gilded age

Topics: Working class, Federal government of the United States, Economy of the United States Pages: 8 (2686 words) Published: December 12, 2013

The Gilded Age

A successful economy is key leading factor in successful running a nation. An economy is a balance between constantly conflicting elements. An Economy’s success is measured by the amount of wealth it contains, not to mention the effectiveness or ineffectiveness of its distribution of the wealth. In this essay I will be stating how those who prospered during the gilded age used their power to ultimately control the government and its people. Despite how uneven classes may be it is difficult to find a fair way to distribute wealth fairly. Wealthy and poor people will always coexist but in battle. The government’s in this case acts as a referee. A government must, therefore, regulate the economy so that the power struggle stays relatively even. Those who are considered as poor feel like they are unable to go anywhere that the upper class has. As the rich feel they are helping by using their wealth. Poor versus rich debates will never go away no matter how much change is done to government and society. Poverty however can’t be helped. Today it is possible poverty is what is deserved for laziness in American society. American economy also changes with different periods of history. The Civil War was the spark of industrialization which enhanced the American economy. As a result their became a time in history that would earn many men their fortunes and cost many more men their sanity. Capitalism was the name of the game and due to the drastic labor problems and the social issues because America was developing this system.

     Although the gap between rich and poor during the late nineteenth was large, the nation was experienced large economic gains. With the end of free labor, the US had sought a new ideology, and found it in Adam Smith’s market model. He essentially wrote the phycology for the business model in which was “The interests of the worker and the master are by no means the same and in the event of an open conflict between them, the law and magistracy were on the side of the masters(Coase)”. The idea was the pursuit of individual interest. Smith’s model promoted a more aggressive economy and due to individuals seeking out wealth it led to the economic success. The new system allowed those seeking greater wealth to exploit opportunity and rise to astronomical economic heights. Corporations sprung up all over the due to the industrial revolution and only those who were willing to play the dirtiest were going to keep their wealth. Corporations were constantly seeking the improvement which led to a series of unfortunate events that would befall the lower class. Due to the constant struggle for power the corporations would do what was ever necessary to beat out the competition this caused workers’ wages to drop, longer work days, less worker safety regulation, and quite possible termination in order for the corporation to save a buck. It became quite clear that the only way to win this fight corporation vs. corporation was to out play your opponent. In many cases the price of lowering prices and speeding up production came in the form of pay cuts and layoffs. This would result eventually into riots and the formation of worker unions that attempted to use their powers to get better working conditions. Many of the lower class were working for mere peanuts but due to the vast number of new labors and due to the number of workers per house hold the economy was better off then it appeared(Campbell). Due to the increased labors the American economy on a whole flourished during the Gilded and Industrial Age during this time the population had increased by more than twice its initial amount and because of the industrial revolution the United States economy had improved for every new worker. A higher population and more profit per worker resulted in huge economic gains. The number of goods produced made up for job layoffs in the business as the US economic became more industrialized. As a result of the...
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