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The American Identity During the Gilded Age

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Caleb Bissette

on 9 February 2015

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Transcript of The American Identity During the Gilded Age

The American Identity During the Gilded Age
The gilded age
After all of this occurred, people would become rich and create monopolies. The main 4 monopolies would be created off of railroads, oil, steel, and electricity. The men who would create these would be Rockefeller, Vanderbilt, J.P Morgan, and Carnegie. These men would go on to be the richest and most powerful men for a certain amount of time. Though these men were getting richer, that only meant one thing; Other people were getting poorer. This is what is meant by the gilded age because people think on the surface it is fixed but on the inside everything is getting worst.
Organized Labor
In this time, factories starting becoming a lot more popular because immigrants were coming into America which meant lots of jobs were being filled for very cheap. Also, children were working in order to keep their families supported. This would later stir up a lot of trouble because all the skilled workers had no jobs to go to. This would later create the American Federation of Labor that would demand shorter working hours and increase the working age in order to keep everyone safer.
In the gilded age, immigrants were hearing about the american dream and how they could come here and get a new start but they didn't get what they expected. They came here and got dangerous jobs and received little pay. Also, it was very hard to become a citizen unless the would perform a favor to the government such as voting for a particular presidents through political machines.
The trip out west
Native Americans
Since americans were going out west, they couldn't have any conflicts with any people on the way so they needed to do something about the native americans. Since they were already upset about moving one time before, they did not want to cooperate. The americans were forced to take all of their weapons or anything that they feared could hurt them. Then, americans would go out and kill innocent woman and children in order to get them to move. This would create a war called the battle of wounded knee but after that, they would be defeated and forced to move.
From cities to Countryside
After all of the gold and silver mining was gone people were going for a new product that would make them rich, cattle ranching. People were going out to the west, buying cows for cheap, then coming back to the south or north and selling their meat for cheap. This would go on for a while and create a group of people called cowboys. these cowboys were the ones that would take care of the cattle until they would get sold. After time, this would end because of the invention of barbed wire fencing that would stop cowboys from going out west and getting cattle.
New Everyday life
Since all of these problems were coming up, Americans were either fining ways to improve this or distract themselves from it so they wouldn't have to worry about it. People were starting to become more educated such as Booker T. Washington and W.E.B DuBois who would try to inform young black men on how they could change the world. People also started watching moer sports such as going to baseball games.
The gilded age was a time that was meant for a rebuilding process after the civil war. During this time period everyone thought that everything was being fixed but instead, everything was getting more corrupt.
During this time period while everyone was trying to recover in the north and south, some people traveled out west in order to mine for gold and silver. Other people would go out there because of the land ordinance that said if someone sat on a piece of land for 5 years then they could keep it. While they were on the journey out there they would stumble upon some problems.
Women In the Gilded Age
Women in this era weren't getting the equality that men were getting and on top of that freed slaves were starting to get the right of voting and getting jobs that they could not therefor it was making them very upset. They would go on to strike and create problems until they would make the government give them the right to vote and become equal. Eventually they received the 19th amendment which would give them the right to vote. From that point on, women could vote and get the same jobs as men.
Progressives sweep the Nation
Since everything in America was changing, the freed black men and women thought that they should step up and do something. A big group of people called muckrakers were writing to the government and people of America and telling them their thoughts and what should be changed. People were becoming more informed such as black men getting their freedom through the constitution, and people would read books learning about poor tenement living and poor food conditions. This would all later lead to law being created that would better tenement living, create food inspections, and put an end to false advertisements of drugs.
Progressives in the White House
Before the gilded age, none of the presidents really changed anything in America, they would just sit back and make sure nothing would go bad but this would change. The first progressive president would be Teddy Roosevelt who would reserve land and fix the american economy. After him, Taft would become president and he would also fix the economy. Last but not least, Wilson became president who would give women equality and end child labor.
The End
All in all, the gilded age was a time period that everyone thought was getting fixed but in the long run needed a lot of fixing. The positive part about this age was the presidents that ended this era would create a path of success for us to go on. believe the american dream was for everyone to fix up America and then go to a successful job where they would make lots of money and live happily ever after. Unfortunately the american dream was not the american identity. The american identity during the gilded age were either people who worked to build up big businesses that would destroy other peoples lives in order to make theirs better or it was mainly a person who worked very hard who received very little pay and had a very tough life that was not worth much.
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