Social Darwinism In The Gilded Age

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The Second Industrial Revolution, otherwise known as the Gilded Age, a name given by Mark Twain, was a period in the late 19th century, subsequent to the Reconstruction after the Civil War. During this period American economy grew the fastest it had ever in history. This era was a duration of alterations in the social aspects, economy, technology, and government of America. These alterations marked a new, modern industrial society. National transportation and communications networks were established. There was also an enormous influx of European immigrants due to the wage difference in America. The success of the Gilded Age was mainly due to the wealthy upper class citizens. Many new businesses and corporations benefited the richer population…show more content…
Darwinism was the theory that was focused entirely on different species of animals and natural selection. Social Darwinism was the practice of natural selection on human society and the issues in it. It followed the perception that the strongest, or the elite, survive, and the weaker, will eventually be extinct. The wealthy citizens in America believed that they were superior, and therefore the stronger of the population and would flourish. They used their success as proof of this, and claimed that the poor were not successful and therefore they were inferior. Those who believed this idea also embraced racism and capitalism. They believed that the government should not get involved with “natural selection” by aiding the…show more content…
For instance, labor workers began to take their first strides to unity. Workers came together to fight for better wages and better working conditions. A group of people called the Knights of Labor formed and about 200,000 of them won shorter hours. They wanted to combat child labor and wanted companies to give better health benefits and medical aid, and after many strikes and protests they eventually achieved this goal. Women were also greatly impacted in the Gilded Age as the number of employed women skyrocketed. Even still, women were placed in unfair and unsafe working conditions. Many different unions, bearing successful strikes going after these conditions, emerged like the International Ladies’ Garment Workers’ Union. These battles for improved conditions delivered higher wages and reduced working hours. Farmers were another group that were affected in the Gilded Age. Farmers faced a great deal of debt because their interest rates were being changed. Farmers felt that banks were purposely targeting them. As a result of this farmers began to lose their farms because they could not pay off their loans. Another effect was the new machinery that was invented. These machines were faster and more efficient, so more crops were produced, which caused the price of them to drop. This did not help the farmers. The money policy also hurt the farmers. They wanted a money system based on gold and silver because

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