19th Century U.S. Industrial/Gilded Age

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American novelist Mark Twain coined the term "Gilded Age" in an effort to illustrate the outwardly showy, but inwardly corrupt nature of American society during the industrial revolution of the late 1800's.

While this page is technically in the 19th century section of American History, due to the particular timing of the American Gilded age and industrialization, some material may stray into the early 20th century.

Agricultural Problems and Gilded Age Politics __ "In the years from the end of the Civil War in 1865 and the turn of the century some thirty-five years later, Americans witnessed the death of a rural and agricultural America dominated by farmers and the birth of an urban and industrial America dominated by bankers, industrialists, and city dwellers."  Learn what these problems were and how they were overcome. - From austincc.edu - http://www.austincc.edu/lpatrick/his1302/agrarian.html

America Comes of Age: 1876–1900 __ "The United States solidified its place as an industrial and agricultural power in the late nineteenth century. In the three decades following the Civil War, a nation once predominantly agricultural became the world's preeminent economic power."  A good overview with embedded links to related materials. - illustrated - From metmuseum.org - http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/hd/amer/hd_amer.htm 

America in the Gilded Age __ Wealth and poverty were the hallmarks of the time. "During the "Gilded Age," every man was a potential Andrew Carnegie, and Americans who achieved wealth celebrated it as never before. In New York, the opera, the theatre, and lavish parties consumed the ruling class' leisure hours. Sherry's Restaurant hosted formal horseback dinners for the New York Riding Club. Mrs. Stuyvesant Fish once threw a dinner party to honor her dog who arrived sporting a $15,000 diamond collar." Meanwhile you can learn how the 'other half' lived during this time. - illustrated - From PBS - http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/amex/carnegie/gildedage.html  

The American Experience | Andrew Carnegie __ You will find a timeline of his life and influence on the American industrial revolution. - From PBS - http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/amex/carnegie/timeline/timeline2.html 

American Variety Stage: Vaudeville and Popular Entertainment, 1870-1920 __ Discover what popular entertainment was during the later years of the Gilded Age with video, images, playbills and much more. - illustrated - From loc.gov - http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/vshtml/vshome.html 

America's Gilded Age __ "In the span of a single lifetime, from the end of the Civil War to the Crash of the Stock Market in 1929, American culture as we know it sprang into being. Dubbed The Gilded Age by Mark Twain in 1873,..."  A good overview of this period in American history. - illustrated - From flaglermuseum.us - http://www.flaglermuseum.us/history/gilded-age

Automobile Manufacturer Henry Ford Was Born __ "Born on July 30, 1863, on his family's farm in Dearborn, Michigan, Henry Ford enjoyed tinkering with machines from the time he was a young boy. His work on the farm and a job in a Detroit machine shop allowed him many opportunities to tinker and experiment. By 1896, Ford had constructed his first horseless carriage, but he wanted to do even more." Learn how his life impacted the Industrial Revolution in America and the world. - illustrated - From Library of Congress - http://www.americaslibrary.gov/jb/civil/jb_civil_ford_1.html

The Centennial Exhibition: Philadelphia 1876 __ Learn about this exhibition showcase of the Gilded Age, their vision of the future and more.  You will find photos, history, virtual tours and more. - illustrated - From library.phila.gov - http://libwww.library.phila.gov/CenCol/index.htm

Chronology: Reconstruction & Gilded Age (1864-1900) __ Timeline of important dates and events. - From earthlink.net - http://home.earthlink.net/~gfeldmeth/chron.recon.html  

Corruption in America's Gilded Age __ A hard look at corruption during this time frame.  "Corporate greed and corruption in American business have been around since the first U.S. corporations—the transcontinental railroads—argues historian Richard White." - From hbs.edu / Richard White - http://hbswk.hbs.edu/archive/3614.html

Cyrus Hall McCormick and the Mechanical Reaper __ You will find a brief overview of Cyrus McCormick and his invention. - From invent.org - http://www.invent.org/hall_of_fame/1_1_6_detail.asp?vInventorID=101

From Frontier to Factory Timeline __ A timeline beginning in 1845 and leading into the early 20th century outlines the major developments of the Industrial Age in the US. - From pinzler.com - http://pinzler.com/ushistory/timeline7.html

