Populism In The Gilded Age Essay

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To what extent were the Populists of the late 1800s a liberal movement?
Focus of Editing: Passive tense and Word Choice

In the Gilded Age, as in any American political era, two polar views of the government 's role and power existed, conservatives and liberals. During the Gilded age, conservatives, then called classical liberals, held a political ideology that values the freedom of individuals, including the freedom of religion, speech, press, assembly, and markets, as well as limited government. This ideology ran rampant in the Gilded age, as seen through the laissez-faire methods the government held regarding; industrialization, trade, and social reform. It resulted in the manipulation and corruption amongst business and politics, with an oligarchy consisting of a few major figures such as Jay Gould whom held the
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The initial approach for labor reform included immigration restriction and an eight hour day for workers. To secure the jobs of the current workers, the influx of more desperate immigrants had to end, so an immigration restriction would protect current workers. Meanwhile the eight hour day would secure more humane conditions for workers, and allow them to do something outside of the factory other than work such as exercise their freedoms to unionize, express themselves, and take part of politics through a party such as the Populists to better the country. However, these Populist goals are a blend of both of the times conservatism and liberalism because, without the the involvement of government, liberal appeal, the legislation necessary to secure such conditions would not exist, and these goals protect the workers on an individual level, which is an expression of conservatism (classical

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