This paper addresses several questions related to lecture teaching on the Second Great Awakening, Harpers Ferry and Springfield armory technological innovation, vertical integration in the large companies, and the relationship between market imperfection and pollution in the 19th century.
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The American educated class had become less interested in Christianity at large hence leading to a revival in the region. The effects of the revival that was sweeping across the American people at the time consisted of two main strains which were characterized by virtues and behaviors of the expanding middle class. This has been because of the strong work ethics among the increasing population, increased frugality, and temperance which were being endorsed and legitimized by the education in the society. Moreover, there was emphasis on the ability of individuals to amend the lives which they were living and which endangered a wide array of reform movements aimed at redressing injustice and alleviating the suffering that people were exposed to. In essence, there was increased effort by the educated to democratize the society in which they were living leading to aftermath effects in the society. In the meantime, the population of the area was rapidly increasing. This necessitated the need to have religious revival in the area despite the strong control held by the educated. The religious practices of the people in the region were inherently interconnected with the economic destiny of the people and thus there was a dire urgency to revive religion in the region.
Because of the urgency and the need to evangelize the West, different denominations found it necessary to corporate by using their supporters as witnesses of their faith who were tasked with the responsibility of teaching the message of Christianity. In the same manner, other prominent groupings such as the American Tract Society and the American Bible Society came on board with their expertise in publishing and provided literature materials mainly concerned with Christian teachings. Increased socialism was them witnessed leading to the upshot of abolition groups including temperance and suffrage societies among others. Such groups advocated for reforms in the society including the prisons and emphasized on the need of the society to care for the less fortunate in the society. The action led to the coming of notable evangelists who emphasized the power of the Gospel to save people as well as a means of instituting reforms in the society. Such evangelists gained much fame through their clarion calls that required other Christians to join them in instituting institutional reforms in their societies. Such messages were carried through the American society including regions such as Tennessee, Kentucky, and Ohio drawing other Methodists and Baptists who helped to reach remote places. These actions led to the upshot of numerous community groups that demanded for the revival in the society through social and economic reforms and helped to empower people who were less fortunate in the society.
The effects of the Second Great Awakening left a lasting legacy to the American society despite the fall in the fervent that characterized its initial times. This is mainly witnessed in the number of churches, denominations, and church and community organizations which are committed to the Christian revival in the American society. Still, this period provided a great awakening to the less educated in the American society and thus led to their appreciation of the linkage between religious views and the economy of the people together with the social lives of the people in those societies. The Second Great Awakening was thus an opportunity to democratize the American society through social and economic reforms spiced up with Christian messages that helped to revive the desire of the people to reach social justice in a society previously controlled and dominated by the elite. The Second Great Awakening was driven by people who were not well educated and who were seeking for social and economic reforms in a society which was greatly unequal. The movement picked up from one society to the other through evangelists who emphasized the need for oppressed people to take their destiny of reforming the society in their hands by supporting each other using the Gospel of Christianity.
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The American society was expanding quickly and there was need for the American government to have arms and tools that were unique to the American people. The European and Asian countries led by the British and the Russian had made great steps in the manufacture of arms. The American system manufacturing thus concentrated on the widespread of use of interchangeable parts and extensive use of mechanization as a way of ensuring efficient use of labor when compared to the other methods used in Asia and Europe. The American system manufacturing mainly focused on the armory production and was thus concentrated in Harpers Ferry and Springfield under the care and management of the Federal armory of the United States. This also included inside contractors and private armory groups which supported the work of technological innovations which was taking place in the two facilities. Because of the location of the two manufacturing facilities and the need to have unique and branded arms mainly for the American people, technological innovation on the manufacture and production of armory was mainly concentrated within the facilities as a way of ensuring that whatever arms that were going to be used within the American society was designed and manufactured by the American themselves. As explained by Nathan Rosenberg, the tools manufacturing technology had already taken shape in the European countries which would have allowed the American federal government to adapt and use those technological innovations in their facilities. However, this was not the case as the government wanted to nurture technological innovation among the people and ensure that the manufactured tools were uniquely identifiable with the American system of manufacturing. The American system thus became a household name simply because the American companies adapted the use of interchangeable parts and the mechanization with the purpose of reducing the labor associated with manufacturing in their factories during the 19th century. The American system thus contrasted with those of the British and continental companies from Europe.
The Springfield Armory provided a number of technological innovations including the use of interchangeable parts, the assembly line style of mass production, together with the modern business practices in the manufacturing including the minimum wages to be paid to the laborers who worked in the manufacturing plants. Incidentally, the Springfield Armory was the sole incubator of technological innovation in the manufacture of armory after the destruction of the Harpers Ferry armory which was the second National armory in the United States. Similarly, Springfield armory was responsible for the establishment of consistent mass production technology which used the lathe enabling unskilled people to easily and quickly turn out irregular shaped identical shapes. The field also saw the use of the percussion ignition in the manufacturing of arms which was responsible for the increased reliability and simplicity in the production of long arms. One of the driving concepts that led to the success of Springfield armory technological innovation was the mass production of interchangeable parts together with high quality control in the production, improved gauging and controlled division of labor heralding the application of industrial revolution in the American history of technological innovation. In addition, the technological innovation in the two facilities not only focused on the use of technology to manufacture arms but also establishment of good business management techniques in the firearm manufacturing industry, with first use of accounting and all business practices in the industry.
