Gilded Age Dbq Analysis

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During the period of the Gilded Age, the United States was controlled by the corporations owned by robber barons. Men such as Carnegie, Rockefeller, and Morgan used money to place their own foothold in the entire economic and political system of the united states. They were able to control wages, adjust prices, buy out all competition, and avoid nearly all punishment. They held their workers under them to build their business. These business’ products were such a necessity they were able to control the entire nation. Their control resulted in a sharp economic and social class divisions, bringing about corruption and a fight between the average man and the prosperous businessman. Unions formed to fight against these big businesses and bring…show more content…
These corporations were able to control politicians, creating a government full of corruption. These businesses investested into politicians, in which they eventually became immune to nearly all legal issues. An example of government corruption caused by large corporations is the credit mobilier scandal of 1867, which damaged the careers of multiple gilded age politicians. This scandal was between the railroad and the Credit Mobilier of America Construction Company, the two businesses sold or gave shares to congressmen. This resulted in congressmen approving for federal subsidies for the cost of railroad construction, while simultaneously filling their pockets as well. Document 1 discusses this issue between the railroad and politics by describing the president of the railroad as a king.“He can control legislative bodies, dictate legislation, subsidize the press, and corrupt the moral sense of the community.” Based on this document, we can infer that the railroad company controlled both the government and the people to a point in which they could avoid punishment for nearly everything. Many other businesses also contributed in government corruption. Monopolies on oil, sugar, iron, paper, and other necessities were able to use politicians as pawns in order to do whatever they wanted. Document 3, shows an image of the senate in which the monopolies have complete control, and the people are neglected. This is due to the fact that Senators aren’t directly elected by the people, and therefore can be controlled by trusts. Due to the corruption of the government, the Populist Party formed. Otherwise known as the People’s Party, it was dedicated to political and social reform, as well as making the government responsible to the people. Document 5 describes the goals of the Populist Party; “We seek to restore the government of the Republic to the hands of “the plain people,” with which class it originated…” The
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