A Tale of Today What started out as a small hybrid protest-celebration in New York City in quickly spread across the nation, becoming a federal holiday in Greedy legislators and "forgettable" Presidents dominated the political scene.
Thesquare foot, room mansion was American history gilded age in and is now a popular museum. Gilded Age plutocrats considered them the perfect employees for their sweatshops, where working conditions were dangerous and workers endured long periods of unemployment, wage cuts and no benefits.
The leading innovators were the Western Railroad of Massachusetts and the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad in the s, the Erie in the s and the Pennsylvania in the s. Philadelphia The Philadelphia Library has digitized artifacts from the Centennial Exhibition in Philadelphia, which featured the wonders of the Industrial Age and exhibits from 37 countries.
Craft-oriented labor unions, such as carpenters, printers, shoemakers and cigar makers, grew steadily in the industrial cities after The competition was ruthless. It also offered English and citizenship classes.
Heating, lighting, sanitation and medical care were poor or nonexistent, and millions died from preventable disease. Many escaped their drudgery by watching a vaudeville show or a spectator sport such as boxing, baseball or football, all of which enjoyed a surge during the Gilded Age.
The Civil Service Act sought to curb government corruption by requiring applicants for certain governmental jobs to take a competitive examination. Construction of railroads was far more expensive than factories. Now that the fighting was done, these factories were converted to peacetime purposes.
Congress, the Presidents, and the Courts looked favorably on this new growth. Bythe small nation once seen as a playground for European empires had now surpassed them all.
But while the middle and upper classes enjoyed the allure of city life, little changed for the poor. Carrie Nation Temperance leader Carrie Nation gained notoriety during the Gilded Age for smashing up saloons with a hatchet to bring attention to her sobriety agenda.
The Web site, exploring segregation from the end of the American history gilded age War to the onset of the Civil Rights Movement, uses interactive features that enable visitors to learn more about the history of Jim Crow in the United States and the real-life crusaders of the period who fought against it.
A typical career path would see a young man hired at age 18 as a shop laborer, be promoted to skilled mechanic at age 24, brakemen at 25, freight conductor at 27, and passenger conductor at age The AFL was a coalition of unions, each based on strong local chapters; the AFL coordinated their work in cities and prevented jurisdictional battles.
From the ashes of the American Civil War sprung an economic powerhouse. White-collar careers paths likewise were delineated. Between and the s, however, Americans settled million acres in the Far West--more land than during the preceding years of American history.
Between andAmerican workers staged nearly 37, strikes—including some of the largest and most famous in U. These men used union busting, fraud, intimidation, violence and their extensive political connections to gain an advantage over any competitors.
Disputes erupted over labor relations, currency, tariffs, patronage, and railroads. From tothe U. The only parts of the Far West that were highly settled were California and Texas. And there are additional parallels worth noting.
Corruption spread like a plague through the city, state, and national governments. The growth was astounding. Everything was done by the book, whereby an increasingly complex set of rules dictated to everyone exactly what should be done in every circumstance, and exactly what their rank and pay would be.
By the s the career railroaders were retiring, and pension systems were invented for them. Some simply wanted increased wages and a better working environment, while others also wanted to keep women, immigrants and blacks out of the workforce.
The streets were lighted at night, and electric streetcars allowed for faster commuting to work and easier shopping. To begin with, they spent in ways that violated long-standing republican values of modesty and virtue.
In the Whiskey Ring scandal, politicians colluded with the liquor industry to avoid paying excise taxes.
The Tragedy of the Plains Indians TheNative Americans who lived on the Great Plains were confined onto reservations through renegotiation of treaties and 30 years of war. Much of the trouble lay in the immense growth of national wealth unaccompanied by any corresponding growth in civic responsibility.
But beneath the thin veneer of gold lay cold black iron. The Political Crisis of the s The s and s were years of turbulence. They flaunted their wealth and endeavored to improve their status in society while poor and middle-class women both envied and mimicked them.
The Populists had a democratic agenda that aimed to give power back to the people and paved the way for the progressive movement, which still fights to close the gap between the wealthy and poor and champion the needy and disenfranchised.The “Gilded Age” refers to the period following Reconstruction, when the American economy grew at its fastest rate in history.
Learning Objectives Interpret the major developments of the Gilded Age. Gilded Age The Gilded Age in United States history is the late 19th century, from the s to about The term was coined by writer Mark Twain in The Gilded Age: A Tale of Today (), which satirized an era of serious social problems masked by a thin gold gilding.
ANYONE WHO RECALLS the Gilded Age from an American history course taken twenty or more years ago would be surprised at how the treatment of that era has changed. Most historians used to hold a rather low opinion of the period. The Gilded Age: A Tale of Today was a famous satirical novel by Mark Twain set in the late s, and the term “Gilded Age” soon came to define the tumultuous years between the Civil War and the turn of the twentieth century.
During this era, America became more prosperous and saw unprecedented growth in industry and technology. And when lobbying wasn’t enough, Gilded Age industrialists turned to bribery and other forms of corruption, inspiring some of the most infamous political scandals in American history.
Digital History: Gilded Age Digital History features resource guides by topic and period. Reference resources include classroom handouts, chronologies, encyclopedia articles, glossaries, and an audio-visual archive including speeches, book talks and e-lectures by historians, and historical maps, music, newspaper articles, and images.Download