the Gilded Age


Political, technological, and cultural growth led to unprecedented advances and corruption in American government and society


  • the meaning of "gilded"
  • Western expansion was driven by economic, social, and political forces.
  • Industrialization transformed American society from rural to urban and from agriculture to manufacturing.
  • The Gilded Age was dominated by political corruption and instability and pro-business leanings.
  • Immigration in the late 1800s resulted in a transformation of American culture and the growth of cities.


John Gast, 1872
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  • Optimism of settlers
  • Homestead Act and it's Economic Impact
  • Settling the Great Plains
  • Success & Importance of the Cattle Industry
  • Farming Issues
  • Growth of Railroads... Transcontinental Railroad
  • Interstate Commerce Act (RR)
  • Klondike Gold Rush

1. How did settlers survive, settle, and make a profitable living out west?

2. What was the role of entrepreneurship in Westward Expansion?

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Populist Movement Stems from Farmer Struggles (Mid-West)

  • Impact of 3rd Party candidates
  • Rise and Fall of Populism (Populist party)
  • William Jennings Bryan "Cross of Gold" Speech
  • Differences between Farmers & Industry Bankers
  • Political Machines
  • Civil Service Reform
  • Political Corruption

1. Is the Wizard of Oz a parable of the Populist Movement?

The Tammany Lords and Their Constituents

Thomas Nast, 1871
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Industrialization & the Rise of Entrepreneurship

  • Monopolies
  • Sherman Anti-Trust Act
  • Pros and Cons of Big Business
  • Robber Barons
  • Captains of Industry
  • Philanthropy of Industrialists
  • Free Enterprise
  • Andrew Carnegie
  • Bi-metalism
  • Gold Standard to Fiat $
  • Thomas Nast Cartoons
  • Labor Unions

Conemaugh Valley Steel Mill

Pennsylvania, 1905
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Scientific and Technological Discoveries

  • Bessemer Process
  • Electric Power
  • Telephone
  • Steel Production
  • Thomas Edison
  • Alexander Graham Bell

America is a "Land of Opportunity" for all! Agree or Disagree? Explain

Immigration & Urbanization

  • Push-Pull affects of Immigration
  • Assimilation... Americanization
  • Impact of Immigration on American Industry
  • Ellis Island, Angel Island
  • Chinese Exclusion Act
  • Nativism
  • Tenements
  • Standard of Living

What is does the phrase "American Dream" mean to you?

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Social Reforms

  • the Social Gospel
  • Jane Addams
  • Emergence of class system
  • Child Labor
  • "Wage Slave"
  • Minorities
  • Plessy v. Ferguson

1. Compare daily life of American citizens, immigrants with factory owners

Most Terrifying Places In America: Chicago, IL - "Hull House"

African Americans Fight Discrimination & Segregation

Ida B Wells - Anti-Lynching Crusader