The Song of the Smoke Historical Context

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Migration to the North

During the first decade of the twentieth century, there was a social shift in the American population. Before that time, the American economy had been primarily based upon agricultural production. The early 1900s coincided with a worldwide trend toward industrialization. Huge manufacturing plants grew up in cities. United States Steel, for example, started in 1901 with an initial investment of one billion dollars, which was twice the size of the United States government's budget for that year. In almost all industries, from building materials to petroleum to common household goods, the trend was to consolidate resources into larger, unified production facilities. Most of these were located in the northern states, which had had a history of manufacturing since the country began, with the South, because of its more temperate climate, focusing on agriculture. Workers from all over the world were drawn to the jobs that...

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This section contains 1,037 words
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Buy The Song of the Smoke Study Guide
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Poetry for Students
The Song of the Smoke from Poetry for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.