The Gilded Age

Report
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Period from 1865-1897
Era of rapid economic and population growth in the United
States
Most famous for the creation of a modern industrial
economy
The corporation became the dominant form of business
organization
Term "Gilded Age" was coined by Mark Twain
Refers to the process of gilding an object with a superficial
layer of gold
Meant to make fun of ostentatious display
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1839-1937
Founder of Standard Oil (1870)
Adjusting to inflation, often considered the richest person in
history
Created a monopoly within the oil industry through use of
underselling, differential pricing, and secret transportation
rebates
By 1880, according to the New York World, Standard Oil
was "the most cruel, impudent, pitiless, and grasping
monopoly that ever fastened upon a country.”
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Provided major funding for a college in Atlanta for AfricanAmerican women, which became Spelman College
$80 million to the University of Chicago
Became one of the first great benefactors of medical
science.
1901, he founded the Rockefeller Institute for Medical
Research
John Davison
Rockefeller
John D. Rockefeller
Jr.
Son of John D.
Rockefeller
Responsible for the
building of the
Rockefeller Center
Rockefeller Center
“30 Rock”
Nelson Rockefeller
Grandson of John D.
Rockefeller
Former Gov. of New York
Former Vice-President of
the U.S. under Gerald
Ford
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1835–1919
Immigrated from Scotland to the U.S. in 1848
First job in the United States was as a factory worker in a
bobbin factory
Led the enormous expansion of the American steel industry
One of the most important philanthropists of his era
Formed Carnegie Steel Company which after later mergers
becomes U.S. Steel
Often regarded as the second-richest man in history after
John D. Rockefeller
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Carnegie gave most of his money to establish many
libraries, schools, and universities in the United States, the
United Kingdom, Canada
Carnegie Hall
Carnegie Mellon University
Andrew Carnegie
Carnegie Mellon University
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1794-1877
AKA “Commodore”
Built his fortune in railroad and shipping industry
Steamboats, oceangoing steamships, and railroads
Donated original funds for creation of Vanderbilt University
Cornelius
Vanderbilt
Vanderbilt Mansion, New York
Biltmore Estate, Asheville, NC. Built by the son of Cornelius Vanderbilt
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1837-1913
Financier and banker who dominated corporate finance and
industrial consolidation
Arranged the mergers that created General Electric and U.S.
Steel
J.P. Morgan
Morgan estate on Long Island
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Did their methods of acquiring a personal fortune
contribute to society in a positive way? OR
Were their fortunes gained through questionable practices?
Captains of Industry was a term describing a business
leader whose practices increased productivity, markets,
jobs, and philanthropy
Robber baron was a term describing a business leader who
became wealthy at the expense of the workers
Men like Rockefeller, Carnegie, Vanderbilt, and Morgan
were considered both depending on what point of view you
took
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Great Railroad Strike of 1877
Begins in Martinsburg, West Virginia, response to the
cutting of wages for the second time in a year by the
Baltimore & Ohio Railroad (B&O)
Spreads to Maryland, Pennsylvania, Illinois, and Missouri
Strike lost momentum when President Hayes sent federal
troops from city to city.
Troops suppressed strike after strike
Approximately 45 days after it had started, it ended.
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Haymarket Affair AKA Haymarket Riot
Chicago, May 4, 1886
Began as a rally for striking workers (8 hour workday)
Ended with the throwing of a dynamite bomb and gunfire
resulting in the deaths of 7 police officers and 4 civilians
8 anarchists were convicted of conspiracy during the trial
Setback for American labor and its fight for the eight-hour
day
Mathias Degan
Chicago Police
Officer killed by the
bomb blast
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Pullman Strike, last major strike of the 19th century
Began in May 1894, Pullman, Illinois
3,000 employees of the Pullman Palace Car Company began a
wildcat strike in response to recent reductions in wages
At its peak, involved 250,000 workers in 27 states
President Grover Cleveland ends the strike using Federal
Marshals and 12,000 U.S. troops
Justified use of troops as strike was delaying delivery of U.S. Mail
Labor Day became a federal holiday in 1894 (Legislation was
pushed through Congress 6 days after the strike to appease
organized labor movements)
George Pullman
Inventor of the
Pullman Sleeping
Car
Also known for
utilization of
violent methods
against striking
workers
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Founder of the American Railway Union, First industrial
union in America (1893)
After the Pullman Strike, Debs was arrested, tried, and
convicted for leading the strike
Originally a Democrat, became a Socialist while in prison
after reading books by Karl Marx
Founded the Social Democratic Party of the U.S.
