Week 4 Discussion

Topics: 19th century, Gilded Age, Political corruption / Pages: 2 (568 words) / Published: Apr 10th, 2015
Matthew Adkins
History 1620/Spring
April 10, 2015
Week 4 Discussion Questions

1. Why was corruption so rampant in American politics during this period? Was it worse than today? If so, why? American politics were so corrupt during the guilded age. This, in part, is because of the way people affiliated themselves. During this time period, it didn’t matter your candidate said or did, you had to be loyal and vote for your party. Also the corruption was so bad because the political machines would partner with the ward bosses. The boss would get the votes and the politician would help the boss get richer. Now that I think about it, this all sounds pretty familiar. Don’t our politicians have special interest groups that help them get elected and once they are in office, the politician would forward an agenda that the interest group wanted.

2. How did roles and expectations for middle-class women change in the Gilded Age? What social and economic developments made this possible?

The role and expectation of woman during the guilded age changed, in part, because of the increase in free time. Woman had less children and new technology which helped them finish work faster. Many woman joined the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union and began lobbying state and federal governments for reform. They also were great community organizers and worked hard to help the poor and needy.

3. The Working Girls of Boston, 1884 http://historymatters.gmu.edu/d/5753/ This article helps to explain the drastic wage difference between men and woman of the 19th century. Even though many woman would work harder and work longer hours they were still paid a low wage. The wage was so low that many woman, in order to pay for their everyday living expense, had to take up prostitution. The article explains how many woman in the night life were able to supplement their income and was normally supported by their own families. Even though the woman had a bad image, it was the belief of the



Cited: Chokshi, N. (2014, 12 08). The Washington Post. Retrieved from A state guide to political corruption, according to the reporters who cover it: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/govbeat/wp/2014/12/08/a-state-guide-to-political-corruption-according-to-the-reporters-who-cover-it/

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