The led by Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse

The Gilded Age, an evolutionary time in the late 19th century, which altered the common farmer’s life, from living in the rural into an industrial worker living in the city. The Gilded Age created the transcontinental railroad, racial tension, end of freely roaming Native Americans, tedious labor, unemployment, substantial immigration, an extreme government and fraudulent politics. With all these crucial events occurring from the early 1870s to the early 1900s, I believe the most crucial years in the Gilded Age consist of 1873, a time in which many events concluded, 1893, the commencer of the Great Depression, and 1896, the year of a fundamental election.   The year 1873 marked the end of many movements and eras, but set the scene for other prospecting years. One big era that ended in 1873 was the Native Americans free roam over Western U.S.. The Battle of Little Bighorn( Custer’s Last Stand) was the last successful Native American defense led by Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse against Custer and his men. Not much later, Native Americans were declared to live on reservations. Another era that ended was American Reconstruction, which left many legacies including the transcontinental railroad, 13th, 14th and 15th amendments. Reconstruction, in the South, was intended to support the integration of whites and blacks, but their relation only grew more tense. These racial problems led to the Jim Crow laws which only segregated blacks and whites, primarily in the South. Although,  intensity was growing in the South the government decided to remove federal troops from the South. The famous quote ” Separate but equal” stated in the Plessy vs Ferguson is a deceive to all of America because although they were separated they were truly not equal with blacks receiving discrimination. Blacks had a right to vote, but they were required to take a literacy test which many could not pass, for they never received education. Since, many blacks could not vote they could not defend their thoughts in the exceedingly close elections. The election of 1876, a race between Democrat Samuel Tilden, a man who was notorious for working with the corrupt Boss Tweed as governor of New York and Republican Rutherford B. Hayes, a former Union general who was not corrupt and governor of Ohio. This election was contested heavily by both men making one of the most controversial elections of all time. Hayes advanced as the winner, but not without the Democrats claiming he used fraud. Despite the immense amount of crucial events in 1873 and 1896, I designate 1893 as the most paramount year. This is due to the Great Depression of 19893 which brought economic decay because of overproduction, low wages and tedious hours. The overproduction led to prices collapsing and the government’s solution was to refer to gold for national currency since, the American dollar was losing its international value. Nonetheless, the gold standard was not a success due to the lack of gold and led to more poverty. After, the gold standard  the government introduced silver as a national currency. Eventually, from all the criticism they referred to the dollar after it lost much value. Meanwhile, labor unions and workers were fighting for more fair wages, hours and safety conditions. Often, leading to illegal strikes which almost never concluded well for the strikers. The Pullman Strike, led by Eugene Debs, was a strike against a railroad company which seeked to lower labor costs. This strike was boycott of railroads which was soon interrupted by federal troops. After this Eugene Debs emerged as an advocate of socialism. Debs believed the national money should be extended to the poor laborers not merely the excessively wealthy people. Another big event in 1893 was the Columbian World’s Exposition. The Chicago’s World Fair was an event which helped shape America to what we know and see today. The fair proved America as a potential world leader and a great nation.In 1896, one of the most dramatic elections took place. The election of 1896 was an election which decided the future of our nation. Additionally, the topic of national currency was a big discussion during this election. On the Democrat side which embraced the Populists party advocated, William Jennings Bryan, who fought for farmers and despised the gold standard. Bryan endorsed the free silver system and more tax on the wealthy. Meanwhile , the Republicans who feared Bryan’s plans advocated William McKinley, who fought for the maintenance of the gold standard and was pro-tariffs. Both men were dominant over certain sections of land according to section’s convenience towards the men’s plan, but this was no normal election for McKinley did a “front porch campaign” meaning he did not travel at all to advocate himself. The popular vote was utterly close, but McKinley came out president. McKinley’s victory led to a progressive era which was based upon social reforms. Overall, the Gilded Age was an era in which America established its eminence. The Gilded Age converted the average agrarian American farmer into an industrial worker living in an urban society.  The late 19th century ended many elite movements and eras, but also created many more which helped us identify ourselves as America. The three crucial turning point years in the Gilded Age include 1876, 1893, and 1896. 1893 being the most eminent do to its Great Depression economical issues.  These various years are one of the cause on why we know America for what it is today. In general, the Gilded Age was time in America as the word “Gilded” suggests, gold and rich on the outside, but dreadful in the inside.


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