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How was the ideology of the Progressive Era different from that of the Gilded Age Compare the two, consider business regulation - Essay Example

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How was the ideology of the Progressive Era different from that of the Gilded Age? Compare the two, consider business regulation and the labour issues of each time period. What were the catalysts for more government intervention in the economy? Furthermore, How did WWI answer some of the cries for Progressive reform…
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How was the ideology of the Progressive Era different from that of the Gilded Age Compare the two, consider business regulation
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"How was the ideology of the Progressive Era different from that of the Gilded Age Compare the two, consider business regulation"

Download file to see previous pages The American industrial revolution peaked during the Gilded Age as large labour pools were available. Miners, ranchers, farmers and African Americans moved to the cities and provided cheap and abundant labour. Innovators such as Bell and Edison saw rapid progress and innovation. This led to the formation of companies that could not be overseen directly by a business owner. The railroad industry’s expansion demanded that a formal, well regulated management system be put into place. New large corporations began to emerge. Banking and stock selling were utilised to generate the large revenues required to finance the new industrial mammoths. The railroad industry expanding into the West required $16,000 per mile of track. This level of financing could not be met with by one investor or a group of large investors. Finance was generated using new corporate structures. Corporate organisations such as “gentlemen’s agreements”, trusts and holding companies began to dig deeper into the market for monopolistic control. Eventually the holding companies overran the trusts. A new class of robbers barons emerged who were robbing the common man but presented themselves as devout philanthropists. Industry slipped into the hands of the financing wizards. Finance gurus such as J. P. Morgan utilised oversold stock to reinvigorate businesses and Morgan eventually became “America’s greatest financier” representing his power of the field of finance. Monopolistic associations began to emerge such as Morgan, Schwab and Carnegie’s steel business, Rockefeller’s oil business and the American Tobacco Corporation. Wealth began to accumulate in the coffers of a select few. Labour was both abundant and cheap. Women and children were the least paid and overworked. While the average pay was just 400-500 USD but the minimum sustenance was 600 USD. Working conditions were unsafe, working hours long and job security absent. A wave of immigrants from Asia and China exacerbated matters. Trade unions could not be materialised because the diverse ethnicities found it hard to work together for their rights. Multiple small and ineffective labour unions emerged. Events such as small, sparse and uncoordinated protests were the only achievements of the early trade unions. On the other hand, the Progressive era was dominated by the wish and will to reform the corrupt and discriminatory system. The Progressive surge was led by the rising middle class. Professional development in specific fields in urban centres encouraged a class of organised and determined people to emerge. Professionals such as doctors, lawyers, professors, teachers and architects formed organisations to defend and project their interests. The enrolment in college went up by some 400% between 1870 and 1920. Similarly, the ranks of the professional class rose from 750k to some 5.6 million people. The emergence of a professional class with their own organisations presented the emergence of new interest and pressure groups. However, these groups were actively lobbying for reform in the government and industry which they saw as corrupt and discriminatory. Most progressives were looking for ways to clamp down on “laissez faire” so that governmental control could be introduced. Large corporations were seen as an active threat. The hoarding of half of the nation’ ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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