But buried beneath this one-dimensional portrait is a much more complex set of facts.
Reformers decried the way urban politicians turned corruption into a way of lifebut those same crooked politicians also provided vital services to working-class and immigrant neighborhoods.
At the same time, however, wages and incomes at the middle and lower ends of the socioeconomic scale have remained flat for decades, with many ordinary people feeling less and less secure in their ability to keep their jobs, pay their mortgages, afford their retirements.
That very real opportunity to strike it rich has driven a stunning amount of technological and cultural innovation, transforming the way all of usrich and poor alikelive our lives.And citizens endured antidemocratic rule by corrupt machine politicians, but they began to push for the reforms that would soon restore a measure of democracy to urban politics.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.University of Michigan Press, 1956.The Gilded Age was a dynamic age of incredible economic opportunity, just as it was a harsh era of incredible economic exploitation.In the Gilded Age, every dark cloud had its silver lining.Anyway, during the Gilded Age, 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.The Emergence of Modern America, (1933 isbn social history Schlesinger, Arthur.But perhaps even more important, oppression itself inspired creative responses that helped to build modern America.The New Commonwealth, 1968)scholarly survey, strong on syngenta singapore bonus economic and political history Jensen, Richard.Nobody expects the uh, nullification crisis.Industrial workers were exploited, but they responded by forming the organizations that would gradually improve their wages and working conditions.Any version of this tale that includes only the exploitation but not the dynamismor vice versais missing half the story.New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2003.And every silver lining had its dark cloud.America's Wealth in the Gilded Age accessed March 29, 2006 Illinois During the Gilded Age, Illinois Historical Digitization Projects at Northern Illinois University Libraries accessed March 28, 2008 Adus de la p?titleGilded_Age oldid.The Gilded Age: A Reappraisal Syracuse University Press 1970.Encyclopedia of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era.New Spirits: A Web Site on Americans in the Gilded Age, by Rebecca Edwards, Vassar College WWW-VL: History: United States: The Gilded Age, by Robert Spencer, University of Southern Maine.
If so, how should we define progress?
University of North Carolina Press, 2002; history of ideas online edition, faulkner, Harold.; Politics, Reform, and Expansion, (1959 scholarly survey, strong on economic and political history online edition Fine, Sidney.
The Farmer's Last Frontier: (1945) survey of economic history online edition Smythe, Ted Curtis; The Gilded Age Press, Praeger.
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Farmers lost money and much of their traditional influence on national affairs, but they also worked to establish the organizations and methods that would preserve their place in American life.