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The Gilded Age 1870-1890.

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Presentation on theme: "The Gilded Age 1870-1890."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Gilded Age

2 Gilded means to cover something of poor quality with gold
Mark Twain Gilded means to cover something of poor quality with gold What does this imply about American Society?

3 Wealth and economic growth covered up the many problems that existed
Characteristics of the Gilded Age Negatives Working Conditions Poverty and Living Conditions in Cities Gap between Rich and Poor Increases Farmers Struggle Political Corruption Treatment of Minorities Positives Industrialization Economic Growth New Inventions Growth of Middle Class and Suburbs Manifest Destiny

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

5 Nouveau Riche The New Rich
Conspicuous Consumption- spending money just to show off wealth

6 Conspicuous Display of Wealth, Millionaire’s Row, New York
Carnegie Mansion Vanderbilt Chateau Carnegie resided on Millionaires' Row for over three decades, first in a brownstone adjoining the Vanderbilt chateau at 51st street, then in this four-story, sixty-four room mansion at 91st.The house was a marvel of modern technology. Outside air was brought in and heated or cooled to the desired temperature. In the sub-basement, a miner's cart carried coal along a railroad track from a massive bin to three large boilers. On a typical winter day, it took two tons of coal to heat the house. The Vanderbilt chateau at 52nd Street, designed by architect Richard Morris Hunt, represents the first influential grafting of European history on unseasoned American wealth. It was grand and gaudy, inspired by great mansions of 15th-century France. It literally dripped with Europe, instantly becoming the standard for the mansions of Fifth Avenue and the palatial homes of Newport. To some, however, it seemed a bit much. Critic Louis H. Sullivan called it "a contradiction, an absurdity, a characteristically New York absurdity."

7 How did the other half live?

8 The Shift to the City Urbanization- process in which an increasing proportion of a population lives in cities or suburbs of cities

Immigration improvements in farm technology meant less labor Many rural people left for cities to find work African Americans

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



13 “Home of an Italian Ragpicker,” 1888
Jacob Riis Home of an Italian Ragpicker 1888

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


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

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”

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

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

20 Boss Tweed and Tammany Hall

21 THE TWEED RING SCANDAL William M. Tweed, known as Boss Tweed, became head of Tammany Hall, NYC’s powerful Democratic political machines Between , 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

22 Does History remember the Real Boss Tweed?

Nationally, some politicians pushed for reform in the hiring system The system had been based on Patronage; 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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