Chapter 18 - PHS

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Chapter 18
Industry, Immigrants, and Cities
The Gilded Age
The Gilded Age

Term applied to late 19th century America that refers to
the shallow display and worship of wealth characteristic
of that period

Term was first used by Mark Twain

Used to satire people’s obsession with materialistic items
of the day
Great Dilemma

New wealth was being created, but poverty was
increasing as well

Dilemma of the time was to reconcile these
contradictions and provide opportunity for a decent life
to all

Philadelphia symbolized this issue in 1876
Philadelphia in 1876
Centennial Exposition


Celebration of America turning 100
People came to witness new technologies and inventions
by Thomas Edison and Alexander Graham Bell
Celebration vs. Reality

Country was in the midst of a Depression; Not a hopeful
time

Typical Philadelphia worker’s daily wage was $1.00

Cost of admission to the exposition was 0.50 cents

Many were forced to celebrate elsewhere…
Centennial City

Collection of cheap bars, cheap hotels, and small
restaurants

This is what most could afford

Had their own celebration, and it wasn’t fancy or
sophisticated
New Industry


Huge switch takes place
The United States moves from primarily an agricultural
nation into the world’s foremost industrial nation
The Electric Age

Steam engines and electricity meant manufacturers were
no longer dependent on water power

Management could now substitute machines for workers

This had a great impact on city life: electric lights,
appliances, store bought food
Electric Light Bulb

Invented by Thomas Edison
Light Bulb

Edison astounded everyone when he was able to get bulb
to burn for 45 minutes!

The race was on to see who could invent a way to light
the world cheaply and efficiently

Whoever was able to do this would gain a huge fortune

Edison would NOT be that guy
Elihu Thompson

High school Chemistry teacher

Look like Hutch at all?????

Purchased a company (which you all have heard of) from
Edison
Company he Purchased?
General Electric

Established a research and development division

By 1914, they were producing 85% of the world’s light
bulbs
The Corporation and its Impact

Corporation an association of individuals with legal
rights and liabilities separate from those of its members

Key feature? separation of ownership from
management

Raise oney by selling stock to shareholders
2 Advantages of Corporations

Does not dissolve (end) when a partner dies, as
partnerships did

Limited liability shareholders are not responsible for a
corporation’s debts
Share of Stock
Vertical Integration

Consolidation of production functions under the
direction of one firm

Meatpacking industry was a good example

Gustavas Swift
Refrigerated Railway Cars

He realized it was possible to ship meat from Western
ranges to Eastern markets

Eliminated the need to transport live cattle

Railroads were skeptical and were not eager to buy his
special railway cars
Oh, Canada!



Swift was able to convince Canadian railway to buy his
cars
Also built refrigerated warehouses in Omaha and Kansas
City
He controlled the production, transportation, and
distribution of his products
Was it successful?

Swift was shipping $200,000 worth of meat per week!
Horizontal Integration

Merging of competitors in the same industry
Standard Oil Company



Owned by John D. Rockefeller
Used threats and deceit to acquire competitors
Controlled 90% of the nations oil refinery
Other Examples of Horizontal
Integration

James Duke Cigarettes

Andrew Carnegie Steel
The Changing Nature of Work

Huge wave of immigrations into the United States looking
for work (Europe and Asia)

Received very little pay

Eastern Europeans made up 75% of the steel workforce
and were paid $12.50 per week

Corporations were making HUGE profits, but were not
protecting worker safety
Unsafe Working Conditions

30,000 railroad workers killed in 1881 alone

25% of workers at U.S. Steel in Pittsburgh would be killed
or injured

Those working in the Chicago meatpacking plants faced
terrible conditions
Chicago Meatpacking

Workers grew careless from fatigue and long term
exposure to extreme temperatures

Often worked rapidly with sharp knives

Would not notice that they had sliced the fingers off of
their numb hands
The Jungle by Upton Sinclair
The Jungle

Chronicled the killing floors of the meatpacking plants in
Chicago

“It was to be counted as a wonder that there were not
more men slaughtered than cattle”

Typical worker worked 10 hour days six days a week

By Sunday, workers would be so exhausted all they did
was sit.
Only had time to eat and sleep during the week

Impact on Families

Families moved closer to factories to reduce the time
spent going back and forth

Industrial wastes polluted rivers and streams near the
plants

Workers and families could never escape the filth and
pollution of these plants
Child Labor
Child Labor

Pg 473

In Pennsylvania, children were made to work in coal
mines all day long

Girls under the age of 16 made up 50% of the workforce
in Scranton, PA
No Protection

Laws were passed to prevent child labor but they were
rarely enforced

Parents who were desperate for income would lie about
the children’s age
Working Women

Women looked for work out of necessity (Page 474).

