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Life in the Gilded Age. Bellwork. Why is the Gilded Age called the Gilded Age? What are inventors? Which inventions do you think have had the biggest impact on our lives? Why? How does technology affect our lives?. Gilded Age. Term is coined by Mark Twain Famous author of the time

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Life in the Gilded Age

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Life in the gilded age

Life in the Gilded Age



  • Why is the Gilded Age called the Gilded Age?

  • What are inventors? Which inventions do you think have had the biggest impact on our lives? Why? How does technology affect our lives?

Gilded age

Gilded Age

  • Term is coined by Mark Twain

    • Famous author of the time

    • Tom Sawyer, Huckleberry Finn

End of the frontier

End of the frontier

  • Indians pushed into reservations

  • Wild West is tamed and settled

The expansion of industry

The Expansion of Industry

  • Changes in technology

    • Fuel

      • Kerosene

      • Oil

      • Coal

    • Iron and steel

      • Bessemer process



  • Steel is used for:

    • Railroads

    • Plows, reapers, farm tools

    • Food cans



Thomas edison

Thomas Edison

  • Made power plant/light bulb

  • With electricity factories can work more hours and be anywhere.

Other inventions

Other inventions

  • Typewriter

  • Telephone (1876) by Alexander Graham Bell

Mr watson come here i want to see you

"Mr. Watson—Come here—I want to see you"

Life in the gilded age

Bellwork-Answer these if you were not here on Friday. The rest of you BE QUIET OR YOU WILL GET BELLWORK!!!!

  • Why do we have time zones?

  • What is a union? What is the benefit of having unions? What are some negative effects of unions?

The age of railroads

The Age of Railroads

  • 1890=more than 200,000 miles of track

  • 1888=more than 2,000 railroad workers die and 20,000 are injured.

  • Built by immigrants (Asians in the West and Irish in the East) also African-Americans

    • Earn very little

Joining the nation

Joining the nation

  • Railroads link the nation together

  • Travel and industry increases

  • Time zones are created to keep railroad schedules.

Industry grows

Industry grows

  • Railroads cause industry to grow

  • George Pullman invents a sleeping car known as a Pullman car



  • Railroads were usually corrupt

  • Charged high prices

  • Bribed government officials

  • Made millions through trickery

Congress acts

Congress Acts

  • Congress tries to combat corruption

  • Supreme Court says they can regulate interstate trade

  • Congress passes the Interstate Commerce Act to regulate trade

    • Not strong enough to control the railroads

Big business emerges

Big Business Emerges

  • Businesses consolidate into big industries

  • These are run by businessmen who become very wealthy and become known as robber barons.

Government practices

Government practices

  • Government supported laissez-faire economics

    • Means hands off

    • Government does very little regulation

    • Result=very wealthy businesses and lots of corruption and little competition

Social darwinism

Social Darwinism

  • Idea that the best individuals will succeed

  • The survival of the fittest

  • Government should do very little

Robber barons

Robber barons

  • Andrew Carnegie

    • Built a giant steel firm

    • Bought out competition and provides of raw materials and transportation of his goods

    • Known as vertical consolidation

Vertical consolidation

Vertical consolidation

  • Buying out companies for every stage of the productive process from raw materials to marketing.

John d rockefeller

John D. Rockefeller

  • Another robber baron

  • Controlled Standard Oil

  • Bought other oil companies

  • This is horizontal consolidation=controlling competition at one step in the process of a product.

Other robber barons

Cornelius Vanderbilt: RR monopolist

J. P. Morgan: banking monopolist

Robber barons did philanthropy work

JDR philanthropy was attacked as "tainted money"; 1910 Puck cartoon shows him purifying it through a foundation

Other robber barons

Monopolies and trusts

Monopolies and trusts

  • Robber barons created monopolies

    • Where a firm controls all the competition

  • Also created trusts

    • Companies agree to work together

What s wrong with this

What’s wrong with this?

  • What’s wrong with having monopolies and no competition?