Gilded Age __ You will find an encyclopedic article along with links to related materials. - From wikipedia - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gilded_Age

 

The Gilded Age __ Page dedicated to the Gilded Age from an online history book. - From digitalhistory.uh.edu - http://www.digitalhistory.uh.edu/database/article_display.cfm?HHID=142

The Gilded Age - Industrial revolution in America __ This short online book covers the era in detail. - From raken.com - http://www.raken.com/american_wealth/Gilded_age_index.asp    

The Gilded Age and the Politics of Corruption __ Some questions to keep in mind: "How did the federal government transform the American economy during the Gilded Age? - - Why was corruption so rampant in American politics during this period? Was it worse than today? If so, why? - - Was there really any difference between the Republican and Democratic parties at this time? If so, what?" You may be able to find some answers here. - From University of Wisconsin - http://us.history.wisc.edu/hist102/lectures/lecture04.html 

Gilded Age and Progressive Era America - Academic Info__ Several annotated, click-to-read articles. - From academicinfo.net - http://www.academicinfo.net/usmodgilded.html

HarpWeek: Explore History __ Harpers Weekly was 19th century America's leading illustrated newspaper. Here you will find electronic access from 1857 - 1912, which are years almost bracketing the Gilded and Industrial Ages. - illustrated - From harpweek.com - http://harpweek.com/Default.asp 

The Homestead Act __ You will find the complete text - From University of Virginia - http://xroads.virginia.edu/~HYPER/CONTEXTS/Statutes/homest.html

The Incorporation of America __ After the Civil War, Americans saw changes in almost every aspect of their day-to-lives. In his book, Alan Tractenberg covers a variety of topics. Learn about baseball, advertising, the lives of housewives, socialism, Jewish immigration, department stores, catalogues and more. - illustrated - From University of Virginia - http://xroads.virginia.edu/~HYPER/INCORP/cover.html 

The Labor Movement in the Public Eye __ "American public opinion during the late 1800s was marked by mistrust and uncertainty. It appeared to the American people that the labor unions were fighting for better working conditions one minute, and the next it appeared that they were leading a revolution against business and government. The Government took an anti-labor stance in response to the public outcry against labor-based extremism and violence." Read the full story - From ilwu19.com - http://www.ilwu19.com/edu/public.htm

Recruitment of Lowell Mill Workers, 1840s __ A brief look at recruitment practice at the Lowell mill. "We were not aware, until within a few days, of the modus operandi of the factory powers in this village of forcing poor girls from their quiet homes to become their tools and, like the Southern slaves, to give up their life and liberty to the heartless tyrants and taskmasters." - From University at Albany - http://www.albany.edu/faculty/gz580/His316/RecruitLowell.html 

The Rise of the Standard Oil Company __ "The chief refining competitor of Oil Creek in 1872 was Cleveland, Ohio. Since 1869 that city had done annually more refining than any other place in the country." Learn how this 19th century industrial enterprise grew to dominate a field. - From history.rochester.edu - http://www.history.rochester.edu/fuels/tarbell/upto52.htm  

Samuel F. B. Morse Papers at the Library of Congress __ "The online presentation of The Samuel F. B. Morse Papers at the Library of Congress comprises about 6,500 items, or approximately 50,000 images, that document Morse's invention of the electromagnetic telegraph, his participation in the development of telegraph systems in the United States and abroad, his career as a painter, his family life, his travels, and his interest in early photography, religion, and the nativist movement." - From Library of Congress - http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/sfbmhtml/sfbmhome.html

Tammany Hall __ You will find several resources. - From about.com - http://history1900s.about.com/cs/tammanyhall/   

"Uniting Mugwumps and the Masses: Puck's Role in Gilded Age Politics," by Dan Backer __ A site covering several aspects of life and ethics in the Gilded Age in text and graphic formats. - illustrated - From University of Virginia - http://xroads.virginia.edu/~MA96/PUCK/home.html

U.S. History - Gilded Age __ Excellent collection of online resources for the Gilded Age.  Please don't go there as you will have no reason to return here. - From besthistorysites.net - http://www.besthistorysites.net/ushistory_gildedage.shtml   
 

 

 

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