The Industrial Boom
The Gilded age was an era in the United States from 1860 to the 1900 filled with corruption, unequal rights, and government dishonor. The United States was influenced by countless people and even machinery that molded the American government and its people. There were three major/general groups that promoted this influence of rise in industrialization. The first group was the robber barons and is the smallest group with the largest influence to the country. . Robber barons like J.P. Morgan and Andrew Carnegie were superpowers of the United States influencing the government and basically just running the country through their economic power. The second group was the government (mainly presidents) and was being influenced by the robber barons to run the country in an economic way and corrupt as well. The third and last group that was being influenced and promoted industrial boom was the American people and the ???new immigrants??? arriving in the country.
Robber Barons were the biggest promoters during the years 1860 and 1900. They were given too much power in the country gained first by the people and then by the government. With the stories of being ???self made men??? and accomplishing the ???American Dream??? robber barons received major attractions and support (in the beginning) by the people. Although they portrayed this to the people they believed in social Darwinism. This was their reason to make monopolies and pools seem orthodox through the support of the people and the robber barons received support from the government. When the government supports powerful economic leaders, corruption is the end result. Robber barons began to see a decline in the support from the people when the government began to take more interest in the money then the actual workers. Rail Road companies had the largest affect in the country. The ability of robber barons to increase the railroad mileage from 30,000 miles to 200, 000 miles gave them even more power in running the country. This increase in rail road millage was suppose to make cheaper transportation rates as well as more profits to farmers due to the new areas in which they can send their goods and sell them (document 2). Due to the corruption of the robber barons, they made high prices to ship goods and created monopolies as well as pools to eliminate smaller businesses.
The American government at the time was one of the biggest promoters of industrialization rising in the country due to the economic gain in the country. The government was dishonoring the United States people by taking sides with the robber barons for a certain period of time. When there were strikes done due to the unfair treatment of robber barons to the workers presidents (President Calhoun) would send federal troops in order to fulfill the needs of the robber barons instead of the people. During this time democracy was put aside laissez fair capitalism was being practiced. The only time where the government came into contact with changing anything in the economy was to stop strikers with federal troops. Other then this, government was in full support of robber barons. This was occurring in the beginning of the era. As the strikes and cry of the working class and farmers increased the government began to realize the corruption and need of government stability in the country. With the passing of anti-trust laws in 1890 the people and small business owners where beginning to reach some government support. The main purpose of these laws was to make business compete fair and remove monopolies and pools. Lastly republican dominance of the national government caused increase in growth of industrialization because of their great interest in economy (document 4).
The last group that caused an industrial boom was the American people and the new immigrants. The new immigrants came with an ethic seen in the United States but no longer practiced and also forgotten: the protestant work ethic. New immigrant came from lower and eastern Europe and included Italians, Jews and Chinese. Their religious beliefs and culture had a massive influence in the work place and during this era was the time in which religious rights in the work place was debated. The immigrants decision to work for low wages and long hours were immensely affective in this age because they made more goods for the country and made it keep rising as super power. Lastly the obstacle of American workers getting paid higher wages for fewer hours was overcome by the new immigrants working for lower wages and longer hours (document 6)
Industrial Growth in the United States during 1860 to 1900 was highly influenced by robber barons, the American government (mainly presidents) and new immigrants as well as the American people. Robber Barons made large companies and brought massive amounts of money to the economy and government. They believed that because of this they could run the country and do as they pleased. The American government at the age was very corrupt and supported the robber barons. They had laissez fair capitalism views and protected the robber barons by stopping strikes. New immigrants were like the replacement of American workers. They worked for low wages and long hours making industrialization rise.