy’s development. His death billowed with a lot of anxiety between the Southern and the Northern states. The hatred and the vengeance, which began to spread, slowed down the development of the country (Benedict, 1974).
Moreover, Lincoln was famous and a highly respected statesman, who would easily control the radical republicans. Lincoln’s death left a big gap in leadership, which was later assumed by a Southerner, Andrew Johnson. However, this even aggravated the hatred in the country, and there was a weak interaction between the states towards a common goal, which led to the economic struggle (Benedict, 1974).