During 1890-1920, Theodore Roosevelt coincided within an extraordinary period of social activism and political innovations during which compelling public issued forced profound changes in the government and in presidential leadership. The Progressives concluded that the United States had been changing rapidly since the Civil War, that the nation was becoming to be at risk of imploding, and that the gap between the rich and poor widened during the Gilded Age, in order to fix these changes several reforms began to be made.
The decade between 1890 and 1900 expressed a crucial time in the United States of America’s history. Many people experienced struggles throughout this time while others prospered. Mark Twain suggested that despite the significant achievements of the United States, Americans experienced poverty. This statement is an accurate description of the lively hood people experienced in their daily lives during the Gilded Age whether it was positive or negative.
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.
The developments that occured in the United States of America during the Civil War and Reconstruction Era were arguably revolutionary. During these years of 1860 to 1877, not only did social change take place, but also constitutional change. By the end of the Civil War, many aspects were questioned, such as black status and readmission of former confederate states. At the end of it all, three amendments had been ratified and southerners were forced to accept that blacks were their equals. With many changes happening, the constitution had a full revolution by adding three amendments that challenged the beliefs of many, while social changes merely took a step up and didn’t last long.
Henry George’s was a critic of big business and since there we social problems he blames it on a few monopolists to grow wealthy as a result of rising land values. He proposed a single tax on land to replace taxes which would be returned to in addition to the people. If they propose this tax it would destroy monopolies, distribute wealth, and it would eliminate poverty. Robber barons are the reason why people were being driven into poverty (DOC 1). The result of this was how the Northern capitalists led the South away from agriculture and economic dependence, and how they used their wealth to further grow the American industry. The captains of industry believed that the poor people were inferior to the rich people. The rich were superior because they had “wisdom, experience, and the ability to administer”. The duty of a rich person was to help out a poor person which was what was said in the Gospel of Wealth. The Gospel of Wealth is about how the rich person's responsibility is philanthropy. Carnegie believes in charity work so he would donate to libraries, and universities and schools and etc. Part of a captain of industries duty were to make sure that whatever he does whether it is “trust funds in which he administered”, it would have to benefit the community (DOC 2). Andrew Carnegie believed in Social Darwinism. Social Darwinism is the belief of the “survival of the fittest.” You are rich because God is rewarding and you are poor because you aren’t working hard
Industrialist had a huge impact on the gilded age. The gilded age was a rapid expansion of industrialism and a massive jump in the population of immigrants in america. The industrialist during the gilded age such as Andrew Carnegie, John D. Rockefeller, and Vanderbilt had a big impact because of their businesses.
During the late nineteenth century, a form of Social Darwinism emerged called the Gospel of Wealth also known as the Success Gospel. Social Darwinism is “Herbert Spencer’s adaptation of Charles Darwin’s concepts of natural selection and “survival of the fittest” as it applies to human society” (Nash p. 417). Social Darwinists believed that the social order was the product of the natural selection of the individuals that were best suited for the existing living conditions. These individuals were white, Anglo-Saxon, wealthy men. This theory, Social Darwinism, was applied to the monopolistic efforts of businessmen as John D. Rockefeller, Jr. so eloquently stated: “The growth of a large business is merely the survival of the fittest” (Nash p. 417). The Gospel of Wealth based on Social Darwinism is the notion that the massive wealth held by prosperous businessmen was for the social benefit of everyone. The advocates of the Gospel of Wealth such as Andrew Carnegie, Russell Conwell, and Horatio Alger linked wealth with a sense of heightened responsibility as those with more wealth had an equally great obligation to society.
Social Darwinism is based on Charles Darwin’s natural evolution theory. Charles Darwin’s theory stated that only the fittest of the fit and those that could adapt would survive. Those that did not adapt would die out. Social Gospel was a Protestant Christian movement in the 19th and 20th centuries. In Social Darwinism, a person’s wealth, social status, and property showed their fitness. Poor people were considered lazy and fell under wealthy people and were seen as weak, or not fit to survive. Social Gospel covered excess urbanization and industrialization. Christian people helped workers and poor people and favored them over wealthy people. Social Darwinism favored the wealthy. Social Darwinism appealed to Protestant work ethic and supported laissez-faire policies. In Social Darwinism, is was thought that everyone could “prosper with hard work, intelligence, and perseverance.” Social Darwinism was used by men like, Andrew Carnegie. They used it to support their practices. Social Gospel was used by people like Jane Addams and Theodore Roosevelt.
The late nineteenth century was a pivotal moment in American history. During this time, the Industrial Revolution transformed the nation, railroads had dissipated all throughout the country, and economic classes began to form, separating the wealthy from the poor. One of the wealthiest men of this generation was Andrew Carnegie, a Scottish immigrant who fled to America to make millions off the railroad, oil and even steel businesses. Carnegie is considered one of the richest men in history, and even with all that wealth he decided to give back to the community. As a matter of fact, Carnegie donated most of his funds to charities, universities and libraries in his last few years. He believed that if the wealthy don't give back some of their profits to the community, they are living a dishonorable life, and although I didn't necessarily agree with this radical viewpoint at first, I now am a firm believer in Carnegie's argument about wealth.
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. Also, it was a period of fast economic development, but also much social struggle.
Imagine working sixteen hours a day in an unsanitary, dangerous, place for a big business gaining two dollars.This is what laboring-class Americans had to go through during the Gilded age. Politically, the first largest American labor union was formed during the Gilded age and many other organizations formed as well as violent strikes.Socially, different ethnics joined together to share their thoughts and realize the evils of big business and of the federal government. Mentally, most we 're losing their personal life while some were financially stable and glad. During the Gilded Age laboring-class Americans attempted to better their lives in the power of big businesses and the federal government. Many different attempts were taken by the laboring-class Americans but they were more successful uniting to become one. To obtain an eight hour work day, paid sick days, health care, sanitary conditions, and higher pay.
The end of the reconstruction era gave rise to the gilded age. The gilded age was a time of economic growth. It was the second industrial revolution, urbanization, immigration and political/economic corruption. The congress and the big business were more influential than the presidency. The term ‘Gilded Age’ was termed by Mark Twain who described the wealthy who were covered in a ‘layer of gold’, a superficial layer can be peeled and reveals unpleasant things. The period from 1870 to 1900, big businesses governed by Robber Barons sprung up and took control of the economy and the political system that governed the American People. The American people responded by forming labor unions and tried to improve the plight of the poor.
The time period from when the Second Industrial Revolution was beginning, up until President McKinley’s assassination in 1901, is known as the Gilded Age. After the Civil War, many people headed out West to pursue agriculture, and many immigrants moved to urban areas to acquire jobs in industrial factories. It is in this context that farmers and industrial workers had to respond to industrialization. Two significant ways farmers and industrial workers responded to industrialization in the Gilded Age, were creating the Populist Party and the American Federation of Labor (AFL).
The Gilded Age was to describe America in the late nineteenth century. The outside of the US seemed glamorous and splendid alongside industrial development and massive economic growth. However, the dark sides were hidden beneath it.
In Andrew Carnegie’s “Gospel of Wealth”, Carnegie proposed a system of which he thought was best to dispose of “surplus wealth” through progress of the nation. Carnegie wanted to create opportunities for people “lift themselves up” rather than directly give money to these people. This was because he considered that giving money to these people would be “improper spending”. Through Social Darwinism, he hoped to dispose of the problems of: the Darwinian intellectual revolution, Eugenies, and the hierarchy of race. However his system was inherently flawed because Carnegie built this system on racism and warmongering. This system was built to rationalize why the fittest class, or the white Anglo-saxon men, were always on top.