Gilded Age

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  • Topic: Government, Political philosophy, Political party
  • Pages : 2 (386 words )
  • Download(s) : 1420
  • Published : April 18, 2006
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The politics of the Gilded Age failed to deal with the critical social and economical issues of the times. It was the era filled with forgotten presidents and politicians who ignored the problems erupting in the cites. Monopolies ruled over all the aspects of life (Document C), and the greedy men who ruled these monopolies caused poverty throughout the nation. The ideas of limited government caused the political parties to not take a stand on important issues. The politcal parties did not seem to be worried about the suffering of the people, they simply ignored the issues except for issues on tarriffs. (Document H) Although the time period brought about many new materialistic inventions, no new social inventions were being brought about. (Document B). One problem with bringing about so many new inventions, it didn't require anyone to be "good" at something. All the person had to do was sit at a machine and work, you didn't need a trade for anything working in a factory.(Document F)

After Reconstruction the government policy changed to more of a laissez-faire system. In such a system, the government takes a "hands-off" approach.(Document A) Supporters of the theory claim that if the government does not interfere, the strongest business will succeed and, as a whole, make the nation wealthier; a sort of Social Darwinism. However, many people supported government intervention that was beneficial to the nation such as high tariffs and subsidies. During the 1870s, many American farmers began to resent the stranglehold the railroads exerted over many parts of the country. However, the postwar presidents and many in Congress resisted intervention into economic matters. Early efforts to bring some form of regulation to the giants were made at the state level (Document E), but those measures were later struck down by the Supreme Court.

Many Americans, such as Samuel Gompers, had a philosophy based on labor unions that centered on economic ends for...
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