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Conversion from Agrarian to Industrialist Society


Important chapters of American history that defines the country and its socio-political and economic aspects involve industrial revolution, racism, world wars, the great depression, cold war and America’s role in the Middle East. American history represents the transformation from the agrarian to industrialist society during the nineteenth century. The transformation to industrial society resulted in significant changes in lives of Americans. Racism is the result of social Darwinism that America used to justify inequalities and injustices. The world wars changed the picture of the country while cold war played the prominent role in changing cultural values.

Conversion from agrarian to industrialist society

American economy evolved from rural agrarian society to urban industrial society. several factors contributed towards the transformation causing economic, social and political changes. American history relates the period with industrial revolution due to drastic changes such as the larger production of goods and population diversity. Major shifts in technology and settlements impacted the workforce and economic power that also influenced the economic sectors. Larger production of goods and increased consumption were the outcomes of the evolution. The agrarian evolution occurred between the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries due to improvements in agricultural production and farm technology. Technological interventions such as the invention of systems, wheels and plough allowed humans to perform tasks more efficiently that resulted in time-saving and massive productivity. The era involved negative consequences such as division of labor, class divide as the wealthy gained excessive power permitting them to exploit the labor. The classification was prominent as the powerful had access to surplus resources[1].

History associates industrial revolution with more drastic economic and social changes during the nineteenth century. Energy-sources and incorporation of power-driven machinery enhance the productivity of the laborer. Stream engines, textiles and other equipment contribute to the massive growth of businesses allowing owners to generate huge revenues. The period constituted too much adverse implication such as over-crowdedness in cities resulting from movement of people from rural to urban areas. Low-skilled workers lost jobs due to their replacement with skilled labor. Unpaid workers and loss of jobs contributed to unemployment. The gap between the rich and poor widened resulting in inequality and discrimination. Industrial revolution resulted in massive profits for the rich that deteriorated the lives of poor as they were unable to earn meagre wages.

Racism and social Darwinism

The history of America portrays the themes of racism and social Darwinism reflected through the analysis of African Americans lives. The theory of Darwinism promoted the belief that some humans are superior to others due to the biological makeup. American society treated whites as superior and blacks as inferior that was the misapplication of the real philosophy. The society represented a perfect picture of the divided human race between the blacks and whites. White Americans access to more resources, education, economic and political power made them dominant and stronger. Black Americans on other hand suffered the consequences of social Darwinism and racism due to their low access to resources, low educations and no economic or political power. African Americans struggled for the basic necessities while the social system confined masses to poverty. To justify the gap white Americans relied on social Darwinism that conferred the belief that the fittest survives. The philosophy reflects that the weaker is unfit to fight in the society and is allowed to die[2].

Throughout the history, Africans encountered racism reflected in the injustices and unequal survival opportunities. Fannie Lou Hamer, a black woman and civil rights activist capture the realities of discrimination, “you never taught us, white America, that it was a black doctor that learned to save blood plasma to give a blood transfusion”. Issues of race and class discrimination remained prominent chapters in the American history causing miseries and pain to the Africans. The inequalities had a long-lasting impact on lives of the black people, who lived in deprivation and suffered the adversities in form of poverty, poor quality of living and no opportunities for growth. Philosophers and historical analysts associate the theory of social Darwinism with racism because whites used the ideology to maintain supremacy in the country[3].

America’s participation in wars

America’s participation in two historical wars caused significant changes across social, economic and political aspects. World War I (1914) drafted thousands of men into the military, provoking women to work outside houses when their men while their men were at war. The war changed the picture of the country, resulting in massive killings. The war played a positive role in enhancing economic growth by removing trade barriers and allowing freedom. The adverse impacts involve the emotional and psychological issues as the people became less tolerant. World War II also resulted in similar consequences changing the dynamics of the society. The wars promoted fear, hopelessness and restlessness among people due to the traumatic experiences. People who witnessed the wars or participated in them suffered trauma, depression and anxiety. The transformation of society to immoral and unequal place also resulted of the war[4].

