Greed In The Gilded Age

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Often times people confuse the difference between the definition of selfish and greed. By definition, greed means “Intense desire for something, especially wealth or power”, whereas selfish means, “Lacking consideration for others”. During the Gilded Age, America, often times characterized as the Land of the Free, attracted immigrants from all over the world to come live the American Dream. During the Gilded Age, greed motivated industrial innovation and for people to improve their ways of living. But with great responsibilities come great consequences, and the consequence of greed, people see greed the same as selfish. Despite this, the positives heavily outweigh the negatives.

During the Gilded Age, greed influenced the industrial innovation.
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Immigrants made the choice to come into America to have a successful job, and to live the American Dream because that alone increased their quality of life. John D. Rockefeller, America’s first billionaire and as “The New Tycoons: John D. Rockefeller” claimed himself as “The poster child of capitalism”. Rockefeller was not born into money, he earned it by living the American Dream and went from “rags to riches”. He was the ideal example of living the American Dream and improving his qualities of life because of greed. Immigrants looked at coming to America the same way, why would they continue to live at their home land and suffer, when they could live a better quality of life here? Greed brought them here, because they wanted better for themselves and their …show more content…
With all these immigrants making the choice to come to America, urban areas overpopulated. One solution to solve this problem tenement housing. According to “The Underside of Urban Life”, tenement housing made for “Mass-Housing” and “Much of the urban poor”. Tenement housing did provide a home for lower class people, but they had dangers to them. They had one passageway for light and air flow in the middle of the building that would get clogged with trash, and would allow a fire to spread quickly if the building ever caught onto flames. Tenements did not pass as eye candy either. Most of the time whole families would be living in just one unit together. This led to the spread of different diseases in urban areas. According to The Underside of Urban Life, “cholera and yellow-fever epidemics swept through the slums on a regular basis. Tuberculosis was a huge killer.” Despite all of the dangers, Tenements did provide shelter for families who needed it, and helped them pursue the American

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