I am a fifty-year-old black American lady. A Protestant immigrant, I live in the urban area in the United States. I came to the United States in 1860. At that time, America was experiencing incalculable changes day and night. Cities were created overnight; researchers discovered germs which provoked epidemics. Immigration intensified. Under a lot of pressure, people did their best to cope with transformations around them. Industrialization is a process when a country changes from agricultural to a factory-based one. Machines are introduced, and plants increase in number. New technologies are developed and innovated every now and then. Industrialization makes it possible to produce more goods, and this leads to rise in gross domestic product. It also enhances economic growth and development. With industrialization, machines replace human labor at factories. Unemployment becomes more considerable and consequently, immorality rises. Urbanization is a process of creating urban areas, which then become inhabited by former residents of villages.. Thus, population in urban areas becomes bigger. Housing is a problem in most city zones. It causes congestion and leads to poor living conditions. Sanitation remains one more challenge, as houses are often unmaintained and in a bad state. Industrialization and urbanization increased at a high rate after the First World War which started in 1914 (Blackburn, 1997). At that time, the United States were changing from an agrarian country to an industrialized one. The number of industries and factories increased greatly. Machines also became popular. Standardization and the use of equipment raised production in the country. New industries such as steel making, electrical equipment and food canning emerged. Industrialization brought workers to a situation, when they performed one kind of tasks in an assembly line of a particular product. For instance, at the food canning factory where I work we specialize in a single particular task and do it throughout a day. This created boredom and hindered a person from expanding his/ her knowledge. Employers preferred women and children, because their dexterous hands were considered suitable for the routine and tedious work (Beatty, 2001). Also women could be monitored more easily than men, and they received lower payment. Working at factories long hours was tiring and we got little wages. This forced us to look for residential houses near the factories, as transport was expensive. Industrialization changed people’s lives for good and for worse. Children were employed at ten cents a month. They were hired to sew torn sneakers, worn out by basketball players. New technologies were used in industries. For instance, in steel making, Bessemer process was introduced. This boosted steel production. Industrialization widened the gap between the rich and the poor. Andrew Carnegie was a tycoon in the steel industry. He used his wealth to assist the needy and poor people. However, many job opportunities were created, and people were able to earn a living. Their living standards improved. At the same time, people were looking for the means to cut down on their expenses, for example, through saving on transport fares. (Hesse-Biber, 2000). People moved from villages to urban areas, searching for employment in industries. Moreover, people from other countries migrated to the United States. This increased the population, especially in urban areas, where most of them settled. For instance, in 1894, the population density in New York City was nine hundred and eighty six people per acre. A large influx of people into urban regions accelerated urbanization. Like for most people, a house  was a big problem for us. We lived in an unmaintained dwelling and the rental fee increased day by day. Such a situation created chances for landlords to exploit tenants (Cobbs, 2012). We came to the United States, believing that its society was classless. As immigrants, we faced a lot of discrimination on every corner. We wanted to gain security and tried to establish groups, which could help to maintain our traditions. Gradually, we got respect. We sacrificed ourselves   to ensure that future generations would enjoy a better life. As urbanization scaled higher and higher, cities turned more and more segregated. This was because the income gap became profound. Hence, urbanization also had a lot of problems. Most of the houses in the district where we lived were congested. This made the area unsuitable for residence. Because of poor sanitation, such lethal diseases as cholera and malaria raged. Water was scarce, and the general condition of houses was very bad. Industrialization also caused environmental pollution; though people did not take any actions about that. They dumped waste materials in water sources and public places. For instance, steel plants threw their waste into water basins and consumed large amounts of lumber. This provoked the situation when water became harmful for people to drink. As industrialization increased, it made families switch from producing of home-made goods to consumption of purchased products. We spent all our income to meet basic needs of the family. Nevertheless, we did not earn enough money to provide ourselves with the most important things. Even when we managed to get one more job in order to increase our monthly salary, it was still very hard to buy the most necessary. Due to the conditions we were experiencing, we formed laborers’ organizations. The organization’s membership mainly included low-income workers. The society fought for the welfare of its members. For instance, there was the American Federation of Laborers which aired the grievances of its members. It was also a platform for workers to make their complaints. These organizations fought for increase in wages, as well as safety measures and better sanitary conditions. Industrialization also improved communication systems. The way of producing cheap paper was discovered, and large processors, turned by steam power, were used.  Means of communication began to be utilized for bringing information to consumers. Newspapers were now accessible to people. New technologies, introduced by industrialization, made work and life easier.  With the US technological progress, inventions became a daily occurrence. Every day, new inventions are coming up. As for a black American, for me industrialization brought in a lot of good changes, but at the same time, it had some disadvantages. I took industrialization both positively and negatively, though the first side outweighed the latter one. Factories, which arose, provided new job opportunities for us. That meant we could earn our living. Urbanization also gave us other possibilities, which we had not enjoyed before. It provided us with a chance to meet new friends and broaden our network. However, the reception of immigrants by native Americans was not friendly (Osborne, 2006). In such a way, not all new opportunities were accessible to us. There was a lot of discrimination and, therefore, it was native occupants of America who benefited from the changes. Immigrants got low-paid and manual jobs. We often performed our duties in poor or even dangerous working conditions. The tasks we did made us completely exhausted. Moreover, employers saw us suitable only for manual and hard jobs.  On the other hand, urbanization created an opportunity for people to enlarge their social network. Most of us met a lot of people in urban areas, since the places we lived in were often overcrowded. We organized different meetings and always supported one another. This promoted constructive relations between neighbors. Industrialization really improved our living standards and exposed us to the world.

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