The Gilded Age

By Brandon Pumphrey & Christian McDow

Opening Statement

The Gilded Age is the entire late 19th century of which Vanderbilt, Rockefeller, Caregie and J.P. Morgan dominated American growth . These four men contributed to the birth of this "Gilded Age" name because they made America look like the crown jewel of the world, but instead America withheld Social Darwinism, The "Muckrakers", The Panic of 1873, The Panic of 1893, and other social issues.

Social Darwinism

This was more like survival of the fittest. Social Darwinism took the concept from Darwin's theory of evolution, in which only the species capable of surviving, will survive. Social Darwinism took this theory and transferred it to people, and said that only those who have the skills and are powerful enough can survive to live a good life.

The "Muckrakers"

The Muckrakers were a group of reporters who exposed flaws and injustices in the major businesses and corporations during the turning of the century.

The Panic of 1873

This was the first global depression. It started in the fall of 1873 when a trusted national financing group failed the investments of New Yorkers, who invested a lot of money into the risky railroad endeavors. A large majority of railroad bonds sold in the United States were to banks and financiers. People had invested so much into these businesses for the railroads that eventually it became too excessive, and railroad destinations could not pay the loans needed to keep them in business. The panic lasted from 1873 to 1878, and became known as the longest depression is US history.

The Panic of 1893

Very similar to the panic of 1873, this panic was also caused by the over expansion of the railroads and bad financial handling. Although this one was only a few months as opposed to a few years, it still created a massive hole in the American economy. Hundreds of banks collapsed and thousands of workers were left on the streets. It was mainly triggered by the failure of a major railroad in America, the Philadelphia and Reading Railroad company. Their failure caused a panic within smaller business who were overextending themselves and borrowing too much money, which caused the panic in the stock market. Over fifteen thousand businesses had went into bankrupcy during 1893.

Social Issues

Other than the major issues that caused "The Gilded Age", there were lots of other social issues within the people of America. The majority of these issues included child labor, women's rights, freed slaves having a hard time fitting in, immigration which led to assimilation, and urbanization which led to horrible working and living conditions.