To start, John D. Rockefeller, one of the richest capitalists in history, used the term Social Darwinism to say why some people were poor and some were rich. This ideal is exemplified in Ghent’s Our Benevolent Feudalism, (Doc. 7), which explains why the principle of “Survival of the fittest” applies to laissez-faire capitalism. Essentially, it said that if someone was not successful, it was a result of not working hard enough. Consequently, many rich Americans believed in this view, and used it as an explanation of why some are poor and some are rich.
In 1900, New York became the second largest city in the world. This was the result of monopolies capitalizing in America. Industries were booming; however, the common people were suffering greatly. The men behind these monopolies, incorrectly known by many as captains of industry, are more accurately known as robber barons. While this remains true, the business men of the Gilded Age were captains of industry to an extent.
Imagine working sixteen hours a day in an unsanitary, dangerous, place for a big business gaining two dollars.This is what laboring-class Americans had to go through during the Gilded age. Politically, the first largest American labor union was formed during the Gilded age and many other organizations formed as well as violent strikes.Socially, different ethnics joined together to share their thoughts and realize the evils of big business and of the federal government. Mentally, most we 're losing their personal life while some were financially stable and glad. During the Gilded Age laboring-class Americans attempted to better their lives in the power of big businesses and the federal government. Many different attempts were taken by the laboring-class Americans but they were more successful uniting to become one.
During this time, the railroad became a massive industry, not just for transportation, but also for production building of the railroads. Industrial workers were a major working force, however, with this boom, a few people came to hold a majority of the wealth while the masses lived in poverty. During this time, laws were severely needed to control the corrupt corporations that ignored the masses. The railroads spanned the whole continent, which lead the opening of settling west. When Lincoln was assassinated in 1865, only 35,000 miles of steam railways were contracted, but by 1900, there were 192,556 miles of railway.
The charge about the old days of the American economy—the nineteenth century, the “Gilded Age,” the era of the “robber barons”—was that it was always beset by a cycle of boom and bust. Whatever nice runs of expansion and opportunity that did come, they always seemed to be coupled with a pretty cataclysmic depression right around the corner. Boom and bust, boom and bust—this was the necessary pattern of the American economy in its primitive state. In the US, in the modern era, all this was smoothed out. There were busts, above all the Great Depression, but these represented the last gasp of the old order.
The late 19th Century was a time in the United States of America where the majority of the country 's wealth belonged to few men. Marked in history as the “Gilded Age”, this was a time of immense industrial growth through building factories and territorial expansion through the development of railroads. At the helm of this industrial growth were men such as J.P. Morgan, Cornelius Vanderbilt, and John D. Rockefeller, railroad and factory owners who experienced incredible financial success during this time period. While these men prospered, most of the country was poor and struggled to survive despite working full time for the railroads and factories. “While the rich wore diamonds, many wore rags.
The word gilded refers to something thinly covered in gold. Mark Twain referred to the late 1800s as the Gilded Age due to what it appeared to be, a time of great success for many but underneath a time of corruption in businesses and the government. The 1870s-1890s was a time of poverty, opportunity, and disaster. The growing comfort of middle-class life during the Gilded Age led many to fear that American men were losing their manliness. Many middle-class Americans embraced formerly taboo violent sports like boxing and football.
China is the biggest country providing the labors for US companies as most products are made in China. China labors obtain very low salary, and it’s not enough to feed their families. For example, the hourly wage in US is nine dollars, but China workers get only 1.36 dollars. Although almost every items in China is cheaper than US, many workers still suffer, and many families unable to afford school for their children. Instead of going to school, 250 million children in developing countries, from age between 6 to 14 years old, have to work in the companies, but the child labor from China is still unknown because the government doesn’t allow releasing any number.
The Second Industrial Revolution, known as the Technological Revolution, was described by Mark Twain as the “Gilded Age.” This was a time of rapid industrialization during the last 30 years of the 19th century through the beginning of the 20th century. While it brought changes to the workplace and transportation, the lives of the majority of society were not affected as positively as they had been during the first industrial revolution. It was a time of corruption and crime, hidden behind growth and prosperity. Among the wealthy and powerful of this “Gilded Age” were Carnegie, Vanderbilt and Rockefeller. Vanderbilt made a fortune by revolutionizing the railroads.
Consequently, in plutocratic countries’ richest citizens govern a country and make rules in favor of themselves while disadvantaged ordinary people who make up most of the population of the country suffer from consequences of the rich-oriented policy. A case in point, since the star of a new millennium, many corporations and firms in the US are shipping their business to developing countries to gain from cheap workforce leaving millions of their compatriots out of job. “Growth in the U.S. goods trade deficit with China between 2001 and 2013 eliminated or displaced 3.2 million U.S. jobs, 2.4 million (three-fourths) of which were in manufacturing” (Kimball and Scott, 2014). Unless there was inequality, the government would probably be ruled by average people and would have prevented outsourcing jobs to foreign countries by all means. Another disadvantage of plutocratic government is pushing inequality to a far tougher level.