Impacts of the great depression and New Deal

The great depression and New Deal are prominent events in the American history that influenced the socio-political and economic aspects. Great depression (1929) resulted in financial turmoil due to the excessive and uncontrolled lending of the banks. The common impacts include an increase in the unemployment rate by 25 percent and increased homelessness. Plummeting of housing prices to 30 percent influenced the lower and middle class as people were unable to afford houses that deprived their living standards. The stock markets recovered after 25 years, indicating a prominent gap in the economic stability. The economy transformed from free markets to the mixed economy while many banks closed due to bankruptcy. New Deal programs emerged to provide relief to the citizens who suffered the adversities of the incident. the program focused on eliminating the adversities of the great depression by creating a balance of power between the president and Congress. Social security act remains one of the most visible benefits that emphasized on providing social and economic security to the citizen’s[5]

Impacts of cold war

The stress of cold war was to establish an association between the political events and cultural beliefs. The war played a significant role in enhancing economic power as it allowed America to acquire the status of sole superpower. The event influenced the way Americans perceived things and culture. the cold war worked to change the mindsets of the citizens by introducing the concepts of capitalism and communism. The event influenced the domestic and the foreign policy. Economic expansion and cultural change are the visible outcomes of cold war. Changes in communications, computer revolution and medical advances are the positive outcomes of the event. Enhancement of agricultural technology and promoting free trade directly influenced the economy. Cultural changes involve geographical diffusions such as the emergence of the jazz age and different forms of music including pop and changes in the artistic styles.

Political liberalism, socialism and conservatism

The three ideologies of liberalism, socialism and conservatism present different views on nature and fundamentals on judging the politics. The theory of liberalism emerged in the 1820s suggests individuals desire to construct a society that provides satisfaction to the people and helps in achieving fulfilment. Liberal societies focus on protecting the citizens and their interests. The ideology of socialism emerged in the 1840s promoting cooperation and competition. The purpose of the theory was to promote competition and provide equal living opportunities to the people. The theory emphasizes social equality and elimination of inequality between classes. The idea is against capitalism that leads to class divide by categorizing humans as rich and poor. Abolition of capitalism leads to social stability. The ideology of conservatism emerged in 1835 that focuses on developing institutions safeguarding the fragile fragment of society. the theory supporter authoritarian regime that declined the freedom.

America’s role in the Middle East

America being superpower managed to use its military forces to maintain control over some territories in Middle East specification Afghanistan and Iraq. Economic and counter-terrorism interests motivated Americans to address political instability in Middle East. The superpower created civil-war-like the situation in undeveloped countries of Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya. The civil-war chanced the economic, political and social aspects of the victim countries while America spent millions of dollars on the mission that also affected its economy. The war resulted in massive casualties while American state failed to attain its goal of starting a war. The presence of American forces in the Middle East contributed to restlessness, economic turmoil and devastation. The long-term consequences involve longer instability, political restlessness, massive personal and public damage. The military personnel taking part in the civil-war suffered emotional issues such as depression, anxiety and trauma[6].


The analysis of the important phases of American history reveals the events that contributed towards shaping the dynamics of the country. Massive technological inventions transformed society from agrarian to industrial. Increased efficiency and productivity were positive outcomes. Africans throughout the history suffered inequality and discrimination under influence of racism and social Darwinism. The world wars resulted in increased economic instability, depression and anxiety among citizens. Great depression caused the financial crisis that caused unemployment and anxiety.


Brooks, Maegan Parker, and Davis W. Houck. The Speeches of Fannie Lou Hamer: To Tell It Like It Is. University Press of Mississippi, 2011.

Crafts, N. F. R., and Peter. Fearon. The Great Depression of the 1930s: lessons for today. UNIVERSITY OF SANTO TOMAS, 2013.

Henretta, James A. America’s History. Vol. 1. Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2014.

Sledge, E B. With the Old Breed at Peleliu and Okinawa. Novato, CA: Presidio Press, 1981.

Henretta, James A. America’s History. Vol. 1. Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2014.

Brooks, Maegan Parker, and Davis W. Houck. The Speeches of Fannie Lou Hamer: To Tell It Like It Is. University Press of Mississippi, 2011.

Sledge, E B. With the Old Breed at Peleliu and Okinawa. Novato, CA: Presidio Press, 1981.

Sledge, E B. With the Old Breed at Peleliu and Okinawa. Novato, CA: Presidio Press, 1981.

Crafts, N. F. R., and Peter. Fearon. The Great Depression of the 1930s: lessons for today. UNIVERSITY OF SANTO TOMAS, 2013.

Brooks, Maegan Parker, and Davis W. Houck. The Speeches of Fannie Lou Hamer: To Tell It Like It Is. University Press of Mississippi, 2011.



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