The era that marked the end of civil war and the beginning of the twentieth century in the united states of America was coupled with enormous economic and industrial developments that attracted diverse views and different arguments on what exactly acquisition of wealth implied on the social classes in the society. It was during this time that the Marxist and those who embraced his ideologies came out strongly to argue their position on what industrial revolution should imply in an economic world like America. In fact, there was a rapid rise in the gross national product of the United States between 1874 and 1883. This actually sparked remarkable consequences on the political, social and economic impacts. In fact, the social rejoinder to industrialization had extensive consequences on the American society. This led to the emergence of social reform movements to discourse on the needs of the industrialized society. Various theories were developed to rationalize the widening gap between the rich and the poor. Various reformers like Andrew Carnegie, Henry George and William Graham Sumner perceived the view on the obligation of the wealthy differently. This paper seeks to address on the different views held by these prominent people during this time of historical transformations.
The view on the wealthy in the society was different from one person to another and this actually led to publications and criticisms one after another. Actually the discovery of new economic opportunities made United States to be viewed as a land of economic glory and prosperity. This in turn attracted more people from different parts of the world. Ironically, some of the optimistic immigrants got overly involved relentless poverty and had to struggle for cont...
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...at George Henry, like many other reformers of the time believed that efforts to create a balance in the society should not compromise or interfere with any individual or a particular class in the society (Johnson).
In a nutshell, it can be argued that in the event of serious economic developments, various people and groups held different views of what exactly a wealthy society should be. It is crystal clear that Andrew Carnegie and William Graham Sumner held same view on wealth accumulation whereas Henry George strongly advocated for policies that would enhance equality.
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Johnson, Michael P. Reading the American Past. Bedford: St. Martins, 2012.
Sumner, William Graham. What Social Classes Owe to Each Other. New York: Harper & Brothers, 1883.
Accurately established by many historians, the capitalists who shaped post-Civil War industrial America were regarded as corrupt “robber barons”. In a society in which there was a severe imbalance in the dynamics of the economy, these selfish individuals viewed this as an opportunity to advance in their financial status. Thus, they acquired fortunes for themselves while purposely overseeing the struggles of the people around them. Presented in Document A, “as liveried carriage appear; so do barefooted children”, proved to be a true description of life during the 19th century. In hopes of rebuilding America, the capitalists’ hunger for wealth only widened the gap between the rich and poor.
...ith a clear distinction in wealthy and property between the rich and poor. Finally, the new nation changed with an increased responsive towards the underrepresented when the Bill of Rights was drafted to protect the individual liberties of the people. The situation the people in the new nation faced can extend to today’s problems in the United States. Big name corporations with a lot of money can lobby to protect their economic interests just like the elites writing the Constitution and making laws in order to protect their wealth. The hierarchical society in the late 1700s is still alive today with a small number of fabulously wealthy elite that pass down their wealth to their children, and then the people facing poverty and are living off of minimum wage. There are attempts to respond to the people needs just like in late 1700s because welfare to those who need it.
Time and time again we hear politicians and office holders preach the need for a powerful middle-class. You may then be surprised to hear that “about 82% of America’s net worth belongs to the top 20%, the next 80% of people only own about 18% of America’s wealth” (UCSC). Some may argue that this disproportion is the beauty of capitalism, the chance to create an empire. I argue that the proportions are simply unfair. Why is it that “ the average CEO makes 350X as much as his/her employee” (UCSC)?
...y as “the root of all evil” would be too simplistic; what she suggests, rather, is that the distribution of wealth in mid-nineteenth-century America was uneven, and that those with money did little to effectively aid the workers whose exploitation made them rich in the first place. In her portrayals of Mitchell and the “Christian reformer” whose sermon Hugh hears (24), she even suggests that reformers, often wealthy themselves, have no useful perspective on the social ills they desire to reform. Money, she seems to suggest, provides for the rich a numbing comfort that distances them from the sufferings of laborers like Hugh: like Kirby, they see such laborers as necessary cogs in the economic machinery, rather than as fellow human beings whose human desires for the comfort, beauty, and kindness that money promises may drive them to destroy their own humanity.
The want for wealth saturates everyone’s mind at one point or another. Almost everyone dreams of having the large mansion near the beach, the multiple cars, etc., but this money does not just come, it either has to be inherited or earned. During the 1800s, most wealth was inherited, but there were a few self-made men that worked their way from the bottom to the top in order to become wealthy. One man in particular influenced wealthy men to come like Andrew Carnegie and Rockefeller. He was able to begin many of the ideas brought about during the Gilded Age because not only was he a major influence in society, but he greatly changed the economy and the industries he was involved in during that time. Lastly, he modernized commerce for businessmen to come. Cornelius Vanderbilt has become one of the most famous names in American history because of the everlasting positive changes he introduced to the country. Cornelius Vanderbilt was an inspiration for future wealthy personas of the Gilded Age because he fought to limit competition in the developing railroad and steamboat industries; his tactics in these industries lead him to great wealth, which helped him wield enormous power and influence over the American economy and politics.
