Big businesses, such as oil and railroad companies owned by John D. Rockefeller and J.P. Morgan, tended to dominate politics. Even businesses on smaller scales did very little to provide security for workers, which fueled the desire for reforms even more. The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire of 1911 was a catastrophic event that proved a change was desperately needed, but when the owners were sentenced and merely fined, it only seemed to, once again, prove that the courts did not side with the victims. In response, more and more people, such as Rose Schneiderman, began to attempt to organize unions because of the lack of support from the government. Although the government did make attempts to stop monopolies and trusts, such as the Sherman Antitrust Act, the attempts were not strong enough to make any progress.
The Gilded Age vs. The Progressive Era, The Gilded Age took place in about the 1870’s to 1900. The Progressive Era right after that from the 1900’s to 1914. This was still pretty early in the founding of our country and you could say we still had some kinks that we needed to break free of. The Gilded Age was all about problems and The Progressive Era was all about fixing those problems and finding solutions for them. I would like to bring forward some of the problems that were in the Gilded Age and then some of the solutions that came about in the Progressive Era.
Monopolies were intended to increase profits, and “dictate” the “two great classes:” the producer and the consumer (Doc 3). Many companies like Andrew Carnegie’s steel company and Rockefeller’s standard oil company benefitted from trusts. Rockefeller successfully created a monopoly by buying rival companies, and controlling transportation rates which allowed for the transport of goods at a cheaper rate, allowing Rockefeller to lower the price of oil; this affected small companies since it was impossible for them to compete with the price (Doc 5). While many companies invested in the railroad company and created contracts to receive exclusive benefits such as lower rates, the railroads didn’t benefit the public at all, because they were built by investors that only cared about receiving a “fair percentage” of the profit, and remarked that “the public be damned” (Doc 1). Many laborers working under these company suffered due to the reduction of “the price of every labor connected with trade”
During the Gilded age billionaires like Carnegie, Vanderbilt, and Rockefeller were earning massive profits off of the backs of cheap, 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 topics.
During the “Gilded Age”, America made numerous improvements to the functions and development of society. This was a time of renaissance in the United States, shortly after leaving a state of depression caused by the civil war and the reconstruction of our nation from World War I. We made break thorough advancements and improvements that allowed us to be where we are today. The “Gilded Age” was pivotal to the growth of our nation as a whole and led us to be as developed as we are. The three most important improvements to America through the “Gilded Age” were industrialization, transportation, and the appearance of wealth.
A changing culture from the late 1870’s through 1900 became known as the Gilded Age. The Gilded Age was first used by Mark Twain in his book known as “The Gilded Age: A Tale of Today”. The Gilded Age is known as a time where corruption and bad living conditions occurred on the inside of the area, but on the outside everything seemed strong and powerful, especially to other immigrants. A lot of people migrated from other countries to become part of what they thought was a perfect society, but when they arrived they realized how terrible everyone was treated and how bad the government ran.
The Gilded Age. A point in history where industries took advantage of their workers and lied to the government about it. Men, women, and children alike were extremely undervalued. Whether it was low pay, long hours, or unsafe work environments people in this time were not being treated as they should have. In theory as years go by things will change.
Social Darwinism is when only the strongest survive, during the Gilded Age this was true. Many businessmen during the time period were people who had a vision and invested time and effort to grow the economy they did what they had to do to make their company survive the economy. Some people's business did not survive because the bigger corporations took them out of business, the business that did not survive are were weak and were not strong enough to survive. It is not the bigger business fault it did not survive, the business did not survive because it could not compete with the competition. Social Darwinism is huge reason why the great industrialist are Captains of Industry.
The Gilded Age was a time of economic growth as well as social changes that took place in the United States. During this time there was a rapid growth in industrialization, urbanization, and a rise of big businesses. However the Progressive Reformers didn't like the way things were going. During the Gilded Age we had several presidents such as Ulysses S. Grant, Grover Cleveland, and Rutherford B. Hayes that were very well unliked by Americans. A lot of Americans didn't want to come to terms with politicians whom they felt would ruin the peace that was created after the Civil War.
This wealth and power leads to new innovations in the Renaissance. Anther effect of the Age of Exploration that eventually supported the Renaissance, was the rise of new institutions. Document seven is a painting showing a moneylender. He is handling money in this painting. Financial institutions were all created from the wealth and power that flowed into
Farmers were abused by the railroad freight fees, the world market’s dramatic drop of commodity prices caused by overproduction, and tariffs for their goods which resulted in the farmers to be continuously be stuck in debt. Industrial workers constantly suffered in poor working conditions and low pay. It was not uncommon for most workers to work more than ten hours a day. They were also faced with job instability. Missing a day of work could easily could get them fired, and if a worker was faced with an injury or sickness they would have to suck it up and continue working because there was no “sick days”.
Was Mark Twain correct in calling the Gilded age? “Even though the era following the Reconstruction was one of the great invention and economic growth, all did not share in that prosperity.” For example according to Introduction to American History in 1860’s and 1900’s the millage of railroads increased from a 30,000 miles to a 193,000 mileage. One million to ten millions and the number of workers from 1.3 million to 5.3 million.
A golden age is a period of time when an empire thrives. It thrives socially, economically, and politically. Both Ancient Greece and Ancient Rome experienced a golden age. Ancient Rome’s Golden Age was called the Pax Romana. Pax Romana means “roman peace”.