Monopolies In The Gilded Age

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By the turn of the nineteenth century, American industry experienced a dramatic upturn in popularity. However, though this industrialization was crucial for America's economic development, it also inevitably led to social turmoil. Corruption was rampant among government figures, and they bribed people with money, jobs, or favors to win their votes. Referred to as the Gilded Age, this era was indeed gilded, masking a plethora of social issues behind a thin veil of economic success. The most notable problems stemmed from the justification of what was called laissez-faire economics, in which the poor were believed to be poor exclusively based on their own shortcomings. The abundance of disposable factory workers faced awful hours and were treated …show more content…

Unfortunately, these monopolies allowed companies to raise prices without consequence, as there was no other source of product for consumers to buy for cheaper. The more competition, the more a company is forced to appeal to the consumer, but monopolies allowed corporations to treat consumers awfully and still receive their business. Trusts were bad for both the consumers and the workers, but without proper representation, they could do nothing. However, with petitions, citizens got the first anti-trust law passed by the not entirely corrupt Congress, called the Sherman Act of 1890. It prevented companies from trade cooperation of any kind, whether good or bad. Most corporate lawyers were able to find loopholes in the law, and it was largely ineffective. Over time, the Sherman Anti-Trust Act of 1890, and the previously passed Interstate Commerce Act of 1887, which regulated railroad rates, grew more slightly effective, but it would take more to cripple powerful …show more content…

Try as it might, America as a whole had difficulty dealing with trust monopolizations, southern attempts at industrialization, bad factory working conditions, immigration, and unsatisfied farmers. Though some conflicts were fixed to the best of reformers' ability, the dearth of strong leadership prevented the checking of corporations, and as a result, people suffered economically. However, as industry and agriculture boomed, factory owners and farmers began to look passed the boundaries of America for resources, promoting foreign affairs, and eventually, bringing in the Age of

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