Big Business In The Gilded Age Essay

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In the subsequent years following the end of the Spanish-American war of 1898, the United States of America found itself disseminated across the Pacific Ocean. Guam, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, the Philippines, and—in every practical sense—Cuba were under American dominion. The main purpose of acquiring these lands: to open the doors for economic expansion—to make money. Market saturation in the U.S. was the was the principal catalyst for the decision to take on colonies; moreover, had domestic markets in the U.S had not been a problem, the U.S. would have chosen not to take up new colonies. To understand why the market saturation in the U.S. was the main catalyst, it must be understood how the markets became saturated. A couple years prior to the Spanish-American war, the U.S at home was going through a tumultuous period. The exponential industrial growth of the Gilded Age, accelerated America into disarray. Notwithstanding Americas’ overall growth in wealth, the rich were becoming richer while the poor stayed poor; wealth inequality was at an unprecedented high for its time. Furthermore, overproduction arose because of industrial growth. By the late 19th century, factories and companies became so efficient that they produced a surplus of supply, …show more content…

Big business in the Gilded Age were notorious for their unwillingness to compromise—characterized by violent counter attacks against unions. Their goal: China. Or as said by then Indiana senator, Albert J. Beveridge, “The pacific is our ocean…. Where shall we turn for consumers of our surplus? Geography answers that question. China is our natural customer.” (Beveridge pg.29). They first needed a path and entry to the Asian continent. The Philippines, Guam, and Hawaii were not only new markets themselves, but also vital waypoints between the U.S. and Asian

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