The time period from 1860 to 1914 is defined by the surfacing of the "mass societies." The social order practically ignored the industrial proletariat and the foundation for a reform was laid. The industrial proletariat refers to all the workers who desperately depended on their wages. These people had absolutely no role in politics or in society in general. Even as late as 1860, the workers had to depend on themselves only to improve their social conditions. During the Industrial Revolution, as the number of machines mu...
The rapid development of global economy with the opening of new markets worldwide gave way to the development of new means of production and also to the change of ideologies across the world. Alongside with that, the division between different groups or classes within societies became more apparent as some people got richer and other poorer. These two phenomena, the worldwide development of industries and consequent class struggles, have been analyzed by two major thinkers of their times, Karl Marx and Robert Reich. Their essays have been influential and are similar in sense that they analyze existing conditions of societies and give projections on future fates of people, or more specifically, fates of classes. In this paper, the main focus will be on the fate of the wealthiest people; these are the bourgeois for Marx and symbolic analysts for Reich. More specifically, it will be argued that the rich people will be in the worst position according to Marx and this position will cover two aspects: material aspect, which is how well the rich will eventually manage their properties, and the inherent antagonism of classes and its consequences for the wealthy.
The Gilded Age was a time period of rampant development in the American Economy with a policy that minimized the intervention of the government in economic matters. In the late 1800’s starting with railroads, small businesses evolved to the point where the nation’s economy was monopolized by wealthy industrialists and financiers.1 With all this control in the hands of few wealthy individuals critics began to point out several inequalities among Americans.
This paper proposes to argue that the rise of Socialism in American society was due in large part to the reaction to the disenchantment of American citizens with their governments and the effect industrialization had on society. This historian proposes that while the victim of a great deal of opposition, the Socialist movement contributed to a number of the reforms made during the Progressive era. The historical evidence will show that many of the beliefs that drove the reforms of the era were propagated by individuals and groups associated with the Socialist movement in America, and that it affected all geographical regions of the United States, though some more than others. Ultimately the goal is to show how Socialism, despite being considered in some circle anathema to being American, was heavily involved in shaping society in the twenti...
...ution, a thriving American economy as well as dreams of escaping famine and oppression led immigrants to America. To the eyes of an endangered family that waits everyday to escape the pangs of hunger, America was a better life, and an almost unreachable goal. To the families that persevered, a new life may have awaited them; but for others, America may have held only poverty and hard labor. Interestingly, this is what the industrialized dream of America granted: chance; not a guarantee, nor even an opportunity in the strictest sense; just a chance. Through the Industrial Revolutions, more jobs were created; with the addition of more jobs, hopeful foreigners could immigrate. With the presence of multiple, well-defined cultural groups America began to diversify, continuing her expansion and paving the way for more people who only held a dream for an opportunity.
Jefferson, secretary of state, and Hamilton, secretary of the treasury, had different ideas on almost every topic. It mainly seemed to do with how they viewed people in general, and their ability to govern themselves. Hamilton basically thought that ordinary people weren’t intelligent enough to run the country, and therefore he felt that a few professional politicians should run the government (Davis 86). He brought this topic up at the Constitutional Convention by saying that people divided themselves into two groups, “the wealthy and well born” and “the mass of the people.” He went on to say that “the people are turbulent and changing” and “they seldo...
The inequalities in America during the gilded age came from an unequal distribution of wealth, leaving only a small percentage of individuals with riches while the rest suffered in poverty even with constant overproduction of everyday necessities. People argued that social darwinism would chose who was meant to be rich and the survival of the fittest would deem who was better than the rest. From 1870-1895, journalists and critics dismantled the inequality during the period and some offer their own solutions.
Everyone has his or her own ideas of how wealth should be distributed properly. Some people believe wealth should be left to family, left for public services, or become the property of others. Others believe that people should not have excess wealth, resulting in non-existent class distinctions. An alternative view is that wealth is not distributed; instead, the wealthy continue to grow wealthier while those in poverty can not escape it and fall further into a life of poverty. The beliefs discussed above come from three different writers. Those writers include Andrew Carnegie, Karl Marx, and Robert B. Reich. These writers all have different opinions on how wealth should be distributed properly.
The purpose of this paper is to explain and evaluate wealth and poverty in the United States and explain the differences between people that may or may not cause a disparity in wealth distribution within the United States. The topics addressed within the brief include ethnicity, culture, job placement, class, education/libraries, wealth distribution, and subgroups of modern poverty. Not everyone who is considered impoverished is equal and many factors exist to show a discrepancy between the impoverished. Education is a key element in distinguishing the impoverished from the wealthy, but also distinguishing between the levels of impoverished. The library system benefits the community and the person seeking an education and can turn poverty