The Impact Of The Gilded Age

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What was the Gilded Age and why did Mark Twain refer to it as such? To help understand this question, one must know the meaning of the word gild. Per Merriam Webster, the term gild means to “to give an attractive but often deceptive appearance to” (Gild, n.d.). After the Civil War the American people had become tired of all the corruption and simply wanted to see an end to it and to have a stable economy. The Gilded Age was fashioned to be prosperous times for all Americans, promising wealth, and an end to past political corruption. However, what was supposed to be a prosperous time for all would become only a period of deception to many. The Gilded Age was the post-civil war period from 1878-1889. During this period of history, there…show more content…
In regards to positive impacts, the mass of immigrants brought new religions into the American culture as many of the immigrants were Catholic or Jewish. As the push westward continued, the discovery of gold and silver gave hope to many who were poor that they could stake a claim and strike it rich. However, unknown to them, their chances of striking it rich were slim. Hence, the California Gold rush. America also experienced major economic growth in both industrial and agricultural areas. On the other hand, were negative impacts as most people would not become prosperous. During this time the rich would become richer and the poor would remain poor and struggle to make ends meet. Many of the jobs that were available were dangerous, required long hours, and paid low wages. This forced many workers to live in “urban slums” where cholera, typhoid, and tuberculosis were found (Shmoop Editorial Team,…show more content…
The citizens of the United States felt they had the best form of government and culture and felt the obligation to expand it across the nation. Manifest Destiny had both positive and negative effects on social and political values during this time. Americans felt because they were experiencing such growth that God was blessing them and that by incorporating others into their culture they would be blessed too. However, greed eventually took over and the belief that the white man could destroy anyone or anything that got in the way of its progress led to many wars and lives lost over the acquisition of much needed land. Nevertheless, without Manifest Destiny and the westward expansion, America would not be the country it is

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