Primary Source Analysis: The Gilded Age

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Primary Source Analysis- During the time of reconstruction, which was after the civil war, the government passed the 13, 14, and 15th amendment to give African Americas freedom and rights. The 15th amendment gave the former African American slaves the right to vote. Between 1890 and 1906, the "new" south wanted to eliminate this right for the African Americans. Any African American who fought for their rights would be faced with violence known as lynching, murdering of three or more people. During this time, the Supreme Court case Plessy VS Ferguson resulted in African Americans and Whites having separate bathrooms. In the South, African Americans were living under Jim Crow Laws and enforced racial segregation in all public facilities. This…show more content…
Rockefeller, Andrew Carnegie, Jay Gould, were able to establish monopolies over certain industries. The monopolies these men held allowed them to grow their wealth to a level that was previously unknown. Their money was dependant upon their factories operating continuously, which created a demand for unskilled labor. To acquire the unskilled laborers, the business owners employed many people, who worked long hours and therefore made money that they otherwise would not have had. The big business owners did not want the government to regulate their factories, and due to their money, they were able to keep the government from passing labor laws for a time. Because the government did not establish labor laws, big businesses were able to give many people jobs. The jobs were difficult and often in extremely unfavorable environments, but they allowed the people to work when they otherwise would have been unemployed. The Gilded Age 's scientific improvements created jobs that allowed people work even if they had no skills; the jobs were such that each person stood in a single place in the factory and did a single task. They then passed their work to the next person, who also completed a single task before passing the good onto the next person. The lack of government regulation allowed unskilled laborers to hold…show more content…
The monopolists are drawn as large money bags (trusts) to show that they, due to all of their money, had all the power in the government. The power of the big business owners over the government grew so great that the government was finally forced to stand up to the corruption. The government passed the Sherman Antitrust Act, which prohibited the existence of monopolies. This government act shows that it finally recognized the political influences of the Gilded Age business owners had went too

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