APUSH period 6 Notes.pdf - Big businessu200b The Gilded...

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Big business - The Gilded Age is characterized in part by the change from small, locally-owned businesses to large corporations and trusts that would soon dominate entire industries (monopolies). The three most important industries of this time were the railroad industry, steel industry, and oil industry (because of recent and new innovations). The men who owned these corporations were often called “robber barons” by critics because of their bad business activities and attempts to even control governments. Andrew Carnegie - dominated the steel industry and used vertical integration by dominating all aspects of the steel industry, from mining the steel to distributing it. Rockefeller - organized the Standard Oil trust, which consisted of trustees from several companies involved in the same industry acting together rather than in competition against each other. Rockefeller used horizontal integration by slowly buying out all the competition (or just beating them out of existence) Urbanization - The industrialization of the US during the Gilded Age. Cities became bigger. More immigrants came to the US and to these cities. Gilded Age - A term coined by Mark Twain in 1873, basically similar to statues with gold leaf gilding - while they may have been shiny and expensive-looking on the outside, they were often just cheap plaster on the inside. This represents the situation in America at the time because while the Gilded Age did mean US industrial expansion because of new technology, mass production techniques, and new markets, there was a large disparity between the rich and the poor, with a handful of people like Carnegie and Rockefeller owning copious amounts of wealth while the rest of the population suffered in severe poverty. Subsidies - the government subsidized new transportation and communication systems during the Gilded Age, and this opened new markets. Basically, in these subsidies, the US government granted land (more than 175 million acres) and also money to the Railroad companies to encourage the building of railroads all across the US. Monopolies - The exclusive possession or control of the supply of or trade in a commodity or service. Carnegie and Rockefeller monopolized the steel and oil industries, respectively, by using the vertical and horizontal integration techniques. Social Darwinism - This is the idea that human individuals, groups, and organizations are subject to the same evolutionary laws put forth by Charles Darwin. For example, “survival of the fittest” would also be seen by the “survival” of people like Carnegie and Rockefeller while the poorer masses suffered. Also, Standard Oil and other such business monopolies would “survive” over other smaller businesses because of their ruthless bad business methods, etc. Overall, this idea shows that it is natural for richer people and businesses to come out on top of society - justifies monopolies, robber barons, and success.

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