What does your law and order amount to?: Crises of the Gilded Age

The period of the 1870s-1890s, often known as the Gilded Age, witnessed massive economic and technological transformations in the United States. These transformations affected social and class relations as well. While this Second Industrial Revolution created significant new wealth, it also engendered considerable conflict. Laborers and farmers protested the new state of affairs and organized political movements to represent their views. Their effect on the American political system may have been limited, but was certainly felt.

In preparation for the assignment, read: “Capital and Labor” and read Chapter 18: “Life in Industrial America” in The American Yawp, and read The Haymarket Affair. Please also view the following videos: The American Industrial Revolution.

Using the primary and secondary source materials above as evidence, consider the following in a post of at least 300 words:

  • How was work and the workplace in the Gilded Age different from previous eras?
  • Select one group from the following: Knights of Labor, Populists, or Anarchists.
    • What were their major criticisms of the American political and economic system in the Gilded Age?
    • What solutions did such groups propose? If these proposals had been implemented, how do you think they might have altered American politics and economy?

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