The Positive And Negative Factors Of The Gilded Age

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The Gilded Age, a term created by Mark Twain, described the conditions of the 1890s and 1900s. Twain stated that even though there were significant advancements and achievements, the United States was cheap and full of corruption. In my opinion, this concept is overstated and too harsh. The United States did have its imperfections such as big businesses monopolizing industry and poor working conditions for employees, but the positive factors of this era outweighed the negative factors. These positive factors included the termination of the spoils system, growth of industry, and the creation of the middle class. The first positive factor of the Gilded Age is the end of the spoils system which was practiced by numerous politicians. The spoils system, also known as the patronage system, is the act of giving jobs to friends and family as a reward for helping the politician win the election. This meant that corrupt politicians could appoint people to government jobs without any regard for the person’s qualifications. On July 2, 1881, President James Garfield was shot by a Charles Guiteau, a spoilsman, after Guiteau did not receive the federal position he thought he deserved. As part of the reform …show more content…

As industry grew, jobs were created which pulled both farmers and immigrants to cities. New industrial and agricultural technology, such as the lightbulb and mechanical reaper, helped push for industrial development. Also, the Gilded Age saw a surplus of goods to be sold to the growing urban markets, and the innovative railroads allowed these goods to be sold across the country there were few limitations on business, people such as Andrew Carnegie were able to go from “rags to riches” and grow their small businesses into giant ones. By 1914, the United States had become the largest industrial nation, and this further proves that the Gilded Age was an overall prosperous

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