Gilded Age Essay

Published: 2020-04-22 15:25:56
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The era following the civil war, the gilded age, modernized the nation with new technological advances. Womens social status improved with the up and coming government policies and intolerance of Native Americans became more prominent due to westward expansion. Segregation laws oppress African Americans and violate their rights as American citizens. Women gained suffrage in the gilded age which significantly improved their social status. Previously, women were viewed as inferior to men and incapable of having the same responsibilities.

The cause of womens suffrage was carried by middle class women and was launched in 1848 at Seneca Falls. Many women believed a major cause of poverty for immigration and working-class families was the excessive drinking by male factory workers. Women successfully advocated for total abstinence from alcohol. Many women had leisure time as a housewife, so they got more involved in politics and social issues. Middle class women did most of the shopping for their families so they became the prominent consumers. Women likely had a part time job but they were vulnerable to low-paid and insecure work without benefits.

They were also discriminated against when being hired because they were more likely to take leave for childcare or maternity leave. The mobilization of the American economy sprouted from the rise of technology in the gilded age through the development of railroads, homesteads, and farming techniques. This expansion on the Great Plains increased intolerance towards the Native Americans, which soon resulted in removal of most Indian tribes. At first, they attempted a truce through the treaty of Fort Laramie, where the government and representatives of the tribes discussed the terms of westbound settlers.

The tribes would receive annuity in return for their cooperation. However, the government failed to compensate the tribes properly and violated the treaty. Trains were pulled by horses prior to the invention of steam locomotives, so the railroads running west became known as The Iron Horse by Native Americans. Many oppressive acts such as the Homestead Act and the Dawes Severalty Act displayed intolerance of the Native Americans. The Battle of the Little Bighorn/ Custers Last Stand was a result of Indian intolerance. Another social group that was deeply impacted by the gilded age was the

African Americans, who were affected by Jim Crow laws. The old south was unwilling to accept the new technology and there was an emerging grey area between states laws and rights versus the federal government. The southern sharecropping system was economically backing the Jim Crow laws. State black codes restricted the freedom of African Americans, and compelled them to work for lower wages. The purpose of these oppressive laws were to preserve the system of white supremacy. Civil rights acts were introduced with hopes of equality for African Americans but they were ruled unconstitutional.

Segregation laws enforced a separate but equal status for African Americans. In conclusion, the gilded age transformed the country and impacted many social groups of American society. Women gained the right to vote and more social status while the Native Americans were oppressed harsher than ever. Jim crow laws restricted African Americans by segregating the country. The technological advances during the gilded age provided a more modern society and influenced changing government policies. These advances also allowed for a boosted economy.

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