The Second Industrial Revolution is usually dated from about 1870 to the the early 20th century, the time from the end of the American Civil War to the start of World War I. This was a period of major technical advances in any number of areas: steel, iron, rail, electricity, communications, petroleum, internal combustion engines, rubber, and fertilizer.
The Second Industrial Revolution and the “Great Leap Forward,” like many other technological transitions, was characterized by long lags between the invention and implementation of the new technologies.
An under-appreciated aspect of this revolution was the remarkable numbers of people that left the farm and moved to the city. This was due as much to the “push” of the mechanization of agricultural labor as the “pull” of new jobs in manufacturing.
This period saw the rise of government action to restrain monopoly power, a major change in the relationship between government and business. These changes occurred because of the nature of the industries generated by these new technologies and included numerous pieces of legislation.
This period also saw a sea change in the relationship between labor and the government with the rise of unions.