The status of politics during the gilded age

Colonial economy to s[ edit ] Shipping scene in Salem, Massachusetts, a shipping hub, in the s The colonial economy differed significantly from that of most other regions in that land and natural resources were abundant in America but labor was scarce. Population growth was responsible for over three-quarters of the economic growth of the British American colonies. The free white population had the highest standard of living in the world. Under the colonial system Britain put restrictions on the type of products that could be made in the colonies and put restrictions on trade outside the British Empire.

The status of politics during the gilded age

The War Between Capital and Labor Because we live in an age in which workers are protected by federal and state laws as well as by sound business practices, it is hard for us to imagine a time when workers—especially unskilled, often immigrant workers—were completely at the mercy of their employers.

Russia - The Petrine state |

The plight of many illegal immigrant workers today may be comparable; however, without legal status, they have little recourse to assistance in case of unfair practices. As we mentioned above, before the industrial age factories and workplaces were small enough that the owner knew everyone by name and often worked alongside his or her employees.

The age of the modern factory and impersonal management changed all that, and the patent unfairness with which workers were treated became scandalous. For example, if a worker was injured on the job by faulty machinery, there was no mechanism for obtaining compensation.

If a worker sued, he or she had to prove that it was not his or her own negligence that caused the accident. It is very difficult to prove a negative in such circumstances. The level of human violence and destruction of property did in fact often create warlike conditions, a situation exacerbated by the fact that many workers were Civil War veterans.

They declared themselves just as prepared to shoot a corporate hireling as they had been ready to kill a Yankee or a rebel.

The status of politics during the gilded age

Cold, ruthless, calculating and impervious to the negative effects of what they were doing, they hired their own armies to deal with recalcitrant laborers. The Workers The worker in the Western World has a troubled history.

Thomas Hobbes described life in nature as poor, solitary, nasty, brutish, short—and for many workers that was the case. Various political theories attempted to explain or find solutions for the plight of the working classes.

Socialists saw evil as an inevitable result when capitalism was left to its own devices; Liberalism called for freedom from oppression, first from government, then from business; Communism—Marxism and Leninism—saw the history of man as the history of class struggle.

Of those theories, Communism was the most attractive to the mass of workers who labored in daily to make America wealthy, but who controlled few of the benefits of that wealth. The ultimate goal of Communism was labor ownership of the means of production and a state run by the proletariat, theoretically in a classless society.

Classical economists saw labor as commodity, to be bought and sold according to market demands, and were pessimists about hopes for the working poor. Adam Smith held government intervention harmful and advocated international division of labor.

Thomas Malthus argued that the immediate plight of the working class could only become worse because of population growth. If wages are raised, more children will be produced; they will go into the market place and reduce the value of labor.

The result will be that fewer children will be born, wages will rise, and the cycle will repeat. Thus wages always work toward minimum level. Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels posited the theory that class struggles lead to oppression, as they outlined in the Communist Manifesto of Marx saw slavery in the South as a logical extension of capitalism.

Such ideas served to suppress movements to improve the lives of the working classes. The concept of Social Darwinism is discussed further below.Mark Twain and Charles Dudley Warner were the first to call the years after the Civil War the "gilded age." Struck by what they saw as the rampant greed and speculative frenzy of the marketplace, and the corruption pervading national politics, they satirized a society whose serious problems, they.

Sep 11,  · The War Between Capital and Labor. Because we live in an age in which workers are protected by federal and state laws as well as by sound business practices, it is hard for us to imagine a time when workers—especially unskilled, often immigrant workers—were completely at .

When the first edition of America in the Gilded Age was published in , it soon acquired the status of a classic, and was widely acknowledged as the first comprehensive account of the latter half of the nineteenth century to appear in many years.

Sean Dennis Cashman traces the political and social saga of America as it passed through the momentous transformation of the Industrial Revolution. Editor’s note: We are pleased to again welcome Philip Leigh, who brings us a long-form guest post on how the Reconstruction shaped the southern states.

The Southern Argument for Slavery []

During the election of , Republican painted Franklin D. Roosevelt as leading the country towards the platform of the Socialist Party.

This bothered both Roosevelt and Norman Thomas, who agreed on one thing, which was that Roosevelt was not a Socialist. Russia - The Petrine state: Formally, Peter changed the tsardom of Muscovy into the Empire of All Russias, and he himself received the title of emperor from the Senate at the conclusion of the peace with Sweden.

Not only did the title aim at identifying the new Russia with European political tradition, but it also bespoke the new conception of rulership and of political authority that Peter.

Sex Wars: A Novel of Gilded Age New York: Marge Piercy: Books