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The Gilded Age

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					The Gilded Age
    The Owners
                   Industry in America
   By 1900
       Centered in Northeast
            1890 entire South produces less than ½ that of New York
       There were 20 million workers in industry
       The richest 9% held ¾ of the nation’s wealth
       1 in 8 lived below the poverty line
       Only 7 % of the workers were black
       In 50 of the country’s top industries, one company controlled
        60% of the total business
       These industries grew because of new inventions and technology
       1% of companies controlled 1/3 of business
                    Why?

   Abundance of natural resources
   Abundance of labor
   Growing urban population
   Large amounts of capital
   Government support
   New technology
                          New inventions
   Bessemer process to manufacture steel
   Thomas Alva Edison
        Stock ticker
        Electric voting machine
        Memograph
        Electric light
        “Invention Factory” at Menlo Park
   George Westinghouse
        Alternating current
        1886 electric motor
   George Eastman
        Kodak camera
   Samuel Morse
        Telegraph
        1861 Western Union 76,000 miles of line
   Alexander Graham Bell
        1876 telephone
        1895 310,000 telephones
        1915 AT&T
              Electricity Meant:
   Factories did not have to locate close to
    water for power
   Power was more readily available to
    operate larger numbers of machines
   Revolutionized homes
                  Financing:
   Congressional loans
   New York Stock Exchange (stock)
   Investment banks
   Investment of the assets of life insurance
    companies
             Importance of railroads

   Develops vertical management
   Labor relations
   Competition
   Promoted other industries
   Other industries depend on transportation
   Travel
   Time zones
         Growth of Giant Companies
   Individual ownership
   Bank investment
   Sell stock certificates—corporations
   Stock surrendered back “in trust”
   Horizontal and vertical expansion (corporations
    owning other corporations)
   Sherman Anti-Trust Act 1890
   Holding companies
              Social Darwinism
   Herbert Spencer applied Charles Darwin’s
    theory of evolution and “survival of the
    fittest” to the social order of things.

   Millionaires were the “product of natural
    selection”
From This
To This
 The
Robber
barons
                      Cornelius Vanderbilt
                         Began operating a ferry to Long
                          Island
                         Established a small steamship
                          line—NY to Philadelphia
                         Steamships to Nicaragua, roads
                          to Pacific, steamships to                     William and Alva’s 5th
                          California gold fields                        Avenue home in NYC

                         Worth $11m in 1853
                         Built a railroad empire
    “The Commodore”
                         Began with New York Central
                          Railroad
                         Attempted to buy out Fisk, Drew,
                          and Gould. (Fisk and Drew went
                          bankrupt, Gould eventually sold)
                         Known for the elaborate home,
                          summer cottages, etc. and life in
                          N.Y. society
                         Son, William inherited $100 m.
William Vanderbilt                                            Alva (Mrs. William) Vanderbilt
The Breakers
              John Pierpont Morgan
   Investment banker
   Ended up owning railroads and
    steamship lines
   Added electric companies in
    New York
   1901 convinced Andrew
    Carnegie to sell steel
    companies
   Formed United States Steel
    “holding company” which
    owned railroads, steamship
    lines, electric companies, and
    controlled most of the
    countries steel production
   Worth $1.4 billion
John D. Rockefeller


               Standard Oil
               “trust” 1882
               1885 controlled 90%
                of country’s refining
                capacity
               In last decades of his
                life, he gave away an
                estimated $550m
              Gustavus Swift
   Meatpacking in Chicago 1870s
   Vertical consolidation
   Refrigerator railroad cars
   Slaughterhouses
   Ice-cooled warehouses
   1885 Swift and Company
Andrew Carnegie
          Scottish immigrant
          Railroad worker
          Bought stock
          1875 Thomson Steel Mills
          Horizontal consolidation
          Homestead Steel Mills
          Switched to vertical
           integration—ore to mill
          Sold out to J.P. Morgan for
           more than $400 million
          Gospel of Wealth 1889
                                   New York’s Elite
                                     5th Avenue
The Vanderbilts—William and Alva
                                                             The Astor’s




        Alva Vanderbilt

                                                             Caoline Astor




    The Carnegie’s                                    The Fricks
Nob Hill, San Francisco
                                                   Mark Hopkins




                                   Crocker

 Spreckles   The West Coast had
               its own group of              Collis Huntington
                Robber Barons




                 Leland Stanford                  James Flood
             William Randolph Hearst
   Publishing empire
   Son of George Hearst, mining
    multimillionaire
   San Francisco Examiner
   New York Morning Journal
   Chicago Examiner
   Cosmopolitan magazine
   Harper’s Bazaar
   “yellow journalism”
   Inspiration for film “Citizen Kane”
Hearst’s Castle
              Pro big business
   Rationalized production

   Increased national wealth

   Tied country together
                 Con big business
   Banking could not keep pace
   Supply exceeded demand
   Created economic depressions
       1873
         1 of 10 out of work
         10,000 businesses failed

