The Second Industrial Revolution Era ranged from 1878-1913. The last three decades of the nineteenth century ushered in the era of political machines and spoils system. The Comprise of 1877 secured victory for President Rutherford B. Hayes at the cost of withdrawing troops from the South, which rendered the government funded reconstruction effort a toothless lion, relinquishing formerly enslaved people subject to the whim and good will of their previous enslavers. The federal government’s abandonment of the south forced African Americans to provide for themselves from within their communities. The new industrial era connected big business and government, silencing the needs and concerns of women, working class and African American people. Industrial giants like John D. Rockefeller, Henry Ford, Andrew Carnegie, and J.P. Morgan employed white ethnic immigrants in their factories. Many of these people were exploited in slave-like conditions until workers united and forced change, such as an eight-hour work day and moderate safety measures.
Photo of an unknown sharecropper. Library of