THE GILDED AGE IN AMERICAN HISTORY Industrialization, Immigration, and the expansion of Capitalism Explosion of Industry Three significant events spur Industry Edwin Drake successfully used a steam engine to extract oil. This began an oil boom. Bessemer Process:. Bessemer developed a process to make a flexible rust proof metal—Steel. Mesabi Range: huge iron discovery in the Mesabi Range of Minnesota Innovation: The Brooklyn Bridge Barnum proves the safety of this 8th wonder! Inventions promote change: Edison Edison Thomas A. Edison— remarkable statistics about his invention prowess! Inventions Incandescent Light Production and distribution of electricity Inventions change lifestyles Christopher Sholes invented the typewriter in 1867 A. G. Bell invented the teleophone in 1876 These two innovations changed the way business had done and the role of women in the workplace. The Age of the Railroads Transcontinental Railroad opened: May 10, 1869 The Golden Spike: Promentary Point Utah Railroad Innovations In order to standardized travel and make it more convenient and efficient. The rail industry pushed the new innovation of using time zones to standardize travel. Time Zones Multiplier Industry Railroads promoted other industries: Mining Steel Coal Car and line construction Growth of Towns Rail needs towns to sponsor lines and preserve order and stability along the route. Industry and packaging became boom industries along the rail. Growth of Chicago Pullman, Illinois. The people in the town built a factory for building sleeping cars. Pullman provided all of the basic needs. Prices were high rules were strict. . Violent Strike of 1894 Pullman Strike of 1894 Regulating Railroads A major goal of Populist Age Farmers angry with abusive land grants, inconsistent rates, and high discounts for large shippers (none for small farmers) Saw victory in the case of Munn (and Wabash) v. Illinois Interstate Commerce Act of 1887reinforced the power of the Federal Government to regulate interstate commerce. Panic of 1893 Causes Railroad co. financial problems—collapse of Reading Railroad. Currency problems Credit shortage (2007-8) Outcomes 15,000 businesses closed 600 banks 74 railroads Est. 20% unemployment4,000,000 lost jobs Panic of 1893 Rise of Big Business and Labor No one defined the age like Andrew Carneige One of the first “titans” of Industry (Robber Barons) to build an empire of wealth. True “Rags to Riches” story Steel magnate The Gospel of Wealth Carnegie and Rockefeller both created endowments that gave away nearly 1 billion dollars (at that time). “Wealth is like a stinking fish” Carnegie Most of their money went to things to better humanity such as universities and libraries. Vertical and Horizontal Integration Social Darwinism Philosophy of Herbert Spencer Built on books by Horatio Alger Social Darwinism Riches were a “sign of God’s favor, and therefore the poor must be inferior or lazy people who deserved their lot in life” (text-449) John D. Rockefeller Led to creation of trusts…competing companies who joined together in trust agreements run by a board of trustees as one large corporation. Rockefeller’s Standard Oil-controlled 90% of oil refinery in the US. Charitable acts from this “robber baron” Regulating Business Sherman Anti Trust Act Made it illegal to form trusts Prosecution very difficult. Courts dismissed most attempts. Emergence of Labor Unions Strategy As business leaders consolidated and united, labor began to do the same. Plight of Labor Labor faced severe hardships: Long work days Dangerous conditions No benefits Risk of injury and death Role of women and children Two types of Unions Skilled This group had more bargaining power. Craft unions such as the AFL Unskilled Had less bargaining power. Example: The Knights of Labor Results? Work week shrank and the pay increased between 1890 and 1915 Socialism and the labor movement Big Bill Hawyood and the IWW. “Wobblies” based their ideas off of those of Karl Marx. Strikes and Violence Purpose of a strike? Examples of significant strikes. Great Strike of 1877 Haymarket Affair Homestead Strike Great Strike of 1877 The Great Railroad Strike of 1877 began on July 17, 1877, in Martinsburg, West Virginia. Workers for the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad went on strike, because the company had reduced workers' wages twice over the previous year. The strikers refused to let the trains run until the most recent pay cut was returned to the employees. Haymarket Affair 300,000 gathered to protest police brutality. A striker had been killed the day before. Someone tossed a bomb into the police line Haymarket Affair Homestead Strike Plan to cut wages once again and hire “Pinkerton’s” to allow the ownership to hire “scabs”. National Guard had to be called in after workers took over the