During the Gilded Age, it can be argued that the President ofthe United States had less power than the business leaders James Garfield Chester A. Arthur Grover Cleveland Benjamin HarrisonThe policies and actions of the U.S. government during theGilded Age gave large corporations the freedom to do mostwhatever it wanted, leading to an industrial boom in the U.S.
Free Enterprise System The freeenterprise system is the economic system in whichcitizens are free torun a business the way they want The system is based on the laissez-faire theory, meaning a business will succeed or fail and the government will not interfere
Free Enterprise SystemThe free enterprise system allowed the United States to become a world industrial giant in the late 1800s and led to numerous new inventions
Bell develops telephone The free enterprise system helped to lead to new inventions by private businesses. One of the most dramatic inventions of the late 1800s was in the field of communications.In 1876, Alexander Graham Bell developed the first telephone, which revolutionizedcommunication by increasing the scale and speed of nationwide communications."Mr. Watson -- come here -- I want to see you."
Edison and the Light Bulb In 1879, American inventor Thomas Edison developed the first light bulb. The invention led to the wide spread use of electrical power and factories being able to run at night. This in turn produced more jobs and more product, which led to lower prices.Edison is considered one of the mostprolific inventors in history, holding 1,093 U.S. patents in his name.
The Bessemer Process The Bessemer process was the first inexpensive industrial process for the mass-production of steel.By the late 1880s an immigrant by the name of Andrew Carnegie used this process to become a millionaire
Captains of Industry Entrepreneurs & Industrialists like Cornelius Vanderbilt,Andrew Carnegie, John D. Rockefeller and J.P. Morgan were able to build great fortunes during the Gilded Age Railroads Steel Oil BankingCornelius Vanderbilt Andrew Carnegie John D. Rockefeller J.P. Morgan The government created policies to support the industrialists • High tariffs led to lower prices for American made goods • There were very few government regulations on big business • Government supported owners over workers in labor disputes
Captains of Industry ……or Robber Barons?
The Gospel of WealthMany Christians rejectedSocial Darwinism becauseit contradicted the Bible Many believed that those who profited from society owed something in return. This philosophy of giving back to society became known as the Gospel of Wealth. The Captain of Industry who most believed in the Gospel of Wealth was Andrew Carnegie, who gave millions of dollars to numerous charities
“Rags to Riches” Immigrants came to America with the hope they could become rich andsuccessful if they worked hard enough Novelist Horatio Alger wrote stories where the main character went from “rags to riches.” Rich Uncle Pennybags The belief that people who worked hard could raise their standard of living was known as “Individualism” Going from “rags to riches” became known as achieving “The American Dream”
Social Darwinism Not everyone was able to achieve the American Dream Many people ended up broke trying to achieve wealthThe belief that things that can not adapt to their environment will eventually die out is known as Social Darwinism “Survival of the fittest”