During the Gilded Age (1876-1900), Were the Presidents More Successful with Domestic Affairs or Foreign Affairs? Why?

1905 Words Jul 4th, 2010 8 Pages
The Gilded Age will be remembered for the accomplishments of thousands of American thinkers, inventors, entrepreneurs, writers, and promoters of social justice. The Gilded Age and the first years of the twentieth century were a time of great social change and economic growth in the United States. Roughly spanning the years between Reconstruction and the dawn of the new century, the Gilded Age saw rapid industrialization, urbanization, the construction of great transcontinental railroads, innovations in science and technology, and the rise of big business. Afterward, the first years of the new century that followed were dominated by progressivism, a forward-looking political movement that attempted to redress some of the ills that had …show more content…
Mechanization and marketing were the keys to success in this age: companies that could mass-produce products and convince people to buy them accumulated enormous amounts of wealth, while companies that could not were forced out of business by brutal competition. Railroads were the linchpin in the new industrialized economy. The railroad industry enabled raw materials, finished products, food, and people to travel cross-country in a matter of days, as opposed to the months or years that it took just prior to the Civil War. By the end of the war, the United States boasted some 35,000 miles of track, mostly in the industrialized North. By the turn of the century, that number had jumped to almost 200,000 miles, linking the North, South, and West. With these railroads making travel easier, millions of rural Americans flocked to the cities, and by 1900, nearly 40 percent of the population lived in urban areas. By the twentieth century, the rise of big business and the large migration of Americans from the countryside to the cities caused a shift in political awareness, as elected officials saw the need to address the growing economic and social problems that developed along with the urban boom. Progressives believed that the government needed to take a strong, proactive role in the economy, regulating big business, immigration, and urban
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