         Wages of those still working were cut often below
          the poverty line
   Environmental problems
       Gasoline engines prompted use of oils, etc for roads,
        pavement, engine oil, fuel
       Loggers destroying whole forests in Pacific Northwest
       Coal mining scarred the hills of Pennsylvania and
        West Virginia
       Water cannons scarred the mountains of California
       Rocks and debris washing down from mts. In Calif.
        Threatened to flood cities and towns
       Pollution from Homestead Mill turned the trees of
        Pittsburg sooty grey and the Monongahela River dirty
        yellow
       Refuse from the meatpacking industry filled the
        Chicago River—to keep from contaminating valuable
        resource of water going to the Mississippi, they
        reversed the flow of the river into Lake Michigan
    The New Industrial system depended
                 upon:
   Resource development
   Technology
   New inventions
   Improved transportation
   Better communication
   Availability of financial capital
   A corporate management system
   Efforts of labor
Working-class americans

Did they really achieve
the American Dream?
             By the turn of the century
   50 million people left their farms
   One man could accomplish the same amount of work as
    18 men in 1836
   One percent of the population controlled ¼ of the
    national wealth
   Most Americans lived somewhere between poverty and
    wealth in a designation called “comfortable” or middle
    class
       Educated professionals, white collar workers, shopkeepers,
        managers, and public employees
       Lived in single-family dwellings in row houses, bungalows, or
        laborers cottages
       Made up 1/3 of the population and controlled the next ½ of the
        national wealth
                 So…
34 % controlled ¾ of the nations wealth.

         What did the other
  66 % do with the ¼ of the national
        wealth that was left?
They worked long hours for little pay
but were, for the most part, better off
 than their farming counterparts and
          than their parents.
                          Labor….
   Men, women, and children
   Black or white
   Migrated from farms, already lived in cities, or immigrated
    from foreign countries
   Worked 12 hr. days in the 1880s that decreased to 10 hr.
    days in the 1890s
   Made about $1.50 an hour or $560 per month
   One of every 3 was out of work 3 or 4 months of the year
   Cleared between $5-6,000 per year (but it cost $7200 to
    live above the subsistence level)
   In most families someone besides the father had to
    supplement the family income
Men…
   Jobs were physically demanding
       Men working in the furnace rooms often
        fainted from the extreme heat
       They often became deaf because of the noise
        from the machinery
       1880-1900
          35,000 died
          500,000 seriously injured

          No workmen’s compensation programs
Women….
   Made up ¼ of the labor force
   Worked the same 10 hr. days as men
   Worked for about ½ the wages of men ($.75 an hour)
   Were young and single (only 5% of married women
    worked)
   Worked in “home-related” jobs – food processing,
    textiles, garment mfg., cigar-making, domestics, clerical
    (bookkeepers, secretaries, telephone girls, typists, etc)
   Around 1900 schools began accepting women to train
    for positions as teachers, nurses, lawyers, etc
Children….

   1.7 million children in the workforce
   Worked repetitive, menial tasks
   Worked same 10 hr. days
   Were paid about 1/3, or $.50 a day
African-Americans

   Were paid less than their white
    counterparts
   Were usually used as strikebreakers
   Most were employed in the “service”
    trades
    Immigrants….
   1880s-1890s besides coming from western and northern Europe, large numbers from
    southern and eastern Europe
        Russian and Polish Jews fleeing religious persecution
        Italian Catholics (1887) escaping famine and cholera

   Could buy “steerage” passage on the crowded lower decks (usually cargo holds) for the 1-
    2 week trip for $50 one way
   2/3 were men
   Ages were between 15 and 40
   6 million between 1877 and 1890
   By 1900 ¾ of all people in Minnesota and 2/3 of all people in Utah had at least one
    foreign-born parent
   Clustered in communities where people shared common languages, cultures, and
    traditions (ethnic ghettos)
        Immigrant aid societies
        Own special forms of English (combined with native languages)
        Helped each other find “ ethnic” jobs
              Chinese laundries
              Russian and Italian garment workers
              Slavic miners
Generalizations about the working class
   Native-born Americans earned more than
    immigrants
   English-speakers earned more than non-
    English speakers
   Men earned more than women
   Women earned more than children
   Men and women earned more than
    African-Americans, Latinos, and Asians
Workers tried to improve working
conditions by organizing into
groups – unions.
   Before Civil War—skilled craft unions
   Railroad brotherhoods
   1866—National Labor Union
   1869—Knights of Labor
   1886—American Federation of Laborers
   1893—Industrial Workers of the World
       Western Federation of Miners—Big Bill
        Haywood
   By the turn of the century,
   however, only 10% of the
  American workers belonged to
        organized unions.

   And the predominant form of
  protest, used by unions and by
independent groups of workers was
             the strike.
Strikes….
   Great railroad strike of 1877
   Haymarket riot of 1886
   1892—the year of strikes
       Silver mine workers at Coeur d’Alene, Idaho
       Steel workers at the Homestead Mills in
        Pennsylvania
       Coal miners at Tracy City, Tennessee
   Pullman Strike 1894
    Owners ALWAYS had the upper
              hand:
   Hired and fired
   “yellow dog” contracts
   Blacklists of radicals
   Lockouts
   Strikebreakers
   Local, state, and federal support
   Injunctions (upheld by the Supreme Court in the
    case of In re Debs in 1895)

				
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