Another myth surmised by many during the “Gilded Age” was that America embraced an egalitarian society. Yet, what newcomers witnessed was most certainly the opposite. Those who were not American citizens and/or born into wealth did not experience a comfortable lifestyle. For example, Thomas O’Donnell, a textile worker, experienced the agonizing truth of the ever present inequality and the predisposition to poverty in American society. As he stated in a testimony before a U.S. Senate Committee, “I went to work when I was young...
Carnegie’s views on the treatment of his workers are one of the things that he did that are considered unethical. For instance, during America’s depression in the early 1800’s, Carnegie’s workers were repeatedly asked to work long hours for little play; many unions resisted, particularly in the Homestead Strike of 1892. In the Homestead Strike, workers were angry about pay cuts and Carnegie’s
All ages got the enjoyment of life stolen from them in this rigid era. Lack of help would only ruin these people as well as the time period as a whole. Poverty wasn’t always a question, but came about with the increase of industrialism (Swisher 42). It was during the middle of Queen Victoria’s reign and was labeled England’s “biggest trouble” (Evans). The accumulation in population added on to the catastrophe by leaving more people to be replaced by machines and eventually become poor.
Historically oppressed Americans, the poor, female, and nonwhite, began to understand the impact education should have on their lives (The Gilded Age). Education freed the slaves, created a middle class, and decreased corruption in the federal government at the end of the 19th century. However, this new power created new challenges, because earlier forms government targeted those that are not rich or white in new, more covert ways. The cycle of poverty created for these individuals has made them targets to the judicial system now, that only a few are able to get out of with the help of
The Industrial Revolution, starting in the 1880s, had brought out the emergence of a middle and working class in America, which hadn’t really existed before. As this was a new group, they had no true representation. Companies at this time were used to exploiting their workers for little to no pay, as well as making them long hours all seven days. Because of this many unions were very reluctant, or even outright refused, to compensate their workers properly during the early 20th century. American workers saw what was happening in other countries, where worker revolution and civil unrest was taking place.
Another hit economically was that the price of cotton had dropped, which mean the crops that were salvageable had much less value than before putting the southern famers economic state even further damaged. The Farmers and some of their workers grew to strongly dislike and distrust the owners and corporations they did business with. The Populist Party had strong ambitions to overcome just gold coinage, but include with that the use of silver. The farmers found it unfair that there was no chance for them to improve their standings, with just the Democratic and Republican parties. In the late 1880’s, the Southern Farmers Alliance held a conference with the National Agricultural Wheel to unite the two groups into one.
The French Revolution of 1848 The French revolution of 1848 was, a groundbreaking war between then French people and their government. The people of France had enough and joined together, and attempted to overthrow the government. The system of the French government did not function in the best interest of the French citizens because of the economic crisis and the political differences between the upper and lower class. The economic crisis caused many citizens to rebel as their newly elected King wasn’t any help to their interest. “In 1846 a crop failure quickly developed into a full scale economic crisis: food became scarce and expensive; many businesses went bankrupt: unemployment rose.” (
Orphans were taken and put to work cleaning the chimneys, but when they got to big they were put back on the streets, and children often outgrow the job by nine to ten years of age(Price). They coal mines weren’t as bad as the chimney sweeps, but still many risks are with this jobs to. Children age five boy or girl who worked in places like the iron or coal mines usually died around age twenty-five. Non or little attention is paid to the children 's safety and health back then. Death was not uncommon back then because in factories the made children clean under machines even when it was running.
That was bad for the blacks and immigrants also. Many got put off as a direct result of the New Deal’s attempts to give the workers rights. Businessmen had hated the New Deal because it interfered with their businesses and supported workers’ rights. The rich people accused FDR of betraying his class. Henry Ford hired thugs to attack his trade union workers.
The prime difficulty during this time was not only the constant struggles between the gap of the rich and the poor, but also the extreme fights towards power and wealth. In 1873 Mark Twain and Charles Dudley Warner wrote a novel which was based on the satirization of the nations political corruption during post-Civil War. Mark and Charles then named the novel “The Gilded Age” Which is now the name of that specific era. Their inspiration for the name “Gilded Age” came from the procedure of applying gold leaf to stone, wood, or any substance that didn't have much value to it in order make it look more deluxe or elegant like. Twain and Warner felt that the name symbolized their idea of the late 19th century to be only golden on the surface, but when one would dig
The Populists called for government ownership of railroads, arguing that they were too critical to be left in private hands. President Theodore Roosevelt desired to have the government regulate rather than own the railroads. The Hepburn Act of 1906 gave the federal government the power to set maximum railroad rates. This caused farmers to lose land and got in the way of farming. Farmers absolutely hated railroads it was their top enemy by
Farmers were forced to by expensive machinery to increased crop production, which were sold at low prices and caused even more debt..In a vicious circle, their farm machinery increased their output of grain, lowered the price, and drove them even deeper into debt. In 1890, many farmers lost land due to mortgages. Farmer then began sharecropping in order to survive. Water scarcity and over-used land made it hard for farmers to pay local taxes. Farmers were hit with barbarous trust like the harvester trust, the barbed-wire trust, and the fertilizer trust.
Before the 1860s U.S. railroads were inefficient for big business to explode, and shipping goods wasn’t as easy before Cornelius Vanderbilt organized a steam ship company. He also controlled all lines of railroad linking New York to the Great Lakes. His strategy was to create a monopoly to gain wealth and power of all the effective railroad lines into one major company. He expressed competition and set unfair prices for the workers. The workers soon revolted and went on strike in 1877 due to the low pay and increase of work hours.
The Credit Mobilier scandal was placed between 1872-1873, which this damaged many careers of the Gilded Age politcians, but the major stockholers of the Union Pacific Railroad formed a compand which was named, the Credit Mobilier of America, which this gave out contracts to build the railroad tracks. The lucrative deal was for these congressmen because they helped approved the federal subsides for all the costs for the railroad construsction, which in this case they didn 't pay much attention to expenses, which was enabling railroad builders to make huge profits. But the New York Sun broke this story on the evening of the 1872 election. The speaker of the House James G. Blaine, was a Maine Republican he implicated in the scandal, and he set up a congressional committe to investigate this affair. The came to the conclusion that two of its members were involed in this scandal their names were, Oakes Ames (Massachuttes), and James Brooks (New York).
There were significant divisions between the political and industrial wing of the labour movement after the government refused to introduce a price referendum. The industrial wing, according to Maclean, was furious, viewing the government’s actions as a “capitulation to business and the interests of the economic class”. But more practically, Scott argues that it cannot be overlooked that “men and women were feeling the pinch” of the poor economic conditions the war brought. The economy contracted 10% in the first year of war, unemployment rose, and, while the average weekly wage rose 12% for men and 8% for women, this never kept pace with the rate of inflation. Geoffrey Blainey writes these poor conditions caused the “trade unions to complain that workers were the economic victims of war”, with growing tensions seeing 2405 industrial disputes between 1914 – 1919, 1.7 million days lost to industrial action and strikes, and rowdy women-led cost of living strikes in Melbourne in 1917.