The Gilded Age was a period in United States history from the 1870s to around 1900. It was characterized by rapid economic growth, widespread industrialization, and technological innovation. The name "Gilded Age" comes from Mark Twain's novel of the same name, which satirized an era of serious social problems that were hidden beneath a thin veneer of wealth and prosperity. During this time, a large number of immigrants arrived in America seeking work in factories or on farms, while others made fortunes through business ventures such as railroads and oil exploration. This influx helped fuel an unprecedented period of growth for the American economy, but it also led to overcrowding, exploitation, poverty, corruption among public officials, political unrest, and labor strife. At the same time, however, advances like electricity allowed for increased production, leading to improved standards of living for many Americans. Although there were significant inequalities during this period between those who had money and those who did not, the overall effect was one of progress, with new technologies transforming industry as well as everyday life throughout society.