Essay on History of the Gilded Age

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Following the Civil War and Reconstruction, the federal government was looking for a way to get the people motivated; motivated to work again, motivated to have a better life again, and then like an answered prayer we entered the ‘Gilded Age’. The rapid growth from 1865 to 1900 was brought on by the availability of money and resources. With entrepreneurs willing to take a risk with this money and new resources, extraordinary growth arose. Railroads were evolving everywhere and as a result the Steel industry started to rise. With this economic boom all people, especially the federal government, sought after means to sustain this sudden increase in the market. The United States government came up with a plan to promote industrial development …show more content…
A major way that the federal government protected industry in America was by taxing imports to keep the price of the same product made in the United States cheaper. These protective tariffs have been used throughout history to protect US businesses. With his five part economic plan, Alexander Hamilton was one of the earliest advocators of economic nationalism which is simply a way of saying they implemented protective tariffs that shielded the American industry from foreign competition.
Along with promoting industry comes regulation. With railroads becoming more and more prevalent, problems were sure to ensue. Congress enacted laws to protect farmers and small business owners from the activities of railroads. Many people were frustrated with the big businesses taking advantage of workers and consumers. The laws that Congress passed were ones that ensured safety and fair prices in the economy. The Granger Movement would be a case in point. The farmers that were involved in this movement wanted the federal government to take action and regulate the railroad companies from charging unfair rates and carrying out their monopolistic powers in transportation. As a result, the Interstate Commerce Act was passed by Congress and the ICC was formed to regulate the railroads and their prices.
Even though the federal government is the main source of promotion and regulation of industry in America, regulation almost inescapably obstructs success

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