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The Gilded Age - The Gilded Age In A Nutshell The Gilded...

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The Gilded Age In A Nutshell The Gilded Age lasted from 1870-1900 The name came from the title of a Mark Twain book "Gilded" means covered with gold on the outside, but not really golden on the inside The Gilded Age was a period of rapid economic growth but also much social conflict The Gilded Age , which spanned the final three decades of the nineteenth century, was one of the most dynamic, contentious, and volatile periods in American history. America's industrial economy exploded, generating unprecedented opportunities for individuals to build great fortunes but also leaving many farmers and workers struggling merely for survival. Overall national wealth increased more than fivefold, a staggering increase, but one that was accompanied by what many saw as an equally staggering disparity between the rich and the poor. Industrial giants like Andrew Carnegie and John D. Rockefeller revolutionized business and ushered in the modern corporate economy, but also, ironically, sometimes destroyed free-market economic competition in the process. Record numbers of citizens voted in national elections, but the politicians they voted for were often lackluster figures who turned a blind eye to the public interest. It was, as Dickens might have said, the best of times and the worst of times . But even that Dickensian understanding of the Gilded Age isn't quite right. It's not enough to say
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