Sherman anti trust act

Sherman Anti-trust Act

  • Congress passed the Sherman anti-trust act to outlaw trusts and monopolies

    • Difficult to enforce

Working conditions

Working conditions

  • Conditions were terrible

  • Long hours

  • Dangerous conditions

  • Poor living conditions

  • Child Labor

  • To improve conditions formed labor unions

Development of labor unions

Development of Labor unions

  • Labor Movement: unions illegal until 1840's for interfering in commerce, black lists Federal Government kept unions weak



  • Knights of Labor: unskilled/skilled workers demanded reforms in child labor, safety, hours (8 hr day), equal pay for women

  • American Federation of Labor: skilled workers demanded higher pay, shorter work weeks.



  • Strikes resulted and usually ended in violence. Government usually sent in troops against the unions

Notable strikes

Notable Strikes

  • Great RR Strike of 1877: RR shut down, Hayes used army to end strike

  • Haymarket Square Riot: bomb killed 7 policeman, police fired on strikers

  • Homestead Strike: Carnegie hired Pinkertons to violently end strike

  • Pullman Strike: RR shut down, federal troops brought in and people get hurt and lose their jobs.

Business leaders react

Business leaders react

  • Unions were prevented by:

    • Not hiring union workers

    • Banning union meetings

    • Using the courts and troops to stop unions



  • On a piece of paper, in 50 words, answer the following questions:

  • Why do people leave their homelands?

  • Why do people immigrate to the US?

  • What problems do immigrants face?



  • On a half sheet of paper answer the following question:

  • Is America a melting pot or a salad bowl? Explain your answer.



  • Change from:

    • Western and Northern Europe

      • Germany, Ireland, and Great Britain

    • To Southern and Eastern Europe

      • Italy, Austria-Hungary, and Russia

Ellis island

Ellis Island

  • Europeans enter through Ellis Island

  • See Statue of Liberty on Liberty Island

  • Usually stay 5 hrs

  • Undergo mental and health tests

  • Requirements to enter: pass health tests, literacy test, prove they can work, and have at least $25

  • 20% are detained for a day or more

  • 98% allowed to stay in the US

Asian immigrants

Asian Immigrants

  • Chinese and Japanese come to the US

  • Chinese come to California during gold rush and work on railroad.

  • Japanese went to Hawaii to work and gradually went to the west coast (California).

Angel island

Angel Island

  • Asian immigrants came through Angel Island

  • Different from Ellis Island

  • Harsh questioning

  • Long detention

  • Filthy, ramshackle buildings

  • Confined like prisoners

  • More sent back

Problems for immigrants

Problems for Immigrants

  • Culture shock

    • Confusion and anxiety from being in a new culture they didn’t understand

  • Jobs

  • Housing



  • Settle in neighborhoods with people from their culture

    • Little Italy, China, etc.

  • Good: makes transition easier

  • Bad: excluding themselves, slows down assimilation

  • Americanization movement: use schools and volunteers to teach immigrants English and how to be American.

The great melting pot

The Great Melting pot

  • Melting pot: theory that US is a mixture of people of different cultures and races who blend together to become American.

  • Truth-many do not give up their customs

  • Might be more like a salad bowl

Nativism and xenophobia

Nativism and xenophobia

  • Anti-immigration feelings grow

  • Nativism-idea that native-born Americans are better

  • Xenophobia-fear of foreigners

Nativism ideas

Nativism ideas

  • Wanted immigration from the right countries: Britain, Germany, Scandinavia

  • Not wrong: Slav, Latin, Asian

  • Natives: Anglo Saxon and Protestant

  • New Immigrants: Jewish, Catholic, and Slav and Asian

Anti asian sentiments

Anti-Asian Sentiments

  • Chinese look different: physical features, hair, dress

  • Feared they were taking jobs away from Native born Americans

Limiting immigration

Limiting Immigration

  • 1882 passed the Chinese Exclusion Act-banned all entry of Chinese except students, teachers, merchants, tourists, and government officials

  • 1902-banned all Chinese immigration until 1943.

