“Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all,” said Helen Keller, the deaf and blind author and political activist. Life in the 1900’s was filled with unknowns and the prospect of a better way of life. This time in American history was filled with the first movie theater, license plates, New York subway, and electric washer. The 1900’s was a time of new opportunity for all people. New rights and technological advances changed the way people viewed their country. Things in the 1900’s did not come easy and were filled with times of danger and risks.
Risk is to be “exposed to danger, harm, or loss,” according to the dictionary, and due to the Wright Brothers, the Model T, and the Women’s Trade Union League “The Decade of Risks” is an appropriate title for the 1900’s. Women didn’t have many rights during the 1900’s, this factor of life made it risky for the Women’s Trade Union League to help women stand up for their rights. From 1900-1909 many people thought a woman’s place of work was at home (Carson et al 1). This social ideology had a big impact on women because only about 3. 2% of married women were in the workforce.
Since most women married they stopped working and became only known as temporary workers and were rejected from the workforce (Riggs 1; Carson et al 1). Since not many women worked men assumed that it would lower their wages. Through this prejudice against women, they decided to take a stand for their rights and form the Women’s Trade Union League in 1903 (Carson et al 1). Women were constantly under discrimination from men, which made it a dicey situation for them. The fact that they were willing to fight for a cause that they knew would get sharp criticism from their opposers.
Their willingness to defend their rights for equality shows their real bravery. This risky jump towards equality became one of the main factors of the 1900’s, and proves that the “Decade of Risks” is a suitable title for this decade. The Women’s Trade Union League committed themselves to the development of the controversial topic of women’s rights in America, which made it a prominent aspect of the 1900’s. In 1903 the Women’s Trade Union League, was founded by Mary Kenny O’Sullivan (Carson et al 1; Greenwald 1).
The purpose of the Women’s Trade Union League was to protect women workers, help improve education for women, and make safer working conditions for women (Carson et al 1; Riggs 1). The whole point of the Women’s Trade Union League was to improve the lives of women and help them stand up for their own rights (Greenwald 1). This organization fought for justice, even when the social ideologies were far from their beliefs. They were willing to take a stand even though there was a possibility of facing harsh scrutiny from their opponents.
These dicey factors proves that the “Decade of Risks” is a fitting title for the 1900’s. The “Uprising of 20,000” sparked huge controversy and uncertainty among the rights of women in the workforce, which made it one of the most important events in the 1900’s. In 1909 women from all across New York made a strike against the “garment factories of New York City” (Carson et al 1). The Women’s Trade Union League supported these fearless individuals (Greenwald 1). The strikers were fighting for better wages and less working hours.
This strike went on for a whole three months and is better known as the “Uprising of 20,000. ” The strike ultimately worked and women got “better working conditions in the garment factories” (Carson et al 1). This would not have been possible without the fearlessness and tenacity of the thousands of women. The fact that there was a big uncertainty of the outcome of the strike shows the big risk they had to take. In the beginning of the 1900’s the equality for women seemed out of reach, but by the end of this great decade, women’s rights, such as the right to vote, was one step closer to being completely attainable.
This would not have been possible without the speculative actions these women made and thus proves that the “Decade of Risks” is a suitable title for the 1900’s. The Women’s Trade Union League was eager to push the social boundaries in America. Their tenacity provoked gender equality across the country. Similarly, Henry Ford’s precarious decision to create an affordable automobile affected millions of Americans. Likewise, his decision did not come without tremendous risk. Automobiles in the 1900’s were only for the upper class of society, this now common necessity was only made attainable by the risk that Ford made.
In the beginning of the 1900’s cars were only for the wealthy because of their high price point. This made it inaccessible for the common working class of America. Ford grew up in a farming family where the average person could not afford such costly luxury items (“Model T: The” 1). This was in part because each and every single car had to be made one at a time (“The First” 2). Due to this, Henry Ford decided that he would start his own automobile company, making cars more affordable to the average middle class citizen.
To help make things more low-cost he determined that he would use a conveyor belt system that would move the car to different workers at a time (“The First” 2-3). This new innovation was something that was never done in the automobile world before. This item once only for the rich was made accessible for the working class citizens, such as farmers. Even though starting his business left a vast uncertainty for whether or not it would be commendable, Henry Ford took the chance and it was without a shadow of a doubt a great one.
