The Gilded Age: The Role Of Women In The Gilded Age

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The "Gilded Age" represents a transition into a new era of history where American ideals were no longer voices that were kept quiet. Instead, the impacted classes came together to solve problems that had become increasingly prominent throughout the late 19th to the early 20th century . During this new era workers took a stand against the dreadful labor conditions, women fought for a role in society, and immigrants struggled to keep a clean reputation amongst the issues they created. Americans were becoming increasingly upset with the unequal distribution of wealth, so the working class voiced their opinions through strikes and violent acts. Women 's role in society became more pronounced as the task of improving public health was given to them …show more content…
There was no minimum wage set in place yet, and giving laborers a raise was never considered by the greedy employers. "The Wage-giver and the Wage-taker could not agree about the one dollar. And the works shut down!" (Illustrated American). This quote from the Illustrated American demonstrates the familiar order of events that occurred when workers demanded higher wages. The workers would ask for a raise, the employers would refuse, the workers would go on strike, and then the place of employment would prepare for acts of violence. "The Gilded Age" website gives several examples of similar events such as The Great Railway Strike of 1877, where workers of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad were refused wage increases so the strikers "destroyed rail property, interrupted service, and endangered citizens" (Labor Unrest 1865-1910). These violent events are examples of the transformation into a new era that America was undertaking at the time; the middle/working class was tired of the conditions they were forced to suffer through while their bosses were the wealthy few. The fact that the middle class was a vast amount larger than the upper class was a constant worry for these wealthy few, because they knew that if positive changes were not made soon the working class would come together as a whole and …show more content…
The necessity of police officers, fire fighters, and public health regulations drastically increased due to the overpopulation of urban areas. The poor wages given to workers in factories caused men to seek higher paying jobs that were often associated with gangs and violence. Many people formed racist beliefs against these new immigrants, such as Francis A. Walker who wrote "the foreign elements have proved themselves the ready tools of demagogues in defying the law, in destroying property, and in working violence" (The Atlantic Monthly). The gilded age rushed in a new era of American ideals that were not entirely proactive when concerning the beliefs many Americans possessed, but the solutions that were created led the country into a positive new time period. The website discussing immigration explains that this new generation of immigrants had moved to America in order to escape any social, economic or political oppression they have faced in their home countries. Immigrants had not migrated to America to become the cause of further problems or to be described as "persons having no inherited instincts of self-government and respect for law" (Walker). Diversity became another idea that Americans had to conform with when "the Gilded Age" led them into a new era full of

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