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Evaluate the extent to which the Gilded Age economy fostered change in the United States in the period from 1870 to 1900.Context:After the opening of the first transcontinental railroad, the US economy became more unified and industries began to grow rapidly, which led to the period called the Gilded Age. Thesis:The Gilded Age economy to a great extent fostered significant cultural change in the United States in the period from 1870 to 1900 by increasing immigration, the growth of the middle classand the instigation of much social thought. The building of transcontinental railroads, the discovery of mineral resources, and government policies promoted economic growth and created new communities and centers of commercial activity.The Homestead Act of 1862 encourage farming on the Great Plains by offering 160 acres of public land free to any family that settled on it for a period of 5 years. Because of this, many moved west and took advantage of this act.