The Crédit Mobilier Scandal: Politicians and Corporate Fraud in the Gilded Age

The scandal caused widespread public distrust of Congress and the federal government during the Gilded Age. Introduction The Crédit Mobilier scandal of 1867, which came to public attention in 1872, was a two-part fraud by the Union Pacific Railroad and the Crédit Mobilier of America construction company in the building of the eastern portion of[…]

Gilded Age Scandal and Corruption

In the wake of Andrew Johnson’s impeachment, the American public grew tired of politicians and political wrangling. The Tweed Ring and Machine Politics The late nineteenth and very early twentieth centuries in America are often referred to as the “Gilded Age.” The origin of this name is usually attributed to Mark Twain who co-authored a[…]

Politics and Corruption in the Gilded Age, 1865-1900

During the Gilded Age, Congress was known for being rowdy and inefficient. Introduction At the outset of the Civil War the federal government had been stretched far beyond its limits to cope with the extraordinary demands of supporting an army of over one million men. That demand ended once the war was over, but new[…]

The Second Industrial Revolution, the Gilded Age, and Robber Barons

The term “robber baron” described powerful 19th-century industrialists who used questionable practices to amass their wealth. Introduction The Second Industrial Revolution, also known as the “Technological Revolution,” was a phase of rapid industrialization in the final third of the nineteenth century and the beginning of the twentieth century. The First Industrial Revolution, which ended in[…]

Big Alex McKenzie and the Last Great Fraud of the Gilded Age

Alexander McKenzie’s plot to corner Alaska’s gold proved to be the last great swindle of the original gilded age. Gold! With the discovery of this treasure in bountiful quantities, the Alaska gold rush of 1900 became the maddest dash of its kind since the 49ers swarmed California a half century earlier. The gold fields of[…]

An Overview of the Gilded Age in the Late Nineteenth Century

The late 19th century saw the creation of a modern industrial economy during the rise of robber barons and corporate buccaneers. Introduction Mark Twain called the late 19th century the “Gilded Age.” By this, he meant that the period was glittering on the surface but corrupt underneath. In the popular view, the late 19th century[…]

Cleveland’s Gilded Age “Millionaire’s Row”: A Paragon of Immigrant Engagement

City founders expected an outpost of New England. What they created was a paragon of immigrant civic engagement. The Republicans are convening in Cleveland, and the Cleveland Cavaliers have won the NBA championship after a half-century long drought for Cleveland sports teams, putting intense focus on the city’s past and present. And so I, as[…]

Chicago Workers during the Long Gilded Age

What were working conditions like in Chicago during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries? What efforts did workers make to change these conditions? Introduction The United States experienced extraordinary social and economic change between the end of Reconstruction and the beginning of World War I. In 1870, only one-quarter of Americans lived in cities.[…]

Lincoln in Scotland: A Gift of the Gilded Age

This gift from America to Scotland can be understood as a symbol of Gilded Age transatlantic relations. Introduction On August 21, 1893, a bronze stature of Abraham Lincoln was erected in the heart of Edinburgh, Scotland. This article examines the story of this monument and the motivations of the men who erected it, as a[…]