• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Warren Winter

Extracts from this document...


Warren Winter 11/01/04 AP American History The Gilded Age of American industry in the late 19th century marked a period of massive change. Widespread urbanization transformed the economic and social climate of America such that it became conducive to massive industrial and agricultural production. Richard Hofstadter writes, "The industrialists of the Gilded Age were such as one might expect to arise where great waste is permitted for great accomplishment, where temptations are offered and few restraints imposed... They directed the proliferation of the country's wealth, they seized its opportunities, they managed its corruption, and from them the era took its tone and color" (213). This period of economic boom saw the emergence of American labor as an organized economic and political force. The vigorous demands presented by labor resulted in unprecedented conflict between capital and labor, with over six million workers involved in over thirty-six thousand strikes. Impotence, not efficacy, furthermore characterized the contemporaneous Presidents, who invested extensive power in the hands of the legislative branch and were disinclined to exert strong executive action against the trusts and monopolies that had begun to burgeon. By 1894 the United States had become the largest manufacturing nation in the world. In 1860 nearly one out of every four Americans worked in manufacturing; by 1900, one out of every two worked in manufacturing. ...read more.


Standard Oil stockholders began to buy up shares in other companies as well; under the regulations for a holding company, management of various companies could be joint as well. Standard Oil stockholders became the majority holders in other oil companies, allowing Standard Oil management to run these companies also. By the early 1890s Standard Oil had merged 43 oil-producing companies together under their control and produced nearly 90 percent of all oil in America. Standard Oil also achieved vertical integration when the company not only moved to control production but also the marketing and distribution of the finished product. Similar examples of vertical integration were found in many other companies, as in Gustavus Swift's similar control over the meat-processing industry. Carnegie Steel's operation is often cited as the best example of vertical integration in this era. In the ethical treatment of the economic activities that ensued during the Gilded Age, the philosopher Herbert Spencer became intrigued by Darwinism and natural selection, which held that only the most well-adapted individuals in a population will survive and reproduce. Spencer suggested a parallel between economics and nature, coining the phrase "survival of the fittest" to describe the competition among human individuals and groups. He argued that human progress resulted from the triumph of more advanced individuals and cultures over their inferior competitors. ...read more.


was organized by crafts and consisted almost exclusively in skilled workers. In contrast to the idealism of the Knights of Labor, the A.F.L. bargained for practical issues such as higher wages and shorter hours. By 1917 the A.F.L. had over 2.5 million members. Although the union used strike tactics on many occasions it strenuously avoided the appearance of being controlled by radicals. Miners in the West also were engaged in labor activity, and in late 1905 helped to found the Industrial Workers of the World (I.W.W.), which reflected the ideology of the Knights of Labor. Union literature was saturated with the Marxist themes and concepts of class conflict, violence, and the appeal of socialism. The union came to a conclusion during World War I when many of its leaders were jailed. The labor movement proved fatally limited: Even by 1915 only 12 percent of the workforce was unionized. According to Burton W. Folsom, "irregardless of which government, whether federal, state, or local, or which commodity were involved, government-run businesses are considerably less efficient and prosperous than their free-market counterparts" (126). Through the laissez-faire policies of government in the Gilded Age, corporations gained unilateral advantage in the inevitable conflict with the labor force. The Second Industrial Revolution, propelled by a momentum rigged or no, transformed the climate of the American economy by redefining its parameters of power dynamics. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our University Degree Microeconomics section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related University Degree Microeconomics essays

  1. Does Marks & Spencer have a future?

    But the clothing line of M&S failed to appeal to the customers in this regard. Hence, there was a decline in the demand for the kind of clothes sold at the M&S stores, which was a result of a leftward shift in its Demand Curve.

  2. Monopoly. A monopoly may arise as a result of natural forces, or it ...

    can potentially be improved upon by devoting more resources to the monopolized product. X-inefficiency An additional source of welfare loss in a monopolistic situation can arise because the lack of competition pressure allows the monopolist to pursue, to some extent at least, other than profit-maximizing objectives.

  1. factors influencing prices in the global oil market

    of concentration in the world oil industry: just ten companies control 68 percent of the world's proven oil reserves. Nine of the ten biggest oil reserve holders are state-owned National Oil Companies (NOCs). Many of these were formerly private sector companies that were nationalized in the 1970s.

  2. Free essay

    State and federal wage

    505 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, which prohibit discrimination against qualified individuals with disabilities who work in the federal government; and the Civil Rights Act of 1991, which, among other things, provides monetary damages in cases of intentional employment discrimination.

  1. Walmart, Monopoly.

    invest in things like research and development.2 The basic conflict is the struggle between the monopsonist buyer coercing rent from the monopolist seller. The monopsonist often employs perfect price discrimination, or "all or nothing" deals. If the buyer has market power and the supply curve is rising, the average unit

  2. Microsoft Monopoly

    minimum quantity commitments on manufacturers; signing contracts for greater than one year; tying the sale of MS_DOS to the sale of other Microsoft products (Eisenach). Jesse Berst, editorial director of Windows Watcher, states "To use a railroad analogy, Microsoft builds the tracks on which the rest of the industry ships its products.

  1. Lean manufacturing in the turbine engine production

    and also to increase the utilization of assembly line therefore generating more revenue in the same period of time. Figure 10: Benefits of Creating Flow [3] 4. Built-In Quality The aerospace industry traditionally recognises the importance of quality in terms of reliability and safety for passengers.

  2. Operation management

    At present expansion is under way to double the capacity. � The factory has an imposed taxes � The factory is state owned, so that, it has a limited flexibility. Quality, Customer Service and Cost Challenges To succeed in global competition in the twenty first century, companies must quickly develop innovative products and respond quickly to customers' needs.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work