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Man, machine and work
Engelskoppgave skrevet på grunnkurs om USAs arbeidshistorie.
As the time has changed, industries has changed as well. Mostly in all industries machines has taken over the work, and people only have to watch them, and repair them as they break down. What has happened these recent years, from 1775 until today 2005? Let’s look at the changes in the USA, one the worlds leading industrial countries.
First, at the time of the American Revolution 95 percent of the population were farmers. That made the US the biggest agricultural country that time. The US also har plainful natural recourses on their continent. The new immigrants settled and builded themselves houses and farms. They made small villages, and helped each other. As the land gave less food, they joined two or three farms and got bigger. At this point, they had a lot of land, and needed help to keep on with their growings. They also had a lot of animals, like cows and sheep. The farmers paid people to help them out with the work, and later they used animals for help, like horses and donkeys.
Second, as there were found coal, iron and gas in the areas around the middle atlantic states, and oil in the south areas, american manufactores were quick to adopt the factory system which gathered many workers together in one place and made the industry more effective and cheaper. As the immigration increased rapidly in the 19th and 20th centuries, the business and industry grew faster. The steady stream of workers from the fast growing population made the “self-made man” become an ideal. Great tycoons as Rockefeller, Carnegie and Vanderbilt were examples of the American dream- from powerty to wealth.
Later, the industry continued growing faster, and by 1913 more than 1/3 of the industrial production in the world came from the US. The same year, Henry Ford made the first car. To product his cars in a big number, he made a moving assambly line where conveyor belts brought carparts to workers. During the 20th century, products like cars, refrigerators and kichen-stoves revolutionized the american lifestyle. Clothes were easier to wash, food was easier to keep cold, and people didn’t have to use their legs to walk as much. Between 1960 and 1988, Amercan industry doubled its waste. Today, the USA produces 19 percent of the world’s waste. The ancient forest in the north east har been chopped down by 90 percent and 1 million hectares of land are taken over by roads, cities and industry each year.
However, this huge devellopment and industrial changes demanded better tools then hammers and dull knifes. “High-tech” made it possible to “telecommute” from your home with phones, fax machines and computers. No one believed that the world could be explored and seen from your own living room as fast as in a few hours , but the internet makes everything able. Bill Gates has made several million dollars on his software company “Microsoft”. The swedish mobile company “Ericsson” has made several thousand sweedish kroner (SEK). These are high tech companies which are not going to go bankrupt before they close down their company. Mobile phones are not going off fashion.
Finally, today there are only 2 percent in the US who work as farmers. It sounds like a small number, but the US is considered “the bread basket of the world” and one third of the crops produced in the US are exported to other countries. How are they able to do this? Easy! They have machines for everything. The tractors now can be bought with automatic pilots and todays most laziest farmers only have to sit inside them. The tractors take care of everything. So is the industry as well. People don’t have to do much, just watch and repair. Education is important, and more and more people are studying computers, programming, mechanics and sosial services, but we also need farmers. Who would like to eat and drink artificial milk and meat?
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