The Gilded age tycoons and the Progressive Movement Era were important periods that played a great role in the development of the American Society. The Gilded Age tycoon's period of the American history took place between 1870 and 1900. During the Gilded Age, there was the display of wealth as well as political scandals. The Progressive Era occurred after the Gilded Age period which took place between the 1890s and 1920s.During the Progressive Era, there were political social, technological and economic reforms that were experienced. The Gilded Age tycoons were more important to the American success than the progressive movement as they assisted in the development of new industries, transportation and communication networks (Baker).
During the Gilded Age, the tycoons helped in the construction of railroads network which included the transcontinental railroad. The transcontinental was of a great significance since it connected the United States from New York to California. The railroad facilitated transportation across the continent. As a result of the railroad, people were able to settle in the United States as the time that was used in traveling from the eastern to the western parts of the United States reduced significantly from months to weeks. The railroad led to urbanization as people started to settle in the cities and engaged themselves in different types of business and industrial activities.
The increase in immigration resulted in the rapid growth of the West as people engaged in ranching, mining and farming activities. The rapidly growing industries within the cities during the Gilded Age tycoon's period resulted in the formation of labor unions. The labor unions were formed by the workers to protect the unskilled as well as the skilled workers in the cities and countryside. The labor unions helped the workers to fight for their rights of having better wages, working conditions and favorable working hours. There was the emergence of a few large corporations that were referred to as trusts. They mainly dominated in the sugar, meat, steel, oil and farm machinery industries. The trusts through vertical integration helped control most aspects of the production of various goods, and this helped in ensuring that the profits that were being generated from the finished products were maximized and the costs of production minimized. The Gilded Tycoons period helped in the economic growth of America which was mainly contributed by the increased industrialization. By the twentieth century, the per capita income as well as the industrial production of the United States was on the lead. As a result of the increased industrialization, there was technological advancement. New machinery was implemented to enhance production in the industries.
During the Gilded Age, the Americans experienced political reforms. The Civil Service Act tried to deal with issues related to government corruption. The Act required individuals who were seeking various jobs in the government to undertake a competitive examination. There was also the Interstate Commerce Act which aimed at ensuring that there was equality on the use of railroads. The Interstate Commerce Act aimed at ending discrimination by railroads against the small shippers.
In conclusion, the Gilded Age tycoons were more important than the progressive movement to the American success. The Gilded age tycoons helped in the creation of a network of railroads. During the era of the Gilded Age tycoons, there were major achievements that the Americans experienced in the industrial and economic sector which changed the lives of the American people significantly.
Baker, Lawrence W. Gilded Age and Progressive Era Reference Library. UXL, 2006.
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