The Gilded Age Essay

749 Words3 Pages
Rosalynda Toribio
Professor Metzger
AMH 2020
10 February 2014
Gilded Age: Golden or Not?
The Gilded Age (1870-1900) was considered the golden age of America. The term the Gilded Age was coined by Mark Twain and Charles Dudley Warner in their book The Gilded Age: A Tale of Today (1873). The Gilded Age had success, like the economic boom and the formation of labor unions, but the weaknesses of that era were far greater than those accomplishments, like the ill prepared government, the unequal distribution of wages and the racial discrimination held against the Chinese, African Americans and the Indians
Between 1870 and 1900 (The Gilded Age), the economy had a major boom. The United States went from “Lincoln’s America- a world centered on the small farm and artisan workshop- to a mature industrial society.” By 1913, America produced about one- third of the world’s industrial productivity. With the new upgrades, like the railroad and the industrial companies the economy was flourishing with the growing supply of labor, immigrants. The new industrial economy came with a price. The politics was ill equipped to handle the problems that came with the rapid growth of the economy. The Democrats were not for high tariff but the party remained closely linked to New York bankers and having nothing to do with the debt-ridden agricultural areas. While on the other hand, the Republicans favored the eastern industrialist and bankers also putting the farmer in the Southwest at a disadvantage.
Another major downfall and strength of the Gilded Age was the formation of the labor unions. The pay in the industrial setting was based on skill level, so the “economics growth distributed its benefits very unequally.” Therefor leading to strike like th...

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...gal segregation such as stores and streetcars, with a separate by equal status for blacks. In reality, this led to the accommodations and treatment that were drastically inferior to those provided for white Americans, organizing a number of economic, educational and social disadvantages. In the South eighty percent of the sharecroppers were black and poor.
The name The Gilded Age given to America by Mark Twain and Charles Dudley Warner does not fit the time period. The words Gilded in essence means golden but the Gilded Age (1870-1900) was not that. The Gilded Age had success, like the economic boom and the formation of labor unions, but the weaknesses of that era were far greater than those accomplishments, like the ill prepared government, the unequal distribution of wages and the racial discrimination held against the Chinese, African Americans and the Indians.

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