  • Asians went to segregated schools

  • 1907-08 Gentlemen’s Agreement-limits Japanese immigration



  • Immigrants moved to the cities this produced urbanization: rapid growth of cities

  • People also moving from the country to cities

Urbanization problems

Urbanization problems

  • Housing

    • Row housing-houses built so that they are connected and share walls

    • Dumbbell houses-housing that is shaped like a dumbbell (includes air vents in the middle)

      • People use air vents to dump sewage

    • Crime increases

Dumbbell tenements

Dumbbell tenements



  • Need public transportation for everyone

    • Horses create a mess in the street

      • 10lbs of manure per horse per day

    • Create street cars and later subways for cities



  • Need clean drinking water

  • Trash is in the street

    • Not uncommon to see a dead horse in the street

    • Children play in the street

  • Start insisting on indoor plumbing



  • Water shortage, houses built together and of wood=big chance for a fire

  • Both Chicago and San Francisco had huge devastating fires

Reform movements

Reform movements

  • Settlement houses-community centers in slums that provide assistance, especially to immigrants.

    • Provided: educational, cultural, and social services

  • Jane Addams founded Hull house in Chicago

    • An important settlement house.

Social movements

Social Movements

  • Women's Movement: worked for suffrage, temperance (no alcohol), insane, poor

  • E. C. Stanton/S. B. Anthony pushed for suffrage amendment

  •  Lucy Stone pushed suffrage state by state

  • Wyoming: 1st state to allow women's voting

  •   West more democratic: Colorado (1893), Idaho/Utah (1896)

Racial equality

Racial Equality

  • Booker T. Washington: self-improvement before racial equality

    • Racism will end if African Americans prove useful to society

  • WEB Dubois: established NAACP for work for racial equality

Life in the gilded age

  • DuboisWashington

Racial inequality

Racial Inequality

  • Plessy v. Ferguson: established “separate but equal” clause in 1896

    • Made segregation legal

    • Jim Crow laws develop-separates public and private facilities

The emergence of the political machine

The Emergence of the Political Machine

  • Political machine was an organized group that controlled the activities of a political party in a city and offered services to voters and businesses in exchange for political or financial support.

Organization of the machine

Organization of the machine

  • Machine was run by a boss

  • It was like a pyramid

  • At the top was the city boss who controlled jobs in police, fire, and sanitation, and controlled the city government.

  • They tried to help immigrant problems and so won immigrant votes and loyalty.



  • It was like the mob

  • You had to go through the boss to get things in a city: new businesses, licenses, inspections, money for schools, hospitals, etc.

  • The machine then got paid for providing these governmental services

More corruption

More corruption

  • To keep the machine running they falsified elections

    • Put in names of dog, children, and dead people

    • Had more votes than registered voters

  • Used kickbacks

    • Machine would chose a worker that contracted for a government job, the worker would charge more than necessary and kick back a fee to the political machine

Boss tweed

Boss Tweed

  • William “Boss” Tweed became one of the most powerful bosses

  • He headed Tammany Hall in New York

    • Democratic party in New York

William boss tweed

William “Boss” Tweed

  • Tweed-le-dee and Tilden-dumA Harper's Weekly cartoon depicts Tweed as a police officer saying to two boys, "If all the people want is to have somebody arrested, I'll have you plunderers convicted. You will be allowed to escape, nobody will be hurt, and then Tilden will go to the White House and I to Albany as Governor."

  • Tweed ring pocket $200 million from the city in kickbacks and payoffs

  • Newspapers and cartoonists attacked him

  • Finally arrested and died in jail

Politics in the gilded age

Politics in the Gilded Age

  • Grant Administration (1869-1877): symbolizes Gilded Age corruption

  • Hayes Administration (1877-1881)

  • end of Reconstruction allowed “Jim Crow” laws such as grandfather clauses, poll taxes, literacy tests to restore white dominance

  • Garfield Administration (1881)

  •   shot by disappointed “spoils system” patron Charles Guiteau

  • Arthur Administration (1881-1885)

  • Pendleton Act: required competitive test to fill certain federal jobs and made it illegal to force current federal job holders to contribute to campaigns

Politics in the gilded age1

Politics in the Gilded Age

  • Cleveland Administration (1885-1889)

  •   only president elected to non-consecutive terms

  • Harrison Administration (1889-1893)

  • great grandfather signed D of I, grandfather was President WH Harrison

    Cleveland Administration (1893-1897)

  •  Depression of 1893: severe financial crisis, government responded laissez faire

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