Social Transformation During The Gilded Age

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The United States experienced significant social transformation and economic expansion throughout the Gilded Age and the early years of the 20th century. The Gilded Age, which roughly corresponds to the period from Reconstruction to the start of the twentieth century, was characterized by rapid industrialization, urbanization, the building of massive transcontinental railroads, advances in science and technology, and the emergence of large businesses. Then after, progressivism, a progressive political movement that sought to address some of the faults that had developed during the Gilded Age, dominated the first years of the new century that followed. However, this new era of economic prosperity would not last as the United States stock value …show more content…

In 1886, the United States received the Statue of Liberty from France in honor of the alliance formed between both countries during the American Revolution. The Statue symbolized freedom and acceptance and was a staple of hope for many immigrants that were migrating to the United States. However, political bosses like William “Boss” Tweed took advantage of various powerless immigrants. William Tweed was a politician who led a group of corrupt people, gaining power through the manipulation and sacrifice of others. Along with prominent members and leaders, Willian Tweed ran a political organization known as Tammany Hall. Through this organization, many officials engaged in illegal activities and embezzlement. Political bosses like Tweed often got votes from immigrants in exchange for providing them with employment opportunities. Many immigrants migrated to escape political persecution, and famine to have hope for a better life. Even so, the rise of nativism during this period was enough to make immigrants fearful of their residency in the United States. Numerous Americans feared that the immigrants from China would steal their jobs and opportunities, …show more content…

One of the first characterized movements of the Progressive Era occurred after a fire erupted in the Triangle Shirtwaist Company on March 25th, 1911. A fire that enclosed the top three floors of the Shirtwaist Company killed more than 100 employees, after recognizing that sweatshops did not have proper laws or regulations that would ensure the safety of their workers. This tragic event led to the installment of smoke alarms, the importance of signage, and the need to have working fire trucks, all steps towards the Progressive Era. During this era, the economy was growing, industrial production increased, and the population boomed. This ultimately leads to the expansion of the consumer market, in which a new generation of employees emerged, specifically journalists. During this time journalists would write for mass circulation and would often write about the problem of industrial and urban existence. Lincoln Steffens is a journalist who wrote a series called “The Shame of the Cities,” in which he talks about how businessmen profit from political corruption. At the time, President Teddy Roosevelt who gave people hope and stability for a brighter future criticized this journalism and called it “Muckraking.” However, people like Upton Sinclair continued to write to expose the underside of American life. Sinclair wrote a piece titled “The Jungle,” in

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