Gilded Age DBQ

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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…show more content…
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 compete with the price (Doc 5). While many companies invested in the railroad company and created contracts to receive exclusive benefits such as lower rates, the railroads didn’t benefit the public at all, because they were built by investors that only cared about receiving a “fair percentage” of the profit, and remarked that “the public be damned” (Doc 1). Many laborers working under these company suffered due to the reduction of “the price of every labor connected with trade” (Doc 3). While these companies became wealthier, workers became poorer. For example, the laborers working in the Ohio railroad company barred train’s passage to rebel against their third pay cut. All forms of strikes and boycott emerged in the nation since no minimum wage was set. The workers risked their jobs to…show more content…
With the rise of monopolies, small companies and farmers suffered immensely likewise wages were cutback which led to many strikes and boycotts throughout the nation. However, Monopolies also lowered prices for various goods. Wealth increased due to the rich investing it and expanding new markets, which opened new job opportunities for non-skilled and skilled workers alike. Many companies also made it their duty to improve the community by funding myriad
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