plant. Workers lost influence after this strike. Homestead Strike Political Machines of the Gilded Age “There is no denying that the government of cities is one conspicuous failure of the United States”. “The worst government in Christendom—the most expensive, the most inefficient, and the most corrupt”. Why so inept? Explosion of population Deluge of problems New York’s population doubled five times in less than a generation given the millions of immigrants that flooded her borders. Political Machines An organized group that controlled the activities of a political party in a city, the political machine also offered services to voters and businesses in exchange for political or financial support. In the decades after the Civil War, political machines gained control of local government in Baltimore, New York, San Francisco, and other major cities Organization The machine was organized like a pyramid. At the pyramid's base were local precinct workers and captains, who tried to gain voters' support on a city block or in a neighborhood and who reported to a ward boss. At election time, the ward boss worked to secure the vote in all the precincts in the ward, or electoral district. Ward bosses helped the poor and gained their votes by doing favors or providing services. As Martin Lomasney, elected ward boss of Boston's West End in 1885, explained, “There's got to be in every ward somebody that any bloke can come to . . . and get help. Help, you understand; none of your law and your justice, but help.” Help? If therre’s a fire in Ninth, Tenth, or Eleventh Avenue, for example, any hour of the day or night. I’m usually there…as soon as the fire engines. If a family is burned out, I don’t ask them whther they are Republicans or Democrats, and I don’t refer to the Charity Organization Society, which would investigate their case in a month or two and decide they couldn’t help them. I just get quarters for them to buy clothes and fix them up until things are runnin’ again.” “It’s philanthropy but its politics, too, mighty good politics…the poor are the most grateful people in the world, and let me tell you, they have more friends in their neighborhoods than the rich have in theirs… Another thing, I can always get a job for a deservin’ man. I make it a point to keep on the track of jobs, and it seldom happens that I don’t have one up my sleeve ready for use.” George Washington Plunkitt , Precinct Captain, Tammany Hall Getting Votes “I hear of a young feller that’s proud of his voice…I ask him to come around…and join our Glee Club. He comes and sings, and he’s a Plunkitt follower for life. Another young fellar gains a reputation as a base-ball player. I bring him into our baseball club. That fixes him, you’ll find him workin for my ticket at the polls the next election day…I rope them in by givin them opportunities to show themselves off. I don’t trouble them with Politics” Plunkitt The Boss THE ROLE OF THE POLITICAL BOSS Whether or not the boss officially served as mayor, he controlled access to municipal jobs and business licenses, and influenced the courts and other municipal agencies. Bosses like Roscoe Conkling in New York used their power to build parks, sewer systems, and waterworks, and gave money to schools, hospitals, and orphanages. Using Immigrants IMMIGRANTS AND THE MACHINE Many precint captains and political bosses were first-generation or second-generation immigrants. Immigrants The machines helped immigrants with naturalization (attaining full citizenship), housing, and jobs–the newcomers' most pressing needs. In return, the immigrants provided what the political bosses needed–votes. Graft NYC Courthouse example Cost 13,000,000—in reality it was a 3,000,000 project. Combating Machines Became the quest of Newspapers They attacked with little success in editorials. What got them were the cartoons “I don’t care what people write, for my people can’t read. But they have eyes and can see as well as other folk.” Boss Tweed. The Cartoons of Thomas Nast Exposing Gilded Age Scandal To A Unique Audience. Tammany Hall and Boss Tweed • Political Machines Dominate Local Government… • Certain Services are met and improve, but corruption is the order of the day. Nast slowly erodes Tammany’s influence A picture is worth 1000 words! Who Stole the People’s Money? Not Grrrrrrreat In the political ring Other creations… Symbols for modern republican and democratic parties. Uncle Sam, oh and… Nast slowly erodes Tammany’s influence A picture is worth 1000 words! Who Stole the People’s Money? Not Grrrrrrreat In the political ring Other creations… Symbols for modern republican and democratic parties. Uncle Sam, oh and… Tammany Hall and Boss Tweed • Political Machines Dominate Local Government… • Certain Services are met and improve, but corruption is the order of the day.