Gilded Age Essay

636 Words3 Pages

The Gilded Age was a time in American history that approximately corresponded to the years from the end of the Civil War in 1865 to the turn of the century. It lasted from the late 1800s to the early 1900s. It was a period of quick economic growth, urbanization, and industrialization, but it was also a period of severe social unrest, corruption, and inequality. The emergence of the robber barons, wealthy industrialists who amassed enormous fortunes through monopolies and trusts, frequently at the cost of employees and customers, was a defining feature of the time. Political corruption, with politicians frequently being bought off by big corporate interests, was another hallmark of the Gilded Age. A new class of urban workers developed, labor …show more content…

The Homestead Act of 1862, which encouraged the settlement and cultivation of the West by granting 160 acres of public land to anyone who would reside on and improve the land, was one of the most significant. This promoted economic development and increased agricultural output across the country. Through protective tariffs that helped shield American industries from overseas competition, the federal government also contributed to industrial development. Federal land grants were made available to states through the Morrill Act of 1862 for the creation of agricultural and technical schools, which contributed to the advancement of science and increased output in both agriculture and industry. The Pacific Railroad Act of 1862 provided federal subsidies for the construction of a transcontinental railroad, which helped to facilitate the movement of goods and people across the country and spur economic development. Railroads made America's industrial revolution possible by speeding up transit. This connected markets and businesses nationwide and made raw materials and finished goods easier to move. Workers and families followed railroads to new towns and cities, creating new employment and settlement possibilities. Railroads shaped Gilded Age culture and

Open Document