The_Gilded_Age NEW

Capital v. Labor
Complete the Industrialist Poster
Laissez Faire Economics
• “Leave it alone”
• Gov’t should stay out of business
• Businesses benefit = society benefits
Social Darwinism
(Herbert Spencer)
• Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution applied to
• “Only the strong survive”
Andrew Carnegie
A person who starts a business
• Steel
• “Gospel of wealth” – use wealth to help society
"Millionaires are the bees
that make the most honey
and contribute most to the
hive even after they have
gorged themselves full.”
--Andrew Carnegie
Andrew Carnegie (cont’d)
• Vertical Consolidation = gain
control of all phases of product
John D. Rockefeller
• Standard Oil Co.
• Horizontal Consolidation = creation of 1
giant business from buying many smaller
Monopolies, Cartels, and Trusts
• Monopoly = the sole supplier of a product with
no substitute
• Cartel = secret associations of businesses
making the same product
• Trust = several businesses run by a board of
Captains of Industry or Robber Barons?
Captain of Industry
• Positive view
• Made U.S. great!
• Improvements helped us
• Philanthropist =
charitable person
Robber Baron
• Negative view
• Wealth ONLY concern
• Unfairly used power to
cut our competition
• Socialism
• a theory or system of social organization that advocates the
vesting of the ownership and control of the means of
production and distribution, of capital, land, etc., in the
community as a whole.
-Webster’s dictionary
• Founded by Karl Marx and German Philosopher
• Why would people be interested in socialism, during this
Early Labor Unions
• Initially - to help members in bad times
• Soon -means to gain better working
• Collective bargaining – union negotiates
with employers
• Yellow dog contracts - signed by
employees, promise to never join a union
Knights of Labor
• 1869
• Goal to organize ALL workers into 1 union
• Recruited women and Afr. Am.s
• Equal pay for equal work
• 8 hour day
• End child labor
The American Federation of Labor (AFL)
• 1886 – Samuel Gompers
• Goal - organize ONLY skilled workers
• In practice opposed women and Afr. Ams.
• Advocated “closed shop”
• Wages/Hours
• Working conditions
a theory that regards the absence of all direct or
coercive government as a political ideal and that
proposes the cooperative and voluntary
association of individuals and groups as the
principal mode of organized society.
- Webster’s Dictionary
Why would people be in favor of anarchy,
during this time?
The wealthy lived extravagant lifestyles and
considered themselves elitists.
 The common people resented their snobbish attitudes
and wealth. There was a caste system in the U.S.
1861---------3 millionaires----------1900--------3,800
Two Different Worlds 1
1900, 90% of wealth, controlled by 10% of population.
The Emergence of
Political Machines
Political Machine
• Organized group that
controls a city’s political
• Give services to voters,
businesses for political,
financial support
• After Civil War, machines
gain control of major cities
• Machine organization:
precinct captains, ward
bosses, city boss
The Role of the Political Boss
•May serve as mayor he:
•controls city jobs, business licenses
•influences courts, municipal agencies
•arranges building projects, community
•Bosses paid by businesses, get voters’
loyalty, extend influence
Immigrants and the Machine
•Many captains, bosses 1st or 2nd generation Americans
•Machines help immigrants with naturalization, jobs, housing
Election Fraud and Graft
•Machines use electoral fraud to win elections
•Graft—illegal use of political influence for personal gain
•Machines take kickbacks, bribes to allow legal, illegal activities
•Corrupt political leader put New
York City in debt
•1851 elected to city council
•1852 served in Congress
•Kept Democratic Party in power
in NYC called Tammany Hall
•Formed the Tweed Ring
•Bought votes, encouraged
corruption, controlled NYC politics
large fees
for interests
(*kickbacks) from the
Erie Railroad
Ring milked
the city with false
leases, padded bills,
false vouchers,
unnecessary repairs
and over-priced
*Return of a portion of the
money received in a sale or
contract often illegal and
corrupt in return for special
for his
corruption by
cartoonist and
editor, Thomas Nast
Tweed Ring fell
and 1873 Tweed
convicted of
Tweed was
arrested on a civil
charge and jailed in
NYC, later died there
Credit Mobilier
•Phony construction company owned
by stockholders of Union Pacific
•Hired Credit Mobilier to build the
transcontinental railroad
•Charged the U.S. government nearly twice the
actual cost of the project.
•Bribed Congress to stop the investigation.
•Largest scandal in U.S. history, and led to
greater public awareness of government
Whiskey Ring
•A group of President Grant’s officials
imported whiskey
•Used their offices to avoid paying taxes
•Cheated US treasury of millions.
Salary Grab
•Congress gave itself a raise, $5,000 to $7,500 annually.
•Congressmen received a retroactive check for $5,000,
plus their raise……
•Became a political issue….Later repealed.
•Assassinated by an
upset Spoilsman.
•Led to VP Chester
Arthur becoming
•Supported a
change to the
corrupt spoils
•Signed into the law the Pendleton Act also called the Civil
Service Act.
•Required candidates applying for government positions to a test
to determine their qualifications.
1880 Presidential Election:
 Under the Spoils System (patronage), candidates for political
office would offer potential jobs in exchange for votes.
– gave supporters access to money and political favors.
 During the Gilded Age, the Republicans and Democrats had
roughly the same number of supporters.
– To keep party members loyal, candidates rewarded supporters and
tried to avoid controversial issues.
The Republicans
appealed to the industrialists,
bankers, and eastern farmers.
They favored the gold standard
(sound money) and high
Blue laws, regulations that
prohibited certain activities
people considered immoral.
The Democrats
attracted the less privileged
such as northern urban
immigrants, laborers,
southern planters, and
western farmers.
Supported soft money and
silver coinage.
Gilded Age Presidents
• 1876 - Rutherfraud (R)
• 1880 - Garfield (R) (Assassinated by
Charles Guiteau)
• 1881 - Arthur
• 1884 - Cleveland (D)
• 1888 - Harrison (R)
• 1892 - Cleveland (D)
1881: Garfield Assassinated!
Charles Guiteau:
I Am a Stalwart, and Arthur is
President now!
Pendleton Act (1883)
 Civil Service Act.
 The “Magna Carta” of
civil service reform.
 1883  14,000 out of
117,000 federal govt.
jobs became civil
service exam positions.
1900  100,000 out
of 200,000 civil service
federal govt. jobs.
Arthur Reforms the Civil Service
After the assassination, President Arthur was able to get
congressional support for the Pendleton Civil Service Act.
which created a commission of classified government jobs