The Gilded Age: Justifying The Industrial Leaders Of The Gilded Age
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The period between 1865 to 1900, also known as the Gilded Age, was an era of rapid industrialization, immigration, and capitalization in America. After the civil war, previously used factories remained and flourished as manufacturing started to replace farming; which was possible due to vast immigration from Southern and Eastern part of Europe. With an available cheap labor source, businesses rose to great heights, and competition thrived. While companies thrived, working laborers and citizens suffered. Because industrial statesman expanded wealth and created opportunities, but also exploited workers, disrupted competition, and manipulated factors of production, it is justified to characterize the industrial leaders of the Gilded age as both “robber barons” and “industrial statement”.
This era’s primary economic system was laissez-faire which increased competition in the market until few companies seized control and created monopolies in certain industries. 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