Monday September 20 Class # 5 The Gilded Age: Industrialization and Workers When: 2 great periods of industrialization 1780s-1790s 1815-19__ Where: ?The West? (anything west of the Mississippi river) and ?The North? (great lakes) *Not The South Myths in American History: Frontier; Industrialization: Horatio Alger Stories late 19th century about poor boys, newsboys, peddlers, who through hard work and attention to detail rose to have a life of great success ? Rags to Riches stories. Message: Everyone can make it to the top. The Big Question: How true was the Horatio Alger story during the period of the Gilded Age? (upward mobility and economic opportunity for everyone?) 1900 Billionaires: Railroad: 40%; Inherited: 13%; Finance 22%(investment banking: J.P Morgan. Financing expansion of further industrialization); Retailing 9% (new money showing up); Real estate, steel, Timber 4%; Oil (John D. Rockefeller) 1% Vast accumulations of wealth from 1st phase of industrialization. How Industrialization takes place: Government encouraged, financed, but NOT regulated (high taxes placed on imported goods so they protect American industries, not regulating corporations i.e. Size, wages, safety) Creates massive consolidation (merges, monopolizing) Happens horizontally (acquire every other firm that?s just like yours) And vertically, you own all the pieces of the puzzle (i.e. own oil wells, own trucks that deliver, own gas stations, and cars) Wealth inequality: way of seeing how income/wealth is distributed throughout population Wealth concentration in US held by Top 1% of Households: 1750: 15-20% After civil war 1850: 35% 1850-1900: over 45% Primary Source Questions, small groups: Carnegie: How does he view the development of industrialization? What does he think of the large accumulations of wealth that have occurred? What is his solution? The miner: What seems to be his view of industrialization what problems seem most acute for him? What is his solution? Henry George; How does he view the development of industrialization? What does he think of the large accumulations of weather that have occurred? How does he connect these developments to the issue of liberty? What do you think George thinks of the Horatio Alger Story? George MacNeil: How does he view the development of industrialization? What does he think of the large accumulations of wealth that have occurred? What is his solution? Discussion: The Miner: Doesn?t really like industrialization. He only gets paid a certain amount. Can cut into wages any way they see fit. See actual conditions in which workers live. Company control: housing, control stores and prices in stores. Can?t provide for family. Dehumanizing: he and other workers are the same. Industrialization is all about breaking labor into parts and making America a big machine. Wants more money for small luxuries: clothes, meat in soup. Wants to send kids to higher education to achieve upward mobility George MacNeil: seeing diagnosis of unequal control. Have no choices (can either eat today or starve tomorrow but employer has luxury of waiting) pg 40 describes ?the problem? can discharge employees w.o cause? How are unions supposed to counter act this? Supposed to encompass unskilled workers. Unions try to get everyone to UNITE and stop working Together. Unions don?t fair too well not recognized by courts don?t have a lot of rights can use military to put down strikes Carnegie: has positive view of industrialization. Sees it as an evolution of society. Believes capitalism is right but wealthy of upper class administered wrong. They horde it. Henry George: believes in giving opportunity for rags to riches. Dislikes industrialization because he does not believe you can appropriate the wealth equally. Says you have to reconfigure the system in order for freedom to prosper. Does NOT like Horatio Alger Story.
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