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The Gilded Age
Transcript of 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
Gilded: covered thinly with gold leaf or gold paint.
Gilded Age: Period of great wealth, big business and excess for some
Series of massacres & treaties
Movement to Reservations for most
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
First to cross entire country
Spaniards first ranchers
Increased demand for beef
Incentives for Settlement
Head of house over 21 = 160 acres of land
Pacific Railway Act
Gave $ to RR companies for railroad & telegraph construction
Gave land to states for colleges (agriculture & mechanic arts)
Oklahoma Land Rush 1889
The Second Industrial Revolution
Bessemer process - turned molten iron into steel
Stronger, less brittle, more easily shaped
Bigger bridges, taller buildings
Edwin L Drake - first discovers oil - guess where?
Cattle & hogs into Chicago
Shipped throughout country
Age of Invention
BIG BUSINESS !!!
Time is right
Entrepreneurs - risk takers who start business ventures
Private businesses run most industries
Competition determines prices and wages
Laissez-faire - "To Let Do" (Govt. out)
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
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
John D. Rockefeller
Started as a refinery
Dominates the industry (Over 90%)
Drives others out of business
Donates heavily to charity ($550 million!)
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
The "Trust Buster"
*Speech - Doc Analysis
The Homestead Strike:
United Coal Workers of America:
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.
From $0.50/day to $60 million/year
Finance (Today: JP Morgan Chase)
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
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
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