So long as all the increased wealth which modern progress brings goes but to build up great fortunes, to increase luxury and make sharper the contrast between the House of Have and the House of Want, progress is not real and cannot be permanent.
- Was the rise of industry good for the United States and the American people?
- How did the immigrant experience shape American culture?
Videos and Summaries:
The Gilded Age:
In United States history, the Gilded Age was from the 1870s to the turn of the twentieth century. The term was coined by writers Mark Twain and Charles Dudley Warner in The Gilded Age: A Tale of Today, satirizing what they believed to be an era of serious social problems hidden by a thin gold gilding.
The Gilded Age was an era of enormous growth, especially in the North and West. This attracted millions of emigres from Europe. However, the Gilded Age was also an era of enormous poverty. The average annual income for most families was $380, well below the poverty line. Railroads were the major industry, but the factory system, mining, and labor unions also increased in importance. Two major nationwide depressions known as the Panic of 1873 and the Panic of 1893 interrupted growth. The South remained economically devastated; its economy became increasingly tied to cotton and tobacco production, which suffered low prices. African-Americans in the South were stripped of political power and voting rights. The political landscape was notable in that despite some corruption, turnout was very high and elections between the evenly matched parties were close. The dominant issues were cultural (especially regarding prohibition, education and ethnic and racial groups), and economics (tariffs and money supply). Reformers crusaded against child labour and for the 8-hour working day, civil service reform, prohibition, and women's suffrage. State & local governments built schools, colleges and hospitals that sometimes received donations from philanthropists and various diverse religious denominations structured the social and cultural lives of many Americans.
TEKS for Unit 2:
2A- identify the major characteristics that define an historical era;
2B- identify the major eras in U.S. history from 1877 to the present and describe their defining characteristics;
2C- apply absolute and relative chronology through the sequencing of significant individuals, events, and time periods
3A- analyze political issues such as the growth of political machines;
3B- analyze economic issues such as industrialization, railroads, the growth of labor unions, the rise of entrepreneurship, free enterprise, and the pros and cons of big business;
3C- analyze social issues affecting women, minorities, children, immigrants, urbanization;
3D- describe the optimism of the many immigrants who sought a better life in America.
6A- analyze causes and effects of events and social issues such as immigration, Social Darwinism, and the changing role of women
13B- analyze the causes and effects of changing demographic patterns resulting from legal and illegal immigration to the United States.
14A- identify the effects of population growth and distribution on the physical environment
15B- describe the changing relationship between the federal government and private business, including the costs and benefits of laissez-faire, anti-trust acts
15C- explain how foreign policies affected economic issues such as the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, and immigration quotas;
22A- discuss Alexis de Tocqueville's five values crucial to America's success as a constitutional republic: liberty, egalitarianism, individualism, populism, and laissez-faire;
24B- evaluate the contributions of significant political and social leaders in the United States such as Andrew Carnegie...
26B- discuss the Americanization movement to assimilate immigrants into American culture;
27B- explain the effects of scientific discoveries and technological innovations such as electric power, telephones, and steel production on the economic development of the United States;
27C- understand the impact of technological and management innovations and their applications in the workplace and the resulting productivity enhancements for business and labor such as assembly line manufacturing, time-study analysis...
28A- analyze how scientific discoveries, technological innovations, and the application of these by the free enterprise system, including those in transportation and communication, improve the standard of living in the United States;