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The Gilded Age: An Overview

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Jenny Holloway

on 1 December 2015

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Transcript of The Gilded Age: An Overview

Why did industry thrive?
--Natural resources (lumber, coal, oil, rivers)
--Lots of people to work
(immigrants, former farm laborers)
--Business-friendly government
-laissez faire (hands off)
the government does not
tell businesses what to do
--Entrepreneurial spirit
Ideas Change
Big changes occurred...
So...what was life like?

--Factories put entire families to work (even children)
--Poor working conditions
--Harsh distinction between rich and poor
--Still racism and sexism
--More Indian removal
and assimilation
So, as a result...
--Rise of factories
(peoples' jobs change)
-people move to cities
--Rise of monopolies and millionaires
--Politicians are corrupt
-In exchange for political support,
they used graft, or bribed people

The Gilded Age: 1878--1890s
What does "Gilded" mean anyways?
According to dictionary.com:

having a pleasing or showy appearance
that conceals something of little worth.
So...why do we call this era
the Gilded Age?
It was an era of tremendous growth,
wealth, and innovation...

But hidden beneath all the glitz was hardship,
racism, and poverty
--Social Darwinism
-natural selection, but with people
--Gospel of Wealth
-Andrew Carnegie: wealthy people need to share their money with the poor
Journal Question:
One single company controls an entire industry...
it would be like if Microsoft was the only company that sold computers
Journal Question:
Should companies be allowed to form monopolies? Why or why not?
For some, life got better...
--New middle class emerges
--Consumer culture
-Entertainment through sports,
amusement parks, movies
--Department stores
-Macy's and Sears
--Inventions made life easier (telegraph, telephone, lightbulb)
For others, the Gilded Age brought hardship...
--The nation grew wealthy and powerful
--The rich got richer and the poor got poorer
--There was a need for reform in society, economy, and government which leads us into the next era:
The Progressive Era
Journal Assignment:
1) What were some issues that needed to be fixed during the Gilded Age socially, economically, and politically?
2) Answer questions 4, 5, and 6 from page 79
Mansions of Newport, Rhode Island
as Industrialism took off in America, here's what happened...
Full transcript