Presidential candidate of this party 1904,1908, 1912, and
1920
Founded the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) in 1905
Arrested on June 30, 1918 for seditious speech (Criticized
Pres. Wilson and U.S. involvement in WWI)
Eugene Debs
1855-1926
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Established in 1869 by Uriah Stephens
For a time was the largest of the labor union until late
1880s
Initially against the use of strikes, preferred negotiations
Overall, poorly organized
Main objective was the 8 hour work day and legislation
covering child labor laws
Achieved greatest power and membership under leadership
of Terence Powderly
Eventually, most members left and went to the newly
formed American Federation of Labor
Uriah Stephens
Founder of the
Knights of Labor
Terence
Powderly
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Founder of the American Federation of Labor
President from 1886-1924
He promoted thorough organization and collective
bargaining to gain shorter hours and higher wages
Encouraged the AFL to take political action to "elect their
friends" and "defeat their enemies
In 1955, the AFL merged with the Congress of Industrial
Organization (CIO) to form the AFL-CIO which still exists
Samuel Gompers
1850-1924
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Presidents of the Gilded Age
James Garfield 20th President (Mar 4, 1881-Sept 19,1881)
2nd President to be assassinated
Shot in July 1881 by Charles Guiteau, a disgruntled federal
office seeker
Chester Arthur 21st President (Sept 19, 1881-Mar 4, 1885)
Grover Cleveland 22nd and 24th President:
Only president to serve two non-consecutive terms (18851889) and (1893-1897)
Benjamin Harrison 23rd President (1889-1893)
Grandson of William Henry Harrison
James Garfield
2nd President to be
assassinated
Metal detection
device invented by
Thomas Edison was
used in attempt to
locate the bullet
Charles Guiteau
Assassinated
James Garfield
Executed by
hanging in 1882
Chester Arthur
Grover Cleveland
22nd and 24th
President
Benjamin Harrison
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Political organization where an authoritative boss or small
group commands the support of supporters and
businesses
In return, the supporters received rewards
Power came from the ability to get people out to vote
Heavily influenced by practices of the spoils system
Voters backed a candidate based on the idea of patronage:
Favors received once person was elected
Candidate was selected based on his willingness to
participate
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AKA “Boss” Tweed
Foremost example of the greediness of machine politics
Head of “Tammany Hall”, democratic political machine that
ran New York City government (1858-1877)
Eventually convicted of stealing as much as 200 million
dollars from N.Y. City taxpayers
Died 1878 in jail
William “Boss”
Tweed
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Pendleton Civil Service Reform Act (1883)
Stipulated that government jobs should be awarded on the
basis of merit
Provided selection of government employees through
competitive exams, rather than ties to politicians or political
affiliation
Made it illegal to fire or demote government employees for
political reasons
Law only applied to federal government jobs: not to the
state and local jobs that were the basis for political
machines
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A faction of the Republican party:
1. Opposed civil service reform
2. In favor of machine politics
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Republicans who switched to the Democratic Party to
support Grover Cleveland in the 1884 election
Based on disfavor with corruption associated with the
Republican Party at the time
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Political cartoonist
“Father of the American Cartoon”
Drawings were instrumental in the downfall of Boss Tweed
Notable works included:
Uncle Sam
Symbols for Republican Party (Elephant) and Democratic
Party (Donkey)
Modern version of Santa Claus
Thomas Nast
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Roughly 10 million immigrants came to the U.S. during the
Gilded Age
1892, Federal government opened Ellis Island in New York
Harbor as an immigrant inspection station
Operated until 1954
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Construction of the Central Pacific Railroad mostly done by
Chinese immigrants
American Federation of Labor strongly opposed the use of
Chinese labor
Chinese Exclusion Act 1882, Congress prohibits Chinese
laborers from entering the U.S
Chinese immigrants unable to become U.S. citizens until
1950, however:
Supreme Court decision in United States v. Wong Kim Ark,
their children born in the U.S. were full citizens. (1898)
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1. Increasing demand for factory workers
2. Mass immigration from Europe
Causes population of cities to rise
New York, Philadelphia and Chicago experience population
growth over one million people.
Increasing immigration causes rise in poverty levels
New immigrants lived in the poorest urban areas including
the Five Points and Hell’s Kitchen in Manhattan
“Dumbbell tenements”: Law required that every room had
to have a window with access to air (law was averted by
using airshafts that connected the buildings)
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“The Wizard of Menlo Park” now Edison, New Jersey
Inventor of the light bulb, phonograph, motion picture
camera
Central power station to generate and distribute electricity
for a city
Fluoroscope: Machine that used x-rays for radiographs
One of the first inventors to utilize mass production
Thomas Edison
1847-1931
"Genius is one
percent inspiration,
ninety-nine percent
perspiration."
“
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Credited with inventing the first practical telephone
Both his mother and wife were deaf which influenced his
work on hearing and speech
Ultimately leads to the first patent in 1876 for the telephone
Founding member of the National Geographic Society
Considered the telephone as an intrusion and refused to
have one in his study
Alexander
Graham Bell
1847-1922
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Women’s Christian Temperance Union (1874)
Attempted to bring morality back to America by creating a
sober and pure world
National American Woman Suffrage Association (1890)
lead by Susan B. Anthony
Largest and most important suffrage organization in the
United States
Primary promoter of women's right to vote.
Carrie Nation
1846-1911
Pre Prohibition radical
member of the
Women’s Christian
Temperance Union
Susan B. Anthony
1820-1906
Arrested for voting
in the 1872
presidential
election
Fined $100 which
she never paid

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