A Time Of Rapid Industrialization

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The period of time between the late 1800s and the early 1900s was a time of rapid industrialization in the United States. The great American author, Mark Twain, dubbed this period the “Gilded” Age. Gilded items are covered thinly with gold leaf or gold paint, which hides all that is inside. This idea is evident in this time period because America’s golden paint, or industrialization, was hiding all the economic and social problems on the inside. Although the Gilded Age brought along great advances in industrialization, it brought many new problems that were never experienced before. The politics of this time period came up short when it came to dealing with the economic and social issues it faced. Many of the economic problems of…show more content…
Large corporations, like Rockefeller’s, also used vertical integration, which is “a model in which a company controlled all aspects of production from raw materials to finished goods” (Henretta, Hindermarker, Edwards, & Self, 2014, p. 547). By controlling all steps of the process, these businesses were able to lower their prices because they could get a cheaper supply of materials. The only con to vertical integration was that it required a large pool of starting capital to acquire the other businesses, which perpetuated the cycle of the rich getting richer. James Bryce, author of The American Commonwealth noted that during the Gilded Age there was a general “neglect of details of politics” that had “never been seen before”, which allowed these large companies to take control over the economy (Document 1). The government was too relaxed politically, and it was evident in how they handled their affairs with large corporations. Consequently, the general neglect of political details ended up lending itself kindly to some corrupt business practices. An example of these corrupt practices was a trust, which was “a small group of associates” who “hold stock from a group of combined firms” and managed “them as a single entity” (Henretta, 2014, p.548). These trusts were basically a cartel because they were established as a loose organization of businesses that would collude and control the market. The amount of power that large corporations possessed was not good
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