1865-1914 Wealth and Poverty Gap in the United States

Topics: Industrial Revolution, Working class, The Jungle Pages: 3 (796 words) Published: February 4, 2013
Essay Question #17: A number of writers and reformers in the period 1865-1914 discussed the growing gap between wealth and poverty in the United states.  Compare and contrast 3 of the following authors’ explanations for this condition and their proposals for dealing with it. A. Henry George, Progress and Poverty, b. Edward Bellamy, Looking Backward, c. Andrew Carnegie, The Gospel of Wealth, d. William Graham Sumner, What Social Classes owe to Each Other, e. Upton Sinclair, The Jungle

During the period of time between 1865 and 1914, America went through a cultural revolution. The entire country changed, economically, politically, and socially. Industrialization was the leading factor in these changes. The growth of factories, industries, and cities led to urbanization, and everyone moving into the cities for jobs. Because of the large industries and the profits that the captains of industry, or “robber barons”, were making, the gap between the rich and the poor increased tremendously. This led to the growth of poverty in the cities because of the low wages and poor treatment factory workers received. Many writers began to write pieces that the public could read to understand exposing this corruption and showing what was really going on behind the scene of America's increasing economy. Henry George, the author of Progress and Poverty, William Graham Sumner, the author of What Social Classes Owe Each Other, and Upton Sinclair, who wrote The Jungle, used their writing and works of literature to portray their different viewpoints of how this corruption could be overturned, and they all agreed that something had to be done.

These novels were used to display problems within America and propose ways to fix them. The ideas of the authors are all very different in comparison. 
Even though the ideas and views that the works contain are very different from each other, the novels all had a similar result and the authors who wrote them had similar ideas for doing so....
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