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The Gilded Age, Laissez-Faire, and The Credit Mobilier

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Sierra Robinson

on 5 June 2014

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Transcript of The Gilded Age, Laissez-Faire, and The Credit Mobilier

By: Sierra Robinson
The Gilded Age was....
It was also...
The age where thousands of inventors and thinkers emerged.
Few politicians had impact in this time and the Presidency was at its lowest point in power-and influence. Congress was corrupt.
The Gilded Age, Laissez-Faire, and The Credit Mobilier
What did the Credit Mobilier scandal prove?
Social Darwinism
During the 19th century, this was a popular world view, because it was a political and economic doctrine. The theory was that an individual, pursing what they desire would gain the best results from the society which he/she was apart of. The State was to keep order/security and to not interfere with the enthusiasm of that person's pursuit of his/her goals.
Herbet Spencer,
a british tested Darwin's theory of evolution by applying it to human society development. Many understood and emphasized his
"Social Darwinism"
that rationalized
Laissez-Faire (nonrestrictive capitalism.)
Darwin was known for
"Origin of Species"
a book he published explaining his theory on plant/animal evolution and natural selection. Many others began to believe that human society has evolved.
RAKEN. "The Gilded Age - Industrial Revolution in America." The Gilded Age. D.C. Shouter and RAKEN SERVICES, 2000. Web. 20 May 2011.
Mainly in the late 19th century, between post Civil War and Reconstruction. The age where inventors, thinkers, entrepreneurs, and social justice promoters shined throughout this age.
To others its known as Americas influential period, when a rural society was transformed into an urbanized society controlled by corporations.
Some say this age was full of corruption, distinct ruin, and free capitalism.
The modern industrial economy, where a national transportation network was originated and the corporation became a ruling form of business.
The Gilded Age was also an era of reform.
The Civil Service Act:

desired to bring government corruption to justice by requiring applicants to for certain jobs (government) to take a
competitive exam.
The Interstate Commerce Act
addressed the issues of railroad abuse/ discrimination
Like in the colonial days, citizens weren't taking orders from the boss up stairs; instead, they were building a new society from the foundation up.
The Presidents after the civil war to the
were called
"The Forgettable Presidents."
For instance Andrew Johnson was impeached and would have been removed from office if it wasn't for a Senate vote.
Ulysses S. Grant
was a war commandant but wasn't fit for office. He was naive to the way of Washington's works, and relied on the opinion of associates who were
stealing public money.
His secretary of war sold land owned by Indians and nabbed public money. And the private secretary worked with the
Treasury Department
to steal money from the
Whiskey Tax.
These incidents also led to the Credit Mobilier scandal
Ushistory.org. "Politics of the Gilded Age." Ushistory.org. Independence Hall Association, 2008. Web. 21 May 2014.
The Credit Mobilier of America was formed by stockholders from Union Pacific Railroad. The purpose of this company was to sell or give shares to congressmen in this construction.
The Credit Mobilier
of 1872-73 ruined many careers of
The Gilded Age
For the congressmen, it helped them by approving federal pension for the cost of railroad construction, not paying attention to expenses, which allows the builders to make big profits.
Oaks Ames of Massachusetts, and James Brooks of New York where severely criticized by The House. Speaker of the House, James G. Blaine, a republican involved in the scandal, set up an investigation.
This also ruined incoming VP Henry Wilson, and Representative James Garfield as well as many others.
Somehow Garfield denied charges but still became president.
The Gilded Age politics that they worked so hard to achieve was corrupted; but on the bright side the railroad lengths would increase profits.
translates to "allow to do" in English, its the policy of an economic system that allows business to run with little to no government interference. The Laissez-Faire doctrine associated with Physiocrats, economists who influenced France in the 17th century. This doctrine was praised by classical economics and philosophers like Adam Smith.
Spencer based his concept social evolution on
individual competition
. He believed it was the
"law of life,"
or survival of the fittest.
"Where it's fittest are allowed to assert their fitness with the least hindrance,"
Spencer wrote. He argued that the weak shouldn't be prevented from
dying out
Spencer also believed that the
would become extinct because their failure to compete. He thought that the government shouldn't take actions against this because it would defy the
evolution of civilization

"Laissez-Faire." International Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences. 2008. Encyclopedia.com. 29 May. 2014 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.
That darn Ulysses!
Full transcript