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Instructions: For response 1-2, respond thoughtfully. Just saying “I agree” or “I disagree” does not constitute a thoughtful response. They need to be substantive to promote further discussion, new ideas, or questions and are approximately 150-200 words (1 paragraph) in length. Short comments, such as “Good point,” information not applicable to the historical context of the assigned topic, and non-topic personal interactions do not apply.

1. How did the term “Gilded Age” characterize American society in the late 19th century?

The term Gilded itself means, “Covered or highlighted with gold”(Kariger. 1995), which was what was actually occurring during the 19th century. Americans were only aware of what was visible to their eyes, “popular national growth and industrialization”(Corbett.2017), like the tall buildings, railroads and advanced technologies but not what was going on in the government. The creation of all this corporation and business brought deal based on personal gain. The simple fact that the presidential seat was taken by a candidate whose electoral vote was below the requirement demonstrates the weakness of the country. The most powerful seat was called the weakest position in government yet each president’s four year term consisted of repaying favor that got him to that spot. I believe that the spoil system was a lead cause of a weak government, powerful positions given to people,”regardless of their level of experience or skill”(Corbett.2017) , in other word unqualified. Personal gain was sought through the spoil system allowing business and candidates to benefit from each other in political support and money. This corruption affected every American from farmers to industrialized workers. The term is accurate for a second but it’s mostly focused on the actions going on in the government. An accurate name can be the “Extortion Era”. As Hayas term ended with no significant improvements he did manage to change up a bit the civil service and remove Chester A. Arthur from NYC Customs House which caused the downfall of supporters. What brought to some relief and other more trouble was the high tariffs and low tariffs. This helped American buy more products from the US increasing the taxes on import goods and then lower the living of all American class. Regardless president after president the American people did not find support from their government. The Gilded Age ended with the panic of 1893.

2. How did the term “Gilded Age” characterize American society in the late 19th century?

Historians view the Gilded Age as a period of rapid economic, technological, political, and social transformation. This transformation forged a modern, national industrial society out of what had been small regional communities. By the end of the Gilded Age, the United States was at the top end of the world’s leading industrial nations. In the Progressive Era that followed the Gilded Age, the United States became a world power. In the process, there was much dislocation, including the destruction of the Plains Indians, hardening discrimination against African Americans, and environmental degradation. Two extended nationwide economic depressions followed the Panic of 1873 and the Panic of 1893.

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