Robber Barons : The Gilded Age

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From 1870 to 1900, the Gilded Age brought about major change in the industry and economy of the United States. Commonly known for the new technologies and inventions of the time, the Gilded Age often brings to mind pictures of booming industries and riches. However, like the term itself, the Gilded Age was much different than it appeared. Widespread poverty and hardships were common in the late 1800s, and many people suffered at the hands of the robber barons. During the Gilded Age, elitists harmed millions through greed, unfair pay, and a dangerous workplace. Shrewd industrialists sabotaged millions through selfishness. To begin with, elitists were offend involved in abusing their power in the US economy. Since industrialists were so rich, the US government’s “greedy public officials...awarded generous terms to the railroads”, such as over “200 million acres of land” to fulfill contracts; consequently, the “railroads made fortunes,... [but] the public suffered” (36A-Binding the Nation by Rail). This illustrates how these robber barons stole land and took advantage of the government at the expense of the people. In addition, several so called “Captains of Industry”, avoided getting drafted in the Civil War, a fundamental part of US history. For example, both John D. Rockefeller and J. D. Morgan “purcahs[ed] a substitute [soldier] to avoid military service” (36B- The New Tycoons: John D. Rockefeller, 36D-The New Tycoons: J. Pierpont Morgan). This demonstrates how

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