and find homework help for other Unions and the Labor Movement questions at eNotes From the era of Reconstruction to the end of the 19th century, the United States underwent an economic transformation marked by the maturing of the industrial economy, the rapid expansion of big business, the development of large-scale agriculture, and the rise of national labor unions and industrial conflict. Among the issues that Americans debated was: whether wealth came from exploitation or from patience, frugality, and virtue; whether bigness was the result of conspiracy or of pressures of blind economic forces; The late 19th-century United States is probably best known for the vast expansion of its industrial plant and output. Nor was big business limited to heavy industry; the late nineteenth century also saw the rise of large‐scale retailing. At the heart of these huge increases was the mass production of goods by machines. Historians argue that corporate power went unchecked in the 19 th century. But the late 19th century, greatly expanded their range of operations. Asked by Wiki User. Corporations in the 19th Century. The U.S. became the world's greatest innovator and one of its leading economic powers during the "Gilded Age," as the latter half of the 19th century was dubbed. In Philadelphia in 1876, John Wanamaker opened the first department store, which was quickly imitated by Macy's in New York and Marshall Field in Chicago. Prior to the Civil War, merchants, wholesalers, and manufacturers tended to specialize in a single operation. Initially, corporations were non-profit, and were formed to improve the welfare of the society by building infrastructure. Click to see full answer In this regard, what explains the rise of big business in the late 19th century? The late nineteenth century saw the rise of "big business" in important areas of economic activity.Big city department stores were a form of "big business. What were the pros and cons of big business in the 19th century? Name: Course: Lecturer: Date: Corporations in the 19 th Century In the past, corporations were largely unregulated. This process was first introduced and perfected by British textile manufacturers. The Implications of Big Business in America Positive and Negative Aspects of Large Corporations for Society Big business has a constructive influence on America. Large corporations contribute much more to a country’s economic well being than smaller ones. Most people learn about the relation between the rise of big business and the growth of government in the form of what amounts to a morality play. 1890 : 1870-1900. Answer. Get an answer for 'How did the rise of big business lead to the formation of labor unions?' 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