Monopolies During The Gilded Age

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The Reconstruction era has ended and Americans are seeking a way to reach the American dream. With the gold rush leading the way, a significant amount of Americans wanted to reach the top, and many of them started large monopolies. The Gilded Age is an era that can be described as America’s greatest era, but the reality is dark. Corporations were taking advantage of the nation’s increasing economy, and the most affected were the people. The industrialist was able to amass tremendous wealth by exploiting the people, justifying their actions with social Darwinism and the government’s protection, which promotes social class divisions. To begin with, capitalist leaders were taking advantage of new immigrants, farmers, and workers by exploiting …show more content…

McNeill, a labor leader describes the railroad’s president’s control over the workers and how they often times leave the workers helpless (Document 1). Evidently, industrialist utilized wage exploitation to take advantage of the workers by demanding extensive mass production, giving them low wages and harsh working conditions. Consequently, this outraged the workers since the industrialist were benefitting from their hard work, which caused the increase in poverty. This also resulted in an increase of wealth gap between the rich and the poor, which contributed to the division of social class. When new immigrants came to America the industrialist took advantage of their necessity for money, and since most of them settled in urban cities, unfortunately, the job most available for them were factories. Industrials favored the new immigrants because they were willing to work for lower wages. …show more content…

Andrew Carnegie, the author of the gospel of wealth, argues that the poor should praise the capitalist for they are their trustees, justifying his superiority with social Darwinism and idea that many of the industrialists adopted (Document 4). The wealthy believed in natural selection and survival of the fittest, implementing the idea that the wealthy were, in fact, superior to the poor regarding social classes. The wealthy also believed in laissez-faire which promoted the idea of not letting the government interfere in the markets, which actually resulted in a negative impact on the working class. This political cartoon represent the capitalism in America in which the large private corporations were the ones in control of the national industry, which infuriated the working class because they had no social security (Document 3). The private monopolies were using trusts to suck all of the money from the people, and no action was made against it because of capitalism. Capitalism benefited the business only which is why they used ideologies such as social Darwinism to justify

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