Presentation on theme: "Growth of a new economy, big business and labor unions during the Gilded age."— Presentation transcript:
Growth of a new economy, big business and labor unions during the Gilded age
New Technology leads to new opportunities New inventions and technology helped fuel economic expansion Bessemer process, steam power, petroleum, electricity helped revolutionize society in that all these led to the creation of new business opportunities.
Development of the National Market Because of improved transportation and communication, the nation was linked together Business could produce and ship throughout the nation leading to mass production an larger profits New methods of advertising and selling were developed
New Types of Businesses and Economic System Corporations Businesses formed corporations Shareholders invested in the business by purchasing stocks with gave them some ownership and profits This made it possible for companies to raise money to build factories, purchase materials and start their company Free Enterprise System Government took a laissez-faire approach in that they did little to interfere with big business practices Goal is to maximize your profit
Era of Big Business Pro’s of Big Business Large business are more efficient, leading to lower prices They can hire large number of workers They can produce goods in large quantities They have the resources to support expensive research and invent new items Con’s of Big Business They have unfair competitive advantage against smaller businesses They sometimes exploit workers They are less concerned with where they do business and pollute the area They have an unfair influence over government policies affecting them
Laws Against Anti-Competitive Practices At first the government did little to regulate big business. However even under laissez- faire, the government had a role in the economy and protection of consumers Reformers called for action in response to recent corruptions Examples of government interaction and limits of big business are seen in the Interstate Commerce Act and the Sherman Anti-Trust Act
Workers seek a National Voice Knights of Labor Demanded 8 hour work days Unified all workers Called for higher wages Opposed child labor Wanted strict immigration laws Fell apart American Federation of Labor Separated skilled and unskilled Goals included 8 hour work day, higher wages and better work conditions Emerged as principle voice of organized labor force.
Government’s Attitude Towards Unions Most government officials favored business rather than unions Greater Influence of Business- Business leaders often gave money to political campaign funds, saw worker demands as greedy Protector of the Economy: Because more than a 20,000 strikes took place government feared that this would disrupt the economy. Troops often had to get involved in riots Public Opinion- Most Americans agreed with laissez faire and felt that business should hire and fire as they pleased. Others felt that the riots would effect cost of goods