The Gilded Age

Flashcard maker : Lily Taylor
What factors encouraged economic growth in the late 19th century?
Technological innovation, population growth, creation of national markets, growth of railroads, the role of entrepreneurs and Laissez-Faire capitalism.
Bessemer Process
Made steel production cheaper and faster
How did electricity help economic expansion?
This created an entire industry that improved the quality of life, created free time, and created many jobs
What was oil used for during the “Gilded Age”?
it was refined into kerosene for lighting until the light bulb became common.
Role of population change on economic expansion during the gilded age
The population doubled in 30 years, this created customers and cheap labor
How did the development of national markets help industrialization?
The national market allowed companies to innovate and make products cheaper and faster, this also created a lot of new jobs
What role did the growth of railroads play in Industrialization
Allowed people to settle the west and mine natural resources. It also allowed for products to be shipped cheaper and faster. Creation of national markets.
How did the corporation help economic expansion?
The corporation allowed companies to raise capital by selling shares. This helped them expand and innovate their businesses
How did Laissez-Faire capitalism help grow the economy?
This means that the government stays out of the economy. This freedom allowed entrepreneurs to grow their businesses and innovate. They had large profits as their incentive.
A person who starts a business with hopes of making a profit
Captains of Industry
Positive title for the large industrialists. This was because they made products cheaper, faster, and innovated to grow our economy to levels unheard of before their arrival.
Robber Barons
Negative title for the large industrialists. This was because they destroyed competition and exploited their workers.
Who were the large industrialists of the era?
Andrew Carnegie (Steel) , Vanderbilt (Railroads), JP Morgan (banking), John D. Rockefeller (Oil)
When one company owns an entire industry. This is referred to a trust. This destroys competition.
How did the Role of the Federal Government towards business change during the Gilded Age?
The government started to pass laws that regulated businesses for the first time. A departure from Laissez-Faire principles.
Interstate Commerce Act
1887 Act which required railroads to publish rates, forbade discrimination against shippers, and outlawed charging more for short haul than for a long one over the same line
Sherman Anti-Trust Act
First United States law to limit trusts and big business. Allowed the federal government to break up monopolies
Pros of Big Business
lower prices, can hire large # of workers, can produce a large amount of products, has research money to create new innovations
Cons of Big Business
unfair advantage over small business, unfair advantage over government laws affecting their business, exploitation of their workers, and they become too powerful to control.
How were workers exploited during the gilded age?
low wages, long hours, child labor, lack of job security, unsafe working conditions
How did workers try to change this exploitation?
By forming unions
Labor Union
An organization of workers dedicated to better wages and working conditions.
How does a Union help workers get better conditions?
They organize together, so, that they have strength in numbers. This gives them the power to address grievances and strike if necessary. The goal is to collective bargain their working conditions.
Collective Bargaining
Negotiations between representatives of labor unions and management to determine pay and acceptable working conditions.
Knights of Labor
(1) moderate labor organization founded in 1869 by Terence Powderly, one of the first such organizations in the US; (2) this all-inclusive organization grew quickly but fell into decline after one of its leaders was executed for killing a policeman in the Haymarket Riot. (All workers included)
American Federation of Labor
1886 founded by Samuel Gompers; sought better wages, hrs, working conditions; skilled laborers, willing to let unskilled fend for themselves, small minority. Rejected the radical K.O. L.
The difference between the AFL and KOL ?
Knights of Labor included all workers and The American Federation of Labor included only skilled workers.
Samuel Gompers
He was the creator of the American Federation of Labor. He provided a stable and unified union for skilled workers.
Haymarket Affair
1886 incident that made unions, particularly the Knights of Labor, look violent because a bomb exploded during a protest of striking workers.
How did the government view unions during this time?
Why was it possible for the businesses to use violence against strikers?
The government made it illegal to strike. They used the Sherman Anti-Trust act against unions. This made their acts illegal and created the situation that led to violence
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