Send the link below via email or IMCopy
Present to your audienceStart remote presentation
- Invited audience members will follow you as you navigate and present
- People invited to a presentation do not need a Prezi account
- This link expires 10 minutes after you close the presentation
- A maximum of 30 users can follow your presentation
- Learn more about this feature in our knowledge base article
Do you really want to delete this prezi?
Neither you, nor the coeditors you shared it with will be able to recover it again.
Make your likes visible on Facebook?
You can change this under Settings & Account at any time.
202-The Gilded Age and Unrest
Transcript of 202-The Gilded Age and Unrest
- many natural resources, large labor supply, expanding market for goods, capital available for investment after Civil War years
- government helps with high tariffs to protect American manufacturing and giving land to railroads
- final transition from individual farmers/plantation owners/small artisan workshops to mature industrial economy
- 1913 - U.S. accounts for 1/3 of industrial output in the world
- Great Lakes - iron, steel, machinery, chemicals, packaged foods - Chicago the epicenter of agriculture/cattle products
- 1890 - 2/3 work for wages - not on own farm/business
- 1870-1920 - 40 million rural migrants/immigrants into cities
- 35,000 deaths annually in factory/mine accidents - highest rate in industrial world
- strikes broken with replacements, public/private police forces
- Thorstein Veblen's
The Theory of the Leisure Class
- wealthy spent money just to show off money
- Jacob Riis's
How the Other Half Lives
- exposed dark, airless, overcrowded urban tenement apartments
Business During the Gilded Age
1897-1904 - 4,000 companies disappear
Andrew Carnegie's "vertically-integrated" U.S. Steel - control all aspects from mining to transportation to distribution of finished product
John D. Rockefeller's "horizontally-integrated" Standard Oil - buy all items at certain part of process (i.e. all refineries) - by 1880s owns 90% of U.S. oil industry
Gilded Age Politics
1873 book by Mark Twain/Charles Dudley,
- layer of gold, but nothing of value underneath
- corruption of democratic system
- oppressive treatment of those at the bottom
- "Get rich, dishonestly if we can, honestly if we must."
"Politics of Dead Center" - 1876-1900:
- less than 1% of popular vote separated parties
- rare for one party to control entire government at once = stalemate
- series of one-term presidents
- BUT - party loyalty intense, voter turnout often above 80%
- small federal government of 100,000 employees (vs. 2.5 million now)
"The Labor Question"
- something had gone wrong with nation's social development
- why so much economic inequality? why so much social, labor, and class strife?
- perhaps federal and state governments can alleviate some of the problems that stemmed from such rapid economic transformation
Transformation for individuals:
- wage labor used to be a step on way to economic self-sufficiency
- could Americans still obtain economic autonomy - small farm or business?
- West no longer a "safety valve" for this to occur
- America now experiencing what plagued Europe - "social classes"
"Public debate in the late nineteenth century more than at almost any moment in American history divided along class lines."
The Great Railroad Strike of 1877:
- pay cuts lead to nation-wide halt, militia called in
- Pittsburgh - troops kill 20, railroad yard burned
- Hayes uses army to suppress strikes
Knights of Labor in 1880s:
- 800,000 official members, millions more under its influence
- can meaningful freedom occur amidst extreme economic inequality?
Social Gospel by Protestant clergy:
- economic inequality and plight of workers is troubling
- freedom, spiritual self-development dependent on more equal wealth/power in society
- unregulated, unrestrained competition did not conform to idea of Christian brotherhood
- built missions, served poor, tried to get laws passed
- low crop prices from 1870s-1890s - due to intl. competition
- many farmers dependent on creditors
- high railroad freight rates blocks goods from market
Farmers' Alliance (Populist Party):
- founded in Texas in late 1870s, in most states by 1890
- fed. gov. to provide warehouses for storage until sale
- fed. gov. to issue low-interest loans to farmers
- reduce dependence on bankers/merchants
greatest political insurgency of the era
- also supported striking industrial workers
- a thousand local newspapers, thousands of speakers
- other goals - direct election of U.S. senators, graduated income tax, workers' rights to form unions, public ownership of railroads, and women's suffrage
- May 1886 - strike and Haymarket Square Incident
- July 1892 - Homestead strike against Carnegie plant - 8,000 militia needed
- 1894 Pullman Strike - also cripples national railroad traffic - 34 killed
1892 - Populist candidate wins a million votes and carries 5 western states - 3 Populist governors and 15 members of Congress
- Populists join Democrats and support William Jennings Bryan
- "Cross of Gold" speech at Democratic nominating convention
- 1900 Frank Baum's book,
Wizard of Oz
Emerald City = Washington, D.C.
Wizard of Oz = Republican victor William McKinley
Yellow-brick road = gold
Wicked witches of east and west = industrialists and mine owners
In book, Dorothy's shoes are silver
Other impacts of 1896:
- ushers in era of Republican dominance (except for 1912-1920) until 1932
- last election with 80-90% participation rates
- Populist Party defeated and dissolves
The Populists in Politics