Gilded Age DBQ Essay

916 Words Feb 26th, 2015 4 Pages
“The politics of the Gilded Age failed to deal with the critical social and economic issues of the times.” Assess the validity of this statement. Use both the documents and your knowledge of the United States from 1865 to 1900. Whether or not the politics of the Gilded Age failed in dealing with social and economic issues has long been debated by historians. Peeling away streaks of gold plastered on the deficiencies of the time, the cause of such problems can be unveiled. In finding a blame for the corruption within the growing economy and its demands on a wavering society, all fingers point to the politics of the Gilded Age. Heel to heel with the end of the Civil War, the Gilded Age was a baptism of sorts; it was freedom’s debut and …show more content…
Social reformer Henry Demarest Lloyd called for a “renaissance of [morals]” and a halt on materialistic desires. If the nation continued to expand without reflecting upon itself, the system would fail in dispensing its wealth. The tendencies of wanting to form a monopoly or control the formation of one created a spectrum, a distance between a choice of economic interests and social stability. By ignoring the country’s virtues in question, the government also ignored the well-being of its people. Citizenship was encouraged through the approval of unions and busts of trusts, but nothing was done to encourage the minority’s rise on the class ladder. The burdens and weight of urbanization was dispensed on the shoulders of the working class. Long hours within factories weakened their physical health and positive perspective of the industrial system. Addressing the relations of labor and capital, it became evident that the success of the industrial system called for a sacrifice of the laborers. (Doc 1, Doc 2, Doc 6)
Money-stuffed business owners steered the government’s actions during the Gilded Age like their own private car. Neither existing government parties found it in their interest to rid of the “grievous wrongs…inflicted upon the suffering people.” Becoming a leading industrial world power, it was easier to refrain from heavy taxing in support of manufacturers. The government’s land’s worth would be increased while the poor’s room to move amongst class ranks

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