The Glided Age


Time Period

  • Famous authors Charles Dudley and Mark Twain gave the Gilded Age its name
  • Started after the reconstruction era
  • Took place from 1877 to 1893
  • Brought a second industrial revolution and an economic boom
  • Population grew exponentially because of immigrants
  • Ended with a severe market crash

Forces in Action

Andrew Carnagie
  • Scottish immigrant
  • Started the first steel industry
  • His compnay was named the Carnagie Steel Company
  • Was very successful thanks to mass production
  • Used a strategy known as vertical intergretion
  • Used the Bessemer process to make a lot of money very quickly

Cornelius Vanderbilt

  • The first innovator to use steel instead of iron for railroads
  • After the civil war he gained the two most important rail roads in the United States
  • He was a ruthless man that focused on rail road travel rather than sea travel

John D. Rockefeller

  • Founder of the Standard Oil Company
  • Recognized that the oil refining industry was unorganized and inefficient
  • He took over it and turned it into a monopoly
  • Used horizontal integration to gain more power and wealth in the oil refining industry
  • Rockefeller was a ruthless business man who forced his competitors out of business

J.P. Morgan

  • He was a wealthy Wall Street Banker
  • Bought Carnagies Steel Company and then changed it to U.S. Steel Company

Role of Industrialization and Technology

  • Railroads and skyscrapers were the main focus of industrialization during this era
  • In 1870 the transcontinental rail road was finished
  • Entrepeneurs created there own companies along with new inventions
  • Carnegie used his brain, power, and wealth to become one of the most influenical man of this era. He created the largest steel company. Using the Bessemer process his company, Carnegie Steel Company, was the largest steel company in America.
  • Rockefeller dominated the oil industry. His company, The Standard Oil Company, was like a monopoly and he was able to control all his competitors with his ruthless tactics.
  • Vanderbilt created a railroad empire. When sea travel was slow and shut down by the war he quickly took control of the railroads. When traveling by train became big he became very wealthy becasue he controlled two large rail roads.


  • Technology was beginning to grow and advance rapidly
  • Famous inventors were starting to make many new inventions
  • New Inventions included: Air Brakes, Electricity, Cash Register, Factory Machines, Light Bulbs, and mnay others that helped greatly facilitate daily life
  • These new inventions helped improve the life of the waelthy and middle class


  • Political Bosses controlled Political Machines which were political groups that made sure that there candidates were elected to office
  • This lead to many types of political corruption
  • These political groups supported the lower and middle classes
  • They promised them many things so that they would vote for them
  • They many times commited fraud to win
  • During this time almost all politics were corrupt

Life Changes

  • The ecoomy had boomed
  • Population had grown exponentially
  • Cities were beginnning to be built upward instead of outward
  • New inventions helped make life much easier
  • Middle class was beginning to become more and more wealthy