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Chapter 16

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Mark McClellan

on 26 January 2016

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Transcript of Chapter 16

Chapter 16
America's Gilded Age
The Statue of Liberty
-Opened in 1886
-What does it mean?
Give me your tired, your poor; your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door.

-known as the Gilded Age
-Industrial Revolution
-Continued settlement of the American west
-Confusion of the American dream
The American Dream
-What is it?
-Does it exist?
Gilded Age
1. The Second Industrial Revolution
2. Transformation of the West
3. Politics in the Gilded Age
4. Freedom in the Gilded Age
5. Labor and the Republic
In 1880, the majority of people worked in non-farm jobs
By 1913 (33 years later), the U.S. accounted for 1/3 of the world's industrial output.
What is a city?
-How does a city get to be a city?
-Advantages of a city?
-Disadvantages of a city?
Problems unique to a city?

-1860: 109,000

-1890: 1.1 million


-1879: nine cities with more than 100,000 people

-1890: 28 of them

-Electric powered cable cars and trolleys
-To avoid traffic jams, some cities built them above ground (The El in Chicago)
-Some cities built them underground (subway in New York City)

-What does this allow residents to do?

-Who could afford to live farther out?

-What does this leave in the city?

-Neighborhoods tended to self-segregate based on race and ethnicity

The Center City
-Business districts emerge in the city

-Limited land space, so which way do you build?

-Shopping districts emerged anchored by big stores (New York – Macy’s; Chicago – Marshall Fields)

Mostly working poor; don't own homes
Don't own homes, so where do they live?
Apartment buildings for those who can afford them

Tenement houses for the poor

-Coming from more places
-Italy, Poland, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Russia (mostly Jews)
-Between 1870-90: 7.5 million
-Averages 1,300 per day, almost one per minute for 20 years
-Languages, customs, lifestyles
-1892: U.S. opens Ellis Island immigration center in N.Y. harbor

-Define it
-What is its impact, positive and negative?
-What are the big businesses today?
-What part of your life is affected by big business?

What is big business?

-Americans become a locomotive people
-By 1890, 185,000 miles of track
-Track gauge standardized by 1886
-Connected the entire country
-No natural obstacles for the railroad

The railroad

Railroad by-products

-Towns and cities along the track
-Employment by the railroad
-Spin off businesses
-Time zones


-Interstate Commerce Act of 1887
-Refrigerated cars
-Pullman cars

America’s first big business

-Thousands of miles of track means thousands of workers
-Developed the structure of big business
-Coast to coast availability
-Rise of Chicago

Robber barons

-Ruthless competition between rail lines
-Price wars
-Discounted rates to preferred customers
-Tried to overtake each other
-Used the ‘pool’ to divide business

-John D. Rockefeller – Standard Oil of Ohio
-Process of horizontal integration
-Controlled 90% of oil refining business
-The system of Trusts

Emergence of big business

Trust system

-Under Ohio law, Standard could not own stock in other oil companies or conduct business in other states
-Simple solution was to buy other companies outright
-Registering to do business in another state signals competitors
-Exploited the ‘trust’ law
-The Board of Trustees

-Rags to riches
-Used vertical integration
-Gain control of all phases of production
-Could control all costs
-Encouraged use of steel in industrial development

Andrew carnegie

Inventive americans

-13,000 patents per year in the 1870’s
-Phonograph (1877)
-Cash register (1879)
-Kodak camera (1888)
-Alexander Graham Bell – telephone (1876)
-Thomas Alva Edison

Thomas edison

-Telegraph operator during the Civil War
-By 1869, had patented 1100 inventions
-Research lab in Menlo Park, N.J.
-1879 (carbon filament incandescent lamp)

Who’s making all this stuff?

Six kinds of wage earners
Urban skilled craftsmen
Unskilled day laborers
Rural Americans

-steel workers, coal miners
-1880-1900: 35,000 fatalities; 500,000 injuries
-No protection against illness, injury, firing
-Company stores
-Laborers had no bargaining power
-No minimum wage

Damages of industrial labor

Changing lives

-Canned goods
-Electricity in the cities
-Running water


-Traveling circuses
-Buffalo Bill Cody’s Wild West Show
-Reading (Huckleberry Finn)

What are the greatest
inventions of all time?
Full transcript