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The Gilded Age

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University of Toronto St. George
Dr.Liamvan Beek

HIS271 The Gilded Age: Myths and Realities January 13 2011 www.ilr.cornell.edutrianglefire Period after Reconstruction, ending around 1890-1900 Themes of today: Industrialization, urbanization, immigration, nativism Gilded Age: came from the title of a book called The Gilded Age: A Tale of Today Excess, what is beautiful on the outside may not necessarily be beautiful on the inside Beyond the golden exterior of growth, the interior was ripe with inequality, poverty, and social decay Today: causes and consequences of this characterization by looking at the myths and realities of the age Big Business vs. Labour Myths The Self-Made Man Rags-to-Riches Individualism Social Darwinism Realities Hardship Workplace peril Poverty Dependence www.notesolution.comHIS271 The Gilded Age: Myths and Realities January 13 2011 Big business success was built on their ability to consolidate and monopolize Many of the businesses grew out of the new needs emerging at the turn of the century Sources of Growth Railroads and Communications networks Required more materials Connected cities and towns Urbanization Required new materials Massive influx of people moving to cities Domestic markets Population in 1870 was 40 million and grew by 20 million in 20 years Demand for cheap and standardized products Shifts in production and consumption Raw materials Technological innovations Cash registers Electricity Bessemer Process Industrial innovation All of this made it possible to increase industrial production LabourImmigration The robber barons
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