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The Gilded Age

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Valerie Spencer

on 13 February 2017

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Transcript of The Gilded Age

The Gilded Age
"What is the chief end of man?--to get rich. In what way?--dishonestly if we can; honestly if we must."
-- Mark Twain-1871
Mark Twain & Charles Dudley Warner
1877-1890
Gilded: covered thinly with gold leaf or gold paint.
Gilded Age: Period of great wealth, big business and excess for some
Background
The West
Indian Wars
Series of massacres & treaties
Movement to Reservations for most
New Policies
Americanization - goal is to make Indians "More American".
Bureau of Indian Affairs - (BIA) Set up school, integrate religion, devastates Native culture & traditions
Dawes Act - (1887) Broke up reservations into individual properties. Given worst land, no support
Native Americans
Land Use
Transcontinental Railroad
First to cross entire country
Gold Rush
Mining
Cattle Boom
Spaniards first ranchers
Increased demand for beef
Incentives for Settlement
Homestead Act
Head of house over 21 = 160 acres of land
Pacific Railway Act
Gave $ to RR companies for railroad & telegraph construction
Morrill Act
Gave land to states for colleges (agriculture & mechanic arts)
Oklahoma Land Rush 1889
The Second Industrial Revolution
New Industries
Steel
Bessemer process - turned molten iron into steel
Stronger, less brittle, more easily shaped
Bigger bridges, taller buildings
Oil
Edwin L Drake - first discovers oil - guess where?
Meatpacking
Cattle & hogs into Chicago
Shipped throughout country
Shipping Industry
Age of Invention
Transportation
Mass Transit
Street Cars
Subways
Automobiles
Airplanes
Communications
Telegraph
Telephone
Typewriter
Electricity
BIG BUSINESS !!!
Time is right

Entrepreneurs - risk takers who start business ventures
Capitalism
Economic System
Private businesses run most industries
Competition determines prices and wages
Laissez-faire - "To Let Do" (Govt. out)
Social Darwinism
Belief in strongest of the fittest
Stronger business people and businesses would survive, others would...go away
Free Market America
Business Structure Changes
Proprietorship & Partnerships
Small businesses (families) grow
More than one person in ownership
Corporations
Business with legal status of an individual
Owned by stockholders
Can outlive initial founders
Trusts & Monopolies
Companies merge and turn over stock to "Board of Trustees"
Monopoly - when a trust gained total control over an industry
Industrial Tycoons
John D. Rockefeller
Standard Oil
Started as a refinery
Vertical integration
Horizontal integration
Dominates the industry (Over 90%)
Drives others out of business
Donates heavily to charity ($550 million!)
Andrew Carnegie
Carnegie Steel Company
Born in Scotland - poor, immigrates at 12
Invests in business
Rises to top of steel industry
Exploitation of workers
Sells to JP Morgan for $480 million
Dedicates life to charity ($350 million)
Captains of Industry
or
Robber Barons
?
The "Trust Buster"
*Speech - Doc Analysis
The Homestead Strike:
United Coal Workers of America:
Background
Sherman Anti-trust Act: (1890) Made it illegal to form trust that interfered with free trade. Prohibited monopolies and activities that interfered with competition in the market place.
Clayton Anti-trust Act: (1914) Clarified Sherman Act. Prohibited companies from buying stock in competing companies in order to create monopolies.
http://www.history.com/topics/homestead-strike/videos#homestead-strike
http://www.history.com/topics/john-pierpont-morgan/videos/jp-morgan-battles-coal-miners-in-1902?m=528e394da93ae&s=undefined&f=1&free=false
*Background
From $0.50/day to $60 million/year
J.P. Morgan
Finance (Today: JP Morgan Chase)
Influential family
Educated in math
Entered finance young - ruthless and successful
Financed the steel corporation
1907 - bails out failing financial institutes - considered more important that U.S. government
http://www.forbes.com/companies/jp-morgan/
Inspiration!
Participates in "spoils system"
Practice of hiring federal employees loyal to administration.
Assassinated 4 months into office
Had been VP under Garfield
Passes Pendleton Act: government jobs will be given based on merit
Does not seek 2nd term - poor health
Attempted to continue policies that kept businesses in check
Dealt with scandal & corruption
Passed Sherman Anti-trust Act
Wounded Knee
Pushes boundaries west
Economic woes - panic of 1893
Unpopular and defeated by...
Spanish American War
Killed in Buffalo, NY by unemployed worker
Angry about wealth disparity in America
The Trust Buster Activity
Graffiti Walk
Speech Analysis
Response
http://kids.pbskids.com/bigapplehistory/business/topic8.html
Full transcript