The Gilded Age

1785 Words Dec 7th, 2015 8 Pages
The Unscrupulousness of the Avaricious The Gilded Age was a time in American history, from the 1870s to the 1890s, which ostensibly characterized the country based on its economic and technological advancements. However this era’s development served as a mere facade for the corruption and classism which occurred during the time. From economic manipulation to immorality in politics, the Gilded Age is best characterized by the unscrupulous nature of individuals who sought to attain superficial success. Amidst the late 19th century, the rise of political machines tantalized the longing, from many, for a post-Civil War reconstruction which would have been punctuated by an ethical, aiding government. The aforementioned political machines were small networks which offered services to voters in exchange for economic or political gains. While these groups aided many groups, including immigrants, many political machines fell victim to corruption. The reason being, once the candidates from said machine came into office, these men would use their political standing for personal gain. For instance in the case of the Tweed Ring Scandal, William Tweed, the boss of the Democratic political machine, headed a group of politicians who sought to defraud New York. The provided excerpt, which outlines one scheme which was orchestrated by Mr. Tweed, reads “One scheme, the construction of the New York County Courthouse, involved extravagant graft. The project cost taxpayers $13 million, while…

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