The Importance of The Gilded Age and The Progressive Era To the Development of American Society

Better Essays
The Gilded age and the Progressive Era are time periods that played an important role in the development of the American society. The Gilded Age is a period of American history between 1870 and 1900. This term was coined by Mark Twain in the late 1800s. By this, he meant that this period was glittering on the surface but corrupt underneath ("Learn About the Gilded Age"). The Gilded Age is well known for its political scandals and extravagant displays of wealth. At the same time, this was an era of major achievements in the industry and economy, which significantly changed life of American people. The Gilded Age was followed by the Progressive Era which lasted from the 1890s to the 1920s. Progressive Era is well known for its economical, political, social reforms and technological inventions. In my opinion, The Gilded Age had a more significant impact upon the United States than the Progressive Era because it gave rise to new industries, created transportation and communication networks which provided the infrastructure for further development of technology in the Progressive Era.

One of the most important achievements of the Gilded Age was the creation of a network of railroads including the transcontinental railroad, which connected the United States from New York to California, facilitating transportation across the continent. During the Gilded Age the length of all the railroads combined increased threefold ("Second Industrial Revolution"). This was significant not only because it decreased travel time from the eastern to western parts of the U.S and vice versa down from months to weeks and allowed people to settle the central United States, but also opened new areas for commercial farming and gave an economic boost to steel...

... middle of paper ...

... .

4. Hyser, Raymond, et al., eds. American Anthem. 2004. Print.

“Learn About the Gilded Age.” Digital History. N.p., 3 Jan. 2010. Web. 27 Feb. 2010. .

5. Perry, Elisabeth Israels, and Karen Manners Smith. The Gilded Age and Progressive Era: a student companion. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006. Print.

6. “Phonograph.” The Edison Papers. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 Feb. 2010. .

7. Sawinksi, Christine, Diane Sawinski, and Julie L Carnagie. American Decades. Illus. Dean Dauphinais. Comp. and trans. Evi Seoud. Ed. Elizabeth Anderson. N.p.: Thomson Gale, 2003. Print.

8. “Second Industrial Revolution.” Wapedia. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 Feb. 2010. .
Get Access