The Second Industrial Revolution During The Gilded Age

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One of the first people to define the era that is now called the ‘Gilded Age’ was Mark Twain. He described the time period as ‘glittering on the surface, but corrupt underneath.’ Sadly, this statement was quite accurate, for the Gilded Age was sparked by the Second Industrial Revolution, which was a time of innovation but also corruption. Although many aspects of the country were being revolutionized during the Gilded Age, and some people benefited from the changes, these changes also brought about new problems for many other people. In the late 19th century, technology, inventions, sources of energy, railroads, and the market were all being revolutionized, which is why the era is also appropriately titled the Second Industrial Revolution. …show more content…

These businesses applied the concepts of horizontal combination and vertical integration. John D. Rockefeller was one who used horizontal combination to his benefit. His goal was to monopolize on the oil market by allying with every other company in the oil industry to form one single firm, and he almost did just so, controlling 90% of the nation’s oil with his Standard Oil Company. Steel production increased because of Andrew Carnegie, and his use of vertical integration. By purchasing railroad companies and iron mines, Carnegie had control over the whole production of steel, from the raw materials to the finished product. His control of the entire manufacturing process increased efficiency and decreased prices. Beneath the positive effects, Rockefeller and Carnegie’s business practices were loopholes to creating monopolies, so eventually, the federal government passed antitrust laws, which, in reality, hurt all …show more content…

Charles Darwin created natural selection laws, such as “survival of the fittest”, so when it came to Social Darwinism, the laws Darwin made were applied to humans and society. This new idea was supported by both science and Christianity, at the time. Carnegie caught on to the concept and wrote a book called ‘The Gospel of Wealth,’ stating that the wealthy men had a responsibility to use their wealth for the greater good of society. Although it appears Carnegie used Social Darwinism for good, many wealthy people used it justify class divisions and to assert their moral superiority over the rest of society, including the extremely poor in urban settings. In effect, racism, nativism, and the discouragement of unions increased in

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