His decision made life easier and more optimized for millions of people in America and across the world which thus proves that the “Decade of Risks” is a suitable title for the 1900’s. The conveyor belt system was not the only dicey thing Ford did, it was also his hefty investment. In an attempt to make automobiles more affordable Ford decided to spend money on mass production, knowing that this in turn lower the cost of the Model T (“Model T: The” 1). Along with this he invested in a conveyor belt system (“The First” 3).
Making such a costly expense without knowing the end result can bring an uncertain future. His hefty investment shows his true determination. This conviction led to the success of the Model T and the favorable effect it had on the American people and across the globe. The risk Henry Ford was willing to take shows that the “Decade of Risks” is a fitting title for 1900’s. Henry Ford’s readiness to produce Model T’s no matter what circumstance he would be in, left a big effect on the people of America. The Model T sold for $850 when it was first came out in 1908 (“Model” 1”; “The First” 3).
This lower price made it more reachable for the middle class Americans in the 1900’s, especially farmers because it was dependable on somewhat rough terrain (“The First” 3; “Model T: The” 2). As a result of this lower cost Henry Ford made nine million dollars from 1908-1909 (“Model T: The” 2). The prospect of uncertainty that Henry Ford was willing to face turned out well in the end and helped millions of people have what is now a common necessity. Without the hazard Henry Ford was prepared to take, there would have never have been the Model T.
This thus proves that the “Decade of Risks” is a suitable title for the 1900’s. Henry Ford’s willingness in such a chancy investment shows that was the Model T was filled with uncertainty However, it was not the only unpredictable event in the 1900’s; the Wright brothers were willing to sacrifice their lives for an aeroplane that has now changed the world. Similarly, this decision did not come without incredible risk. The Wright Brothers were the first to successfully fly an aeroplane, but this would have never happened without their multiple risky attempts to test it.
On December 17, 1903 in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina two brothers were the first people to successfully fly an aeroplane (“Aviation” 1). However, before this great moment of history, came numerous years of trial and error. For example, on December 14, 1903 the brothers flew an 152 pound plane that later crashed three and a half seconds later in the sand. (“Wright” 3). This shows the evident danger that the two brothers put themselves through to make history. The fact that they could crash at any second shows the predominant peril hey could have been in. The danger they were willing to put themselves in for a better way of life proves this risk that the Wright Brother were willing to take typifies the “Decade of Risks. ” On the day of the history making flight, the brothers were willing to face the danger of crashing into the ground. On December 27, 1903 the Wright brothers flew the aeroplane for twelve seconds and about 120 feet (“Aviation”). This event would soon go down in history as the first successful flight.
Later that day the Wright brothers did three more flights, and by the last flight they flew for 59 seconds and 852 feet (“Wright” 4). Given the results of their previous testings, the fact that they were willing to risk their lives for something that may or may not have worked shows the great danger they were willing to face. These chancy experiments shows great magnitude of peril they put themselves in to make a better way of life. Without this risk there would have never have been any plane, thus proving that the “Decade of Risks” is a fitting title for the 1900’s.
The work of the Wright brothers did not come without risk and was hard believe by many people. The Wright Brothers were the first men that made something fly that was heavier than air (Clayton 1). However, this achievement did not get much attention until 1906 when news reporters questioned if what the Wright Brothers claimed was actually true (Okrent 3). This uncertainty that faced the people shows the risk the two brothers were willing to take, no matter if others believed in them or not. The Wright Brothers sacrificed their own lives for the prospect of a better way of life.
These actions to make the first successful aeroplane sparked controversy in America shows and thus shows that the “Decade of Risks” is a suitable title for the 1900’s The 1900’s was filled with some of the greatest events in history. This decade was a time of new inventions and the start of gender equality. The Model T and the first flight were once deemed impossible by society, but now are one of the most influential inventions in history. The Women’s Trade Union League helped humanity start to bridge the gap between the genders.
This powerful, influential League improved the lives of millions of women across the country and helped bring the common gender roles out of place in society. It started to push the social boundaries for what morally right and were prepared to face criticism from their opposers. These crucial events are a microcosm of American history and did not come without great danger and uncertainty. “The Decade of Risks” was a time of ambiguous change and daring adventures for the greater good. This thus proves that because of the Women’s Trade Union League, the Model T, and the work of the Wright Brothers these risks exemplify and typify the 1900’s.