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Essay on Working Experiences in Gilded Age America

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The working experiences of individuals and families during the Gilded Age time period in America, which refers to the late nineteenth century, are varied due to many factors. These factors include but are not limited to age, level of skill, gender, economic class, language(s) spoken, and ethnic origin. It can be said that different groups of people faced drastically different challenges in the world of work; however, some of these challenges are more common within more groups of people than just one. Without a doubt, all Americans faced economic and social issues during this time because of corporate corruption and the lack of laws and programs that protected families from being overworked and provided insurance and care when workers were…show more content…
Working conditions between the two groups also varied. Tenant farmers were fortunate enough to be able to own their farming supplies and equipment. This in turn made their working conditions a bit easier because they were used to using the equipment that they had. Because of this productivity was increased and allowed them to have more control over the volume of goods produced, and consequently, profits. Immigrants were not as lucky. With whatever jobs they could find, conditions were just as bleak and unpromising. The average annual wage for unskilled immigrant laborers was $270 per year (1/22 lecture notes). For example, with scavenging they had to go and clean waste from outhouses. This was probably one of the dirtiest jobs one could have during this time. Assuming the scavenger had a home, they could wash off a day’s work, but this was not usually the case. Working conditions for immigrants were not as predictable and uniform because they had the least job security and opportunities for advancement. Most tenant farmers were of the higher stratus of the lower class, but they had the economic opportunities available to them to push them up into lower-middle class status because they owned supplies and could pretty much find work anywhere. Immigrant laborers were arguably a part of the lowest class in society at that time. Opportunities for advancement were extremely scarce, and the lack of job security made
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