Presentation on theme: "The Gilded Age " What is the chief end of man?--to get rich. In what way?--dishonestly if we can; honestly if we must." -- Mark Twain-1871."— Presentation transcript:
The Gilded Age " What is the chief end of man?--to get rich. In what way?--dishonestly if we can; honestly if we must." -- Mark Twain-1871
A novel by Mark Twain and Charles Dudley Warner, which explores political and economic corruption in the United States. The central characters, Colonel Beriah Sellers and Senator Abner Dilworthy, are tied together in a government railroad bribery scheme. Twain and Warner depict an American society that, despite its appearance of promise and prosperity, is riddled with corruption and scandal.
Definition of the Gilded Age Rooted in industrialization, especially heavy industry like factories, railroads and coal mining All this industry produced a lot of wealth for a number of businessmen like John D. Rockefeller (in oil) and Andrew Carnegie (in steel)
Two concepts/ideas to keep in mind 1.Laissez-faire opposed government intervention in economic affairs. 2. Concentration of Power Government held power and authority (local, state, federal). Expanded power into land policy, railroad subsides, tax/tariffs, immigration and Indian policy
During the Gilded Age, American manufacturing production surpassed the combined total of Great Britain, Germany, and France. Railroad mileage tripled between 1860 and 1880, and tripled again by 1920, opening new areas to commercial farming. What two things MUST I have for trains to be successful? 1. 2.
Railroad Scandal!! Credit Mobilier "The Credit Mobilier scandal of 1872-1873 damaged the careers of several Gilded Age politicians. Major stockholders in the Union Pacific Railroad formed a company, the Credit Mobilier of America, and gave it contracts to build the railroad. They sold or gave shares in this construction to influential congressmen. It was a lucrative deal for the congressmen, because they helped themselves by approving federal subsidies for the cost of railroad construction without paying much attention to expenses, enabling railroad builders to make huge profits.
TRUSTS By 1900, the process of economic concentration had extended into most branches of industry—a few large corporations, called "trusts", dominated in Steel Oil Sugar Meatpacking and manufacture of agriculture machinery.
Labor and Industry Mechanization of industry is a major mark of the Gilded Age's search for cheaper ways to create more product This mechanization made some factories an assemblage of unskilled laborers performing simple and repetitive tasks under the direction of skilled foremen and engineers.
Development of Labor Unions Poor working conditions lead to the formation of labor unions (Think back to that idea of Laissez-faire). Low wages Long hours Unsafe work environment Company towns No work protection (unfair termination)
The creation of labor unions in U.S. was slow…….why do you think this was the case? Unions Knights of Labor American Federation of Labor Industrial Workers of the World
Two Events that helped establish the power of labor unions The Haymarket Tragedy The Great Railroad strike of 1877 Haymarket Tragedy May 1 st - 4 th 1886 Rally promoting the 8 hour work day Rallies were held all over the US. 90, 000 people in Chicago. Albert Parsons, an Anarchist and founder of the International Working People's Association, with his wife Lucy Parsons and seven children, led people down Michigan Avenue. In the next few days, 350,000 workers nationwide went on strike at 1,200 factories. On May 3 striking workers met near the McCormick Harvesting Machine Co. plant where a fight broke out on the picket lines as replacement workers attempted to cross the picket line. Chicago police intervened and attacked the strikers, killing four, wounding several others and sparking outrage in the city's working community. Watch the Haymarket video
May 4 th Peaceful rally…..police approach….a bomb is thrown into the crowd. (this is where we get the caricature of the bomb throwing anarchist.) Seven policemen and at least four workers were killed in the riot
Eight people (mostly Anarchists) were charged with murder. The jury returned guilty verdicts for all eight defendants, with death sentences for seven
In 1893 those charged with the murder were pardoned.
The Great Railroad Strike of 1877 Example of labor strike Martinsburg July 1877 Lasted 45 Days Economic depression 1873 lead to massive lay offs and pay cuts. Average railroad workers pay was $1 a day. The bounce back from this was slow Ohio Railroad proposed a second pay cut for its workers in a year. Strikes and riots spread to Chicago, Baltimore, Philadelphia, and St. Louis. Workers burned train cars and buildings (96 in total) The militia and federal troops were brought in to put down the strike All total about 100 people were killed, mostly workers.
Transportation Revolution Railroads were the field were many of the greatest Gilded Age fortunes were built Railroad mileage rose from 35'000 miles in 1865 to over 163'000 miles in 1890. Railroads became the knit which held together the growing nation, creating by their very existence opportunities for entrepreneurs in other fields. U.S. government made HUGE land grants to the rail companies as well as helped finance the construction, $48,000 for every mile.
Credit Mobilier "The Credit Mobilier scandal of 1872-1873 damaged the careers of several Gilded Age politicians. Major stockholders in the Union Pacific Railroad formed a company, the Credit Mobilier of America, and gave it contracts to build the railroad. They sold or gave shares in this construction to influential congressmen. It was a lucrative deal for the congressmen, because they helped themselves by approving federal subsidies for the cost of railroad construction without paying much attention to expenses, enabling railroad builders to make huge profits. When the New York Sun broke the story on the eve of the 1872 election, Speaker of the House James G. Blaine, a Maine Republican implicated in the scandal, set up a congressional committee to investigate." Source: The Reader's Companion to American History (1991) Put this scandal in your own words