Early Industrial Prominence (1775-1930)
The period of 1775-1930 was one of rapid growth, change, and industrialization in both Europe and America. In America it involved becoming a separate nation under its own rule and destiny; escape from dominance by Europe but with retention of many business and trade ties; continued but decreasing influence from European writers and thinkers; rapid industrialization and continued expansion westward; growth and power in the world; emergence of its own thinkers, writers, and business leaders; the beginning of unions; and a slow continued drift away from God and Judeo-Christian ethical and moral values to an increasingly secular, humanistic, pragmatic, and even atheistic influenced way of thinking and acting.
There are a number of different approaches to the form that industry took in developing. Rather than get into a cumbersome detailed discussion of all the minute periods of development, an examination of the macro evolution of industry will suffice.
At the beginning of this period, approximately 200 years ago, 85 percent of the people in the world were needed to produce enough food to keep the people fed. Today in America, fewer than 4 percent of the people are producing food; at this production level the food supply is in surplus for the basic needs of the country. This then gives a rough idea of how rapidly the economy in America turned from a farm economy to an industrial economy, accompanied with most of the problems that Jefferson feared.