Chapter

The Gilded Age

Mark Guglielmo and Werner Troesken

in Government & The American Economy

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print May 2007 | ISBN: 9780226251271
Published online February 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226251295 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7208/chicago/9780226251295.003.0009
The Gilded Age

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The Gilded Age was fraught with paradox. On the one hand, it was a period of economic centralization and integration; on the other, it was a period of social fragmentation and isolation. This paradox—this inevitable conflict between economic integration and social anomie, between the rise of big business and the ruination of smaller enterprises—runs through most of the major regulatory and legislative changes in the United States during the late nineteenth century. This chapter examines the changes at all levels of government during the Gilded Age. It looks at the turmoil in the agricultural sector of the economy, the rise of the Social Gospel movement, regulation of railroads and public utilities, antitrust laws and meat inspection, urbanization and state and local political economy, and patronage at the local level.

Keywords: Gilded Age; United States; political economy; government; urbanization; meat inspection; antitrust laws; railroads; public utilities; Social Gospel movement

Chapter.  13971 words. 

Subjects: Economic History

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