The Era Of The Gilded Age

Decent Essays

1865 marked the beginning of the Gilded Age a time period known for its innovations, corruption, progress and violence. At the same time as the phonogram and automobiles were being produced the major corporations employed child labor and offered deplorable working conditions. Laborers soon rose together to form labor unions that would have a fair advantage when dealing with large corporations. One of the pros of being a Unionist was the great numbers of unionists in several states this facilitated international strikes and placed pressure on the corporations. Depending on social class and economic background the antagonist and protagonist of the era were either large corporations or their wage workers. Members of the middle class were unsympathetic toward the Unionist at strike and prominent members of society. For example, Henry Ward Beecher and Henry Clew both members of the middle class clearly expressed their discontent towards the strikers. Unionist, and their family members, defended their actions and the Pullman strikers and Samuel Gompers were their advocates.
Henry Ward Beecher, a member of the middle class, regarded the labor union strikes as irrational acts. He described them as “transient bubbles, which burst as soon as they were formed. They sprang from ignorance and passion.” He degraded strikers to nothing more than desperate souls that could not provide for themselves or their families. Beecher, along with most the middle class, spoke in an apathetic tone

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