Gilded Age Problems

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In a time after the Civil War, the national government encouraged production which improved their financing by switching to the gold standard, improved communication by boosting the telegraph, improved transportation by building railroads. The economy was also improving massively also due to natural resources, demography, and law. Railroads allowed people as well as supplies to be transported quicker, safer, and cheaper. Companies started taking advantage of the demand for building materials, they bought each other out through vertical and horizontal integration, formed monopolies which made the price go up, and made the owners very wealthy. Aside from all of these positives, there are also various problems that were caused during the Gilded…show more content…
During the Gilded Age billionaires like Carnegie, Vanderbilt, and Rockefeller were earning massive profits off of the backs of underpaid labor. Working conditions in the late nineteenth century were terrible and the pay was even worse.Workers would work for 12-hour days in harsh, dangerous conditions with no job security and no safety standards These employees would earn a bare minimum wage of one dollar a day for six days a week. Outraged workers wanted better conditions and better pay, so they formed unions like the Knights of Labor (KoL) and the American Federation of Labor (AFL). These unions fought for eight-hour work days, better conditions, and better pay along with other demands. The Knights of Labor included black and female members, unlike the American Federation of Labor. To get workers’ demands unions would hold negotiations with the boss or with the floor manager. If the negotiations failed the labor unions would hold walkouts and strikes. These strikes had to be strategic because the employees wouldn’t get paid while they protested. If a floor manager like Henry Frick, who watched over one of Carnegie's steel mills, doesn’t want to meet his employees' demands he can either hire temporary scabs to keep the factory productive, or he can hire the Pinkerton Detective Agency. The Pinkerton…show more content…
The Populist Party found a presidential candidate to carry out the Populist views. William Jennings Bryan was the presidential candidate for both the Populist and the Democratic Party. Bryan and A major party and a minor party to receive votes from. Sadly big business, as well as the industrialist, were against Bryan and he lost. Even though Bryan lost the presidential election, he stated that farmers are important and if prices get any higher the rest of the world is going to starve. The Haymarket Square Riot allowed unions to receive some of their demands as well as xenophobic viewpoint which gave Americans some job security. The Gilded Age (1865-1900) changed the way farmers viewed and participated in politics, as well as changing the working standard for Americans and Immigrants. Working in factories became safer, better paying, and less tiresome because of shorter
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