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The Gilded Age 1870-1890







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The Gilded Age 1870-1890. Gilded means to cover something of poor quality with gold What does this imply about American Society?. Mark Twain. Positives Industrialization Economic Growth New Inventions Growth of Middle Class and Suburbs Manifest Destiny . Negatives Working Conditions
The Gilded Age 1870-1890

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Slide 1

The Gilded Age1870-1890

Slide 2

Gilded means to cover something of poor quality with gold

What does this imply about American Society?

Mark Twain

Slide 3

Positives

Industrialization

Economic Growth

New Inventions

Growth of Middle Class and Suburbs

Manifest Destiny

Negatives

Working Conditions

Poverty and Living Conditions in Cities

Gap between Rich and Poor Increases

Farmers Struggle

Political Corruption

Treatment of Minorities

Wealth and economic growth covered up the many problems that existed

Characteristics of the Gilded Age

Slide 4

Middle Class and the Growth of Suburbs

  • commute to the city for jobs and shopping.

  • made possible by railroads, horse cars, and streetcars.

  • get away from poor immigrants

  • Quiet and healthier for family

  • Segregated Communities

Slide 5

The New Rich

Conspicuous Consumption- spending money just to show off wealth

Nouveau Riche

Slide 6

Conspicuous Display of Wealth, Millionaire’s Row, New York

Carnegie Mansion

Vanderbilt Chateau

Slide 7

How did the other half live?

Slide 8

The Shift to the City

Urbanization- process in which an increasing proportion of a population lives in cities or suburbs of cities

Slide 9

MIGRATION FROM COUNTRY TO CITY

  • Immigration

  • improvements in farm technology meant less labor

  • Many rural people left for cities to find work

  • African Americans

Slide 10

a rundown apartment used to house large numbers of low-income families.

Tenement

Slide 13

“Home of an Italian Ragpicker,” 1888

Slide 14

“One of Four Pedlars Who Slept in the Cellar of 11 Ludlow Street Rear,” c. 1892

Slide 16

URBAN PROBLEMS

  • Overcrowded Housing

  • Sanitation: garbage was often not collected

  • Polluted air

  • Lack of clean water

  • Crime

  • Fire

Harper’s Weekly image of Chicagoans fleeing the fire over the Randolph Street bridge in 1871

Slide 17

POLITICS IN THE GILDED AGE

  • As cities grew in the late 19th century, so did political machines

  • Political machines controlled the activities of a political party in a city

  • The head of the Political machine was known as the “Boss”

Slide 18

ROLE OF THE POLITICAL BOSS

  • The “Boss” controlled jobs, business licenses, granting of contracts and influenced laws and courts

  • Political Machines helped immigrants with naturalization (citizenship), jobs, and housing in exchange for votes

Boss Tweed ran NYC

Slide 19

Political Corruption was considered to be widespread

  • President Grant’s Administration

  • Voter Fraud- used fake names and voted multiple times

  • Patronage- granting favors in return for political support

  • Graft- bribes

  • kick-backs - Return of money in exchange for a business

Slide 20

Boss Tweed and Tammany Hall

Slide 21

THE TWEED RING SCANDAL

William M. Tweed, known as Boss Tweed, became head of Tammany Hall, NYC’s powerful Democratic political machines

Between 1869-1871, Tweed led the Tweed Ring, a group of corrupt politicians, in defrauding the city

Tweed’s ring stole between 40 and 200 million

Tweed died in Jail

Boss Tweed

Slide 22

Does History remember the Real Boss Tweed?

Slide 23

CIVIL SERVICE REPLACES PATRONAGE

  • Nationally, some politicians pushed for reform in the hiring system

  • The system had been based on Patronage or the Spoils System; giving jobs and favors to those who helped a candidate get elected

  • Reformers pushed for an adoption of a merit system of hiring the most qualified for jobs

  • The Pendleton Civil Service Act of 1883 authorized a bipartisan commission to make appointments for federal jobs based on performance

Applicants for federal jobs are required to take a Civil Service Exam


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