Technology at the Center Of Consolidation of US as A Nation-State


Technologyat the Center Of Consolidation of US as A Nation-State


Theperiod after the end of the American Civil War in 1865-1920,technology both in traditional sense and technologies of state ofpower played a critical role in the consolidation of the U.S. as anation-state. It was the rise of industrialization that saw USdominate the world’s economic, industrial, and economic power.These were as a result of application of the existing technologiesand their advancement to that of a world class status. This paper iswritten to support the argument that technology was at the center ofthe consolidation of U.S. as a nation-state.

Technologyat the Center Of Consolidation of US as A Nation-State

Themajor events in the period from 1865-1920

Thismarked the period after the civil war in America. It was the periodof reconstruction and marked an increase in the industrialization inthe United States (Ruthanne, 1981). It was a period of acceleratedeconomic growth thus raising the prosperity in the United States. Itwas characterized by increased population, construction of therailway line, and great military tensions. A good number of tribesresisted confinements that existed during the civil war. This periodalso saw the modernization of the navy in the late 18thcentury. The old ships used in sailing were replaced by modern ones.There was a growing concern on the role of the army in the governanceof the newly acquired territories (John, 1999).

Theperiod between 1865 and 1920 commissioned a period of wide economicand industrial expansion in the United States. This attracted a largenumber of immigrants in persuasion of the American dream. This periodwas earmarked by a rise of the industrialization in the UnitedStates. The victory it had over the secessionists during the civilwar saw the nation become more united with a powerful government(Benjamin, 1997). It marked the end of slavery and conferment tocitizenship of the previous ex-slaves during the reconstruction era.In the start of 19thcentury, progressive era brought about major reforms in the socialand the political aspects as well as modernization of many areas inthe society and government. These include new improved roles in theeducation sector and a high status for the female gender. There was awave of European immigration between the year 1865 and 1918 which hadnever been witnessed before. There were over 27 million newimmigrants resulting in the expansion of the agriculture and industrynetwork from the new labor base provided by these immigrants (Diner,1998). It also created a population base for the urban America whichwas growing at a fast rate.

TheUnited States had already become a global leader in the developmentof new technology, industrial power, expansion of the railway roadnetwork, and existence of natural resources in abundance (Hays,1957). This was taking place in the 19thcentury. This was in readiness to welcome the second revolution whichwas about to take place. Availability of the necessary resources madethe whole operation easier. These resources included land, labor,diverse climatic conditions, and a good number of navigable waterways solving the transportation needs of this growing industrialeconomy. The driving force to the second industrial revolution wasthe availability of capital from the abundant natural resourcesenabling cheap extraction of energy and reliable means of transport.The first revolution was in a position to advance industrializationand production from artisans to establishment of factories. However,the second revolution’s goal was to expand the organization,coordination and the industrial scale propelled by the transport andtechnological advancements (George, 1989). The newly constructedrailroads helped open up the West thus making it possible to accessthe areas that were formerly inaccessible. It led to creation of newfarms, towns, and markets too.

Improvementsin technology in the manufacture of iron and steel together withinnovations in chemistry and sciences to a great extent led toimprovements in productivity. Improvisation of new communicationsskills and gadgets such as telephony and telegraphy made it possiblefor managers in distant areas to communicate conveniently (Ruthanne,1981). There were also innovations in organizing work such asscientific management and creation of the moving assembly line.During this era, production was carried out by large scaleenterprises. The corporations came out as the existing form ofbusiness to finance these large enterprises. The corporations wereexpanded through merging, forming monopolies. There was a toughcompetition for the accumulation of wealth and thus the skilledartisans had no option but to give an opportunity to the skilledworkers in the nation’s wake of technological advancements.

Therole of technology in consolidation of the U.S. as a nation-state

Technologicaladvancement is hypothesized to be a major factor for theconsolidation of a nation-state. After the civil war, the UnitedStates underwent a major series of technological advancements. Theseinclude improvement in the transport sector, industrialization, andincreased skilled man power. Most of these advancements were steeredby immigration which resulted in urbanization. Urbanization was atits highest during this period. It is believed that urbanization goeshand in hand with industrialization and also expansion in farming.This rapid growth resulting in increased urbanization was as a resultof the vast immigration. There were a large number of immigrantsmoving to the United States in search of better opportunities. Thisled to improvement of the already existing technology (Ruthanne,1981).

Fromthe above historical analysis of the period from 1865-1920, it isevident that the consolidation of United States as a nation-statetook place during that period. Again, it is evident that thisconsolidation was as a result of the technological advancementsexperienced during that period. Consolidation of the United Statescame up after the events that took place after the civil war. Theseinclude the creation of new industries, accessibility of the UnitedStates from the improved transport systems as well as from the vastimmigrants entering the United States. The creation of the many andimproved industries can only be attributed to technologicaladvancements. Opening up of the United States to immigrants is alsoas a result of technological advancements in the transport system. Itis also as a result of technological advancements in thecommunication systems enabling communication of the corporatemanagers in the United States with others in other already developedstates.


Theyears after the end of civil war marked an important period in thehistory of the United States. It marked great revolution in theindustrialization, transport, and army sector. It also experiencedthe greatest number of immigrants to the region. This led to theconsolidation of the United States as a nation-state. All theserevolutions resulted from technological advancements. The revolutionin transport and technology is as a result of technologicaladvancements in the sectors. Technological advancements in the armysector promoted peace and together with the improved transport sectoropened up the United States to this vast number of immigrants.


Benjamin,B. (1997). Sinewsof war: how technology, industry, and transportation won the civilwar. NewYork: Cambridge University

Diner,S. (1998). AVery Different Age: Americans of the Progressive Era.New York: Oxford University Press

George,M. (1989). TheEra of Theodore Roosevelt and the Birth of Modern America, 1900-1912.NewYork: Oxford University

Hays,S. (1957). Theresponse to Industrialism, 1885-1914.New York: Cambridge University

John,W. (1999). Theoxford guide to American Military History. NewYork: Oxford University Press

Ruthanne,L. (1981). ThousandPieces of Gold. Boston:Beacon Press

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