America's Gilded Age

Good Essays
America's Gilded Age

Simply by having different people with different interests such as is required for a nation to exist, a variety of conditions and situations separating the people is imminent. Often some are successful while others are not causing a view that the people are not all equal. Particularly in a governmental and economic system so competitive as America, this leads to contrasting interests, which in turn develop into a cycle. This consists of a rotation of periods for public development and those private interests. The cycles change due to a consensus of the people that the time has come for it. Each individual is a part of the larger society, which is maintained and directed by the government. "Society's purpose was man's betterment." The government helped to ensure this through its role of fairly distributing the resources that were available in the economy. This can be accomplished by making laws and regulations, which allow each and every citizen to achieve a minimum standard of decent living, competency. Once the government has resolved all major issues and the general outlook has improved enough for the government to reduce its level of activity, a period of private interest when the people try to resolve their own issues comes about. The late nineteenth century into the early twentieth, The Gilded age in America, was one of these periods of private interest. This era began after the election of 1876 of a president, Rutherford B. Hayes, who decided that the government should allow the country to flourish on it's own. The widening gap between the wealth of the upper and lower classes created a dichotomy that can be explained by the pattern of the cycles in which this occurs in private interest. The ideolo...

... middle of paper ...

...imself: "Andrew started at the bottom as a $1.20 a week helper in a textile factory, doing piece work"(Burner 417), so he knows that many americans need financial help. As their was such a wide gap between wealthy and poor due to the period of private interest of the Gilded Age, those at the top of the scale would use their money to help those at the bottom.

During the Gilded Age, people were working freely on their own because the government had become passive. The laissez-faire style of control allowed for the surge in the economy. The most important element that the government left to the people in the Gilded age was freedom of contract. The people were given he right to establish their own contracts through "Allgeyer v. Louisiana (1897), where freedom of contract was established as an essential element of the 'liberty' protected by due process"(Schwartz 148).
Get Access