Men could not support a wife and kids on his own

Women were often paid less than men

In one St. Louis factory, women were paid $4/per week
compared to $16/per week for men
Prostitution

Some women were forced to work as prostitutes

They could earn 4-5 times more

These women were treated as outcasts

“Is it any wonder that a tempted girl who receives only
six dollars per week working with her hands sells her
body for $25 per week?”
New Invention

The invention of the typewriter transformed clerical
(office) work

Before the typewriter, men held these jobs

Women were said to have greater dexterity and
“tolerance for repetition
Nurturing Professions

Women were slowly gaining access to higher education

They were still restricted from high profile jobs, such as
doctors and lawyers

Found work as teachers, nurses, and library work
Responses to Poverty and Wealth
Jacob Riis

How the Other Half Lives (excerpt on page 477)

Essay on the poor in New York City

“The half that is on top cares little for the struggles, and
less for the fate of those who are underneath so long as
it is able to hold them there and keep its own seat
Tenement Apartments

Apartments in urban slums that were known for their
lack of ventilation and light
The Hull House
The Hull House

Most famous settlement house

Founded by Jane Addams

Provided the poor with facilities and education to help
them improve their environment and eventually escape it
The Gospel of Wealth

Thesis that hard work and perseverance lead to wealth

Implied that poverty was a character flaw

Some people fought against this idea, but the majority of
others simply accepted it as truth
One who Fought it

Andrew Carnegie

Felt it was the responsibility of the rich to set an example
for the working class and return some of their wealth to
the communities in which they lived
Social Darwinism

Flawed attempt to apply Darwin’s theory of evolution to
human society

Used as a justification for the growing gap between the
rich and poor

The fit survive and become wealthy; The poor are simply
weak
Believer of Social Darwinism?

John D. Rockefeller

“The working out of a law of nature and a law of God”
Workers Organize
The Great Uprising


Railroad strike of 1877
Railroad workers in Baltimore went on strike to fight pay
cuts
The Great Uprising

President Hayes sent troops to guard the railroad’s
property

Once word got out, railroad workers in other states
started to strike as well

In Pittsburgh, state militia opened fire on strikers and
their families, killing 25 including a woman and three
children
Knights of Labor

Union founded in Philadelphia in 1869 that grew
drastically after the Great Uprising

Welcomed black workers and women
Led the movement for an 8-hour work day

Haymarket Square Incident
Haymarket Square Incident

Police killed four unarmed workers during a skirmish with
strikers in Chicago

A bomb later exploded at a meeting to protest the
slaying, killing seven policemen and four strikers (100
wounded)

Eight strike leaders were tried for the deaths, and despite
a lack of evidence linking them to the bomb, four were
executed
American Federation of Labor
AFL

Emphasized collective bargaining negotiations between
management and union representatives

AFL did not admit black or female members

Went through two major strikes
The Homestead Strike
Homestead Strike

Involved Andrew Carnegie

Carnegie announced he would negotiate with workers
ONLY; not collectively bargain

Union workers were locked out and they hired 300
replacement workers Scabs
Fighting Erupts!

Governor of Pennsylvania sent militia to protect the nonunion workers
Pullman Strike

Ownership cut workers’ wages but did not cut the rent
workers owed for their company owned housing
Eugene Debs


Head of American Railway Union
Ordered a boycott of any trains that sued Pullman cars
Management Reaction

Railroads fired the workers who refused to work with
Pullman cars

Debs ordered all workers nationwide to walk off the job

President Cleveland issued an injunction and sent troops
to enforce it

Debs was arrested

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