Gilded Age Reconstruction Era

Great Essays
In 1877 Rutherford Birchard Hayes is elected as president promising the end of the reconstruction era. Consequently one of the most important reforms in American history has officially failed its purpose which was to integrate the formerly slave population with equal rights, like white citizens. This event officially defines the start of the “Gilded age” and although the reconstruction era was over a different version of the reform was underway. Americas focus shifted towards the uncultivated and sparsely populated west that needed to join the north/ east in economic and social ways. This was made possible because of advancements in technology like the lightbulb, telephone, and telegraphs while also the forming of corporations which helped …show more content…
In the beginning stages of the Gilded Age a different kind of business emerged, called a corporation where many people could buy a piece of this corporation called stocks and as a result they would get a share of their profits. A corporation made it possible to amass large amounts of money from investors (stock owners) in order to form bigger, more expensive businesses. People with the biggest share in a corporation became filthy rich while they neglected their employees by not paying them enough, forcing them to work long hours or be fired, and by not making the working environment safer. While politically prominent people would buy elections by bribing officials and business owners. The distribution of wealth was very unfair. While the lower class earned five hundred dollars per year the upper class earned fifty thousand or more per year in other words the upper class made eighty four and a half percent more annually. Due to the labor conditions and poor wages workers went on strikes in many different corporations. One of the most powerful was the railroad business and when they decided to cut ten percent from their employees wages in 1873 then again in 1877 while also reducing the number of people doing one job (which intensified the work) the so called Great Strike happened all over cities in Pennsylvania. About nine years later a …show more content…
Ultimately both Americans and immigrants became involved members of labor organizations and unions hoping to improve working conditions and wages. The first prominent union formed was called The National Labor Union formed in 1866 which eventually failed because of an economic depression and the second union known as the Knights of Labor failed to stay together because of poor management. They say third time's the charm and this proved true by 1886 The American Federation of Labor aka the A.F.L. was formed from smaller local unions and eventually proved to be a very effective and durable system. The American Federation of Labor was founded by Samuel Gompers and Adolph Strasser though Samuel Gompers was the leader fighting for higher wages, shorter working hours, and safer working conditions. The union helped organize and advocate strikes eventually becoming an influential factor in national politics, usually siding with democrats. Other unions formed include The Woman's Christian Temperance Union founded in 1874 which was a social reform focused on the abstinence of alcohol because of its negative effects, the National Consumers League founded in 1891 that fought for improvements in working conditions for women , National Association of Colored Women was founded in 1896 which focused on job training, wage equality, and child care,

Related Documents

  • Improved Essays

    While the labor unions were successful in achieving an eight-hour workday, when the panic of 1873 struck, working only eight hours a day could not produce enough money for families. Corresponding to the labor union protests, the rioting sometimes got so chaotic that the businesses would employ police officers and the government would send troops to quell the protesters forcibly. With internal conflict with members who were similar to each other and being the enemies of corporations, labor unions plagued the American worker overall in the Gilded Age because little benefit…

    • 937 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    According to Shlaes, “The government modified taxes to tap wealthy people the most, who could take it in stride easily. The rich, conservatives, numerous businessmen- and those who were all 3- vigorously opposed the New Deal”(2). The New Deal was President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s “unprecedented number of reforms addressing the catastrophic effects of the Great Depression” (PBS,1). The New Deal interfered with the business of the rich businessmen, and they were not happy about that. The wealthy businessmen argued that they had worked hard for their wealth and deserved to be rich, they refused to pay their fair share of taxes to help out the rest of the American people and the American economy.…

    • 1262 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Superior Essays

    The wealthiest Americans receive the greatest benefits, but they insult the rest of us by treating their tax responsibility like a game.” Again, the wealthy people that he is describing are the people who have either inherited the money, or so called “fake suits”, or are people who have made their money by climbing the corporate ladder of large corporations that have deceived average citizens to become so broad. We look at one’s reasoning, such as Paul Ryan’s, and think that it is easy to see why we should make the rich pay more. We could easily believe that they are playing games with us and we are simply a pawn in their enormous corporate scandal. However, one must ask one’s self, “What about the rich who earned their way of living? What about the ones who pay their taxes right, and they run a good business?…

