Wealth And Poverty In The Gilded Age

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The Gilded Age, from 1860s-1900s, is considered a time of economic growth, industrialization, and wealth. Slavery had ended after the Civil War, and factories and machines were replacing the farms. Like all things gilded, under the bright, shining facade of the Gilded Age, there were darker things hidden beneath. Greed, corruption, and poverty were prevalent everywhere, without having to look far to find it.
As with the gold rush in California, many people flocked to the cities in search of their fortunes. Names of men like Andrew Carnegie and J.D. Rockefeller are associated with the wealth of the times. Unfortunately, this was not the fate of the majority. Vast wealth was had only by a small percent of the population.
After being lured to America with hopes of
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The poor in the cities were not nearly as lucky. They had to live in appalling conditions. Most city residents couldn't afford rent on a nice place but had to live in the tenements, referred to as slums. Jacob Riis, an immigrant himself, worked as a newspaper photographer and published a book How the Other Half Lives, which shocked many Americans. It showed just how bad the living conditions were of those having to stay in the tenements. They were cramped places with few windows, and almost no plumbing or heating.
Disease was a large hazard, particularly in the poor communities. With poor sanitation and sewage flowing through the streets and into water supplies, diseases such as typhoid and cholera became epidemics. Sickness spread rapidly through cities from poor to rich alike at an alarming rate.
The Gilded Age saw many great things. The growth of the railroads, the electric light bulb, concert halls, city parks, and amazing museums. It was a time when anything could happen, a time of great invention and technological advances. But underneath it all, it was still a time of great

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