Vertical integration is the degree to which a firm owns its upstream suppliers and its downstream buyers with the goal of increasing the company's power in the marketplace. Vertical integration can be conceived through three varieties, that is, the backward vertical integration, where a company controls products used in the production of its products. This is where, for instance, a car company owning a tire company or a textile company producing looms and the textiles at the same time. The other variety is the forward integration and is characterized by a manufacturing company owning the distribution and the retailing channels used to market its products. An example of the a company exercising forward integration is the Apple Inc which owns distribution channels in the United States and across other countries in the world. Vertical integration is important because it helps in minimizing the cost associated with manufacturing and distribution by being able to effect competitor’s costs. Furthermore, during the latter half of the nineteenth century, thousands of people moved from the countryside into the cities, and were joined by millions of immigrants from Europe and Asia. The industry provided employment for the skilled, as well as unskilled masses. In essence, vertical integration can enable a company to employee a high number of employees because it will diverse into other manufacturing or production processes which may not be their core business but which contribute largely to the overall revenue to the company.
Most of the old school historians first categorize companies which engaged in the vertical integration as robber barons who were bent to getting more profits at the expense of other innovative people. This is because according to the available evidences, companies that engaged in vertical integration were highly likely to be engaged in corruptible deals or dishonest deals with suppliers of consumers on one side and the government on the other. This is because through vertical integration, it was possible to bribe government officials, manipulate stocks, or even form conspiracy with other manufacturers to form cartels in the industry. Moreover, vertical integration was characterized by the motivation of the staff which was driven by the economies of the scale. This could lead to the lower prices. For instance, Carnegie managed to amass his wealth by establishing companies that were heavily integrated in terms of the materials that were being used in the production. The integration of the companies by Carnegie ensured that the profit was ploughed back to his companies and thus managed to form a revolving system where profits were credited to his account twice. The same can be said about Rockefeller who is arguably the richest person in history. The secret behind their wealth was their ability to establish several companies that relied on each other for the supply of materials used in production and manufacturing. Vertical integration approach of doing business in the 19th century was thus responsible for the emergence of extremely wealthy individuals in the society at that time.
The Chandlerian or the New School thinkers about vertical integration view this as a form of insider trading among business owners which is likely to fuel bribery of corruptible deals with the government officials or other officials mandated with tax collections. For instance, the Apple, Inc has been put to task by the Australian authorities to explain the reason for higher prices in its Australian retail shops when compared to other shops elsewhere. The reason for the higher prices might actually be attributed to the fact that the retail shops are owned by the company and therefore the company can inflate the cost of shipping its products to the country and thus take this as a reason for increasing prices for its products across the country.
Most environmentalists today focus on the damage being done to the Earth’s ecosystem by humans and propose ways in which we might work collectively to ameliorate the most serious threats. Such people largely believe that these changes can be accomplished within the dominant global structure of capitalism. However, a small but growing group of researchers and activists are beginning to question whether such changes can in fact occur within the context of a global capitalist system. All pollution to the environment is directly linked to the economic status of the region. This is because it not only caused by the ongoing economic activities that are in the society but also impact on the economic activities in that region. Market imperfection was mainly a major problem during this period because most scientists at the time did not agree with the notion that pollution of whichever nature could affect the market systems in a region. There was a general believe that the market was autonomous and human activities like cutting down of trees or intensive mining could in effect bring about market imperfections in the country.
The environment is faced with a "dismal litany of problems.” Contemporary environmentalists note that the growing world population is putting strain on environmental components land like, air, water, energy, and food resources. In addition, there has been unprecedented loss of biodiversity in history at the dawn of the 21st century. Some environmentalists’ view these environmental firsts are coupled with an austere polarization of global wealth and poverty. In the perpetuation of capitalism, the world has become so much contrasted in terms of wealth ownership that the first 1000 wealthy people on earth own more than what half of the earth’s population owns. Furthermore, more and more people are falling below the poverty line while the world capitalists continue to innovate and create more ways of amassing wealth. In the end, the environmental struggle becomes implicitly an issue of the wealthy and the poor. The connection between capitalism and the environmental challenges thus is a composition of various forces that act independently to overcome the increasing challenges in the equation of natural resources.
The Industrial Revolution of the 19th century brought about awakening among the industrialist and for the first time there was identification of the connection of the market imperfections existing at the time and the pollution that was happening in the environment. There was an attempt by the environmentalist to involve the government in the formulation of policies and guidelines to control the activities of the business people which were likely going to affect the environment and by extension affect the market forces as the markets reacted to the pollution in the environment. The reason for the initiation of the legal approaches to the pollution of the environment through pollution was because the predatory and expandable nature of capitalism had made it difficult to control the effects of pollution on the environment. During that time, it was not easy to address the environmental challenges posed through capitalism because apart from holding the resources that could be used to address those challenges, capitalism also spread to other regions where the environmental degradation had not reached.
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