    • 1472 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Great Essays

    Gilded Age DBQ

    • 1354 Words
    • 6 Pages

    The existence of monopolies led to business moguls, or robber barons, such as Rockefeller and Carnegie dominating a huge portion of the nation’s capital. With this money, horizontal and vertical integration was inevitable and soon, monopolies, trusts, and oligopolies thrived like never before. Horizontal integration being the buying of companies that sell your product to eliminate competition, and vertical integration being purchasing companies that make objects needed to create your product. “The Monster Monopoly” by Frank Beard depicts The Standard Oil Company which was a massive monopoly in its time (Doc 4). Monopolies dominate the market for a single object and can manipulate the pricing, as well, which can leave many citizens paying for overpriced products.…

    • 1354 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Great Essays
  • Improved Essays

    According to the article “The Great Depression Brings Economic Crisis” from the book Great Events, The Stock Market Crash of 1929 caused one of the largest economic depressions in the history of the United States causing many American families to lose nearly all of their money. When this occurred, the United States government did very little to help the citizens of the United States leaving families and the working class to fight for their survival. The Stock Market Crash of 1929 changed the lives of the United States working class as the crash caused money loss, job loss, poor living conditions, lower wages, and struggles for food across America for the working class during the 1930s. The Stock Market Crash of 1929 caused several losses for…

    • 1472 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Organized Labor DBQ

    • 901 Words
    • 4 Pages

    The Great Railroad Strike of 1877 became the first nationwide strike, which was caused by the wages being cut. It had occurred during the depression of 1870s, which made it more difficult for the workers. The strike reached to a serious point where federal troops had to be brought in and fired upon the strikers. Close to 100 people died in this strike. The image and reputation of the labor unions plummeted in the public’s eye.…

    • 901 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    The Great Depression of 1929-1933 was the longest, deepest, and most widespread depression of the 20th century. The Great Depression started in the United States, but it rapidly spread worldwide. On October 29, 1929, “Black Tuesday” struck Wall Street, which triggered the Great Depression. Many businesses and farmers were bankrupted thus resulting in more than fifteen million people losing their jobs. In addition, over nine thousand banks failed and personnel income, tax revenues, profits and prices dropped dramatically.…

    • 791 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    This shows how industrialization affected the social aspects of society because with the success in large businesses the rich became richer while the poorer class is left behind. Industrialization also affected society in that practices of big businesses became more corrupt. Big businesses started to use monopolies because of the growing competitions in businesses. Oil was a large growing industry at this time and ran many other oil industries out of business (Doc G). Rockefeller, the leader of the oil company, used corrupt strategies to eventually be the only oil company to rely on in society.…

    • 1115 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Now the average hours of work that an American has is 38.6 hours. Workers during the Gilded Age were treated badly by the capitalists and their management organizations. During the Gilded Age the industrialists prospered for mostly negative reasons. They drove rivals out of business and raised prices by limiting competition. They robbed the nation of its natural resources and bribed politicians and officeholders to ensure their success.…

    • 264 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Improved Essays

    An important event that occurred during the 1870’s was when workers, mostly immigrants, stood up to a 10% wage cut in the Great Railroad Strike of 1877, at Martinsburg, West Virginia. They walked off the job and blocked the train tracks until they were paid as they favored, but the strike took out their wrath on the Chinese since they were the railroad builders. (Tindall, 591)1. Jacob Riis was a “muckraking” journalist and a social documentary photographer. He helped shed light on the poor conditions of the working class immigrant in New York City, he got the attention of the middle class family and helped better working…

    • 1294 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays