It can be argued that the economic achievements of the Gilded Age looked different from the eyes of a shop floor worker, compared to the eyes of a corner office business owner. Thomas O’Donnell, a textile worker, gives a testimony before the U.S.Senate about the hardships workers during the Gilded Age go through. Factory workers knew that profits meant low wages, long hours, and frequent unemployment, while their employer would attain large sums of money and power. Thoma O’Donnell explains to Senator Blair that wage workers only had jobs as they were hired and how workers were often fired and then replaced by machines of other workers that could do the labor cheaper. O’Donnell goes on to explain to Senator Blair that men with boys were often hired first because the man’s son could act as a “back-boy” and only be paid $.30 to $.40 a day.
During the Gilded Age, workers were forced to work in dangerous conditions surrounded by heavy machinery. The rapid growth of the manufacturing industry created a great need for unskilled laborers who required little training and completed routine tasks with minimum pay. One of the most significant employers, the steel mills, often demanded a seven-day work week. Furthermore, seamstresses and factory workers worked over 12 hours a day for six days a week. Employees were denied vacation days, sick leave, unemployment benefits, or assistance for injuries suffered on the job.
The Gilded Age lasted from 1870 to World War 1, “1900s.” The Gilded Age was a period of fast economic development, but also much social struggle. Mark Twain in the late nineteenth century founded the “Gilded” Age, which means covered with gold on the outside, but not really golden on the inside, for example, tin. This period of time was glittering on the surface but corrupt underneath. In other words, the outside looked beautiful, but the inside looked old and trashy. During this era, it was a period of greed and cunning.
The Gilded era was comprised of lots of private funding by big businesses, which limited government involvement and gave increased power to the big business. Political machines were an example of private business and corruption. Political machines provide the cites needs while increasing in profit. Document 5 and document 7 showcases this stance for increased government involvement. Document 7 shows the divide within a city, while document 5 speaks about monopolies and trust.
The word gilded means to cover an object with a thin layer of gold to make it look more appealing. Mark Twain coined this time period the Gilded Age because on the surface, the time seemed like a great combination of immigration, industry, and economy, but underneath the thin layer of sparkling gold lay vast layers of corruption. Jacob Riis’s How the Other Half Lives brings to light a lot of the negativity that was a part of the Gilded Age, peeling back the superficial layer of the time and revealing the undesirable parts of the time. Riis was a Danish immigrant and he aligned with many set stereotypes of different races, describing the “dull gray of the Jew,” the “bright red of the Italian” and the “sharp streak of yellow” of the Chinese; however, Riis was very sympathetic of the impoverished people in America of the time. The Gilded Age, as described by Jacob Riis in his book, How the Other Half Lives, and in lecture, was filled with crowded living spaces, poverty, prejudice, and alcoholism.
I am grateful that the workers took a stand in what they believed in, and changed the way we will live forever. Today, we have multiple laws against the events that happened in the Gilded Age. This was since it was a horrific period to live in for anyone that was not involved in government or monopoly. This was when the middle class was being developed, allowing every man and women to achieve the American Dream. Numerous people live in that category today and if those workers never stood up and fought strongly to change those laws, we would still be in that age today.
All ages got the enjoyment of life stolen from them in this rigid era. Lack of help would only ruin the these people as well as the time period as a whole. Poverty wasn’t always an issue, but came about with the increase of industrialism (Swisher 42). It was during the middle of Queen Victoria’s reign and was labeled England’s “biggest trouble” (Evans). The accumulation in population added onto the problem by leaving more people to be replaced by machines and eventually become poor.
During the late 19th century, newly introduced methods of thinking and living swept across the households of Americans. These movements and their corresponding facets captivated millions of people, but in doing so, also created corruption and opposition that, many times, brought out countless negative and precarious situations. Advancements in technology, such as steel, electricity, and the telephone, connected more people than ever before. Industrialization and urbanization moved people closer to the cities but also created danger in many living and work places. Despite the positives that appealed to so many, there also existed the downsides, which largely began to appear in the Gilded Age of American politics.
In one of his books, The Gilded Age, Mark Twain explains to readers about the "selfishness and money-making schemes" during the Gilded Age, in further understanding of the revolution of American History. Third, Mark Twain's writing educated people during 1800s. Twain's works also told people of the Western European countries
Believe it or not, the sun has a diameter of about 864, 575.9 miles, making it 400 times LARGER than the moon! Notwithstanding, the two celestial bodies both appear the same size from earth because the sun is 400 times farther away from the earth. Fitzgerald is genius in his illustration of the sun in The Great Gatsby set in Gilded Age. Realist author Mark Twain referred to this period (in the late 19th century and early 20th century) as an era that glittered on the surface but was corrupt on the inside. The competition amongst big business where the wealth accumulated in the hands of the few bashed the poor into heavy poverty in the Valley of Ashes, whereas the sumptuously stylish men and women of West and East Egg lived according to the fantasy of the American Dream birthed in the Gilded age, so they cease to catch sight of anything beyond the money and success that the Gilded Age is known for.