The Gilded Age

Essay by njgal2006High School, 11th gradeA+, May 2005

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The Gilded Age was an age of corruption. It was run by political machines, local groups wanting to ensure their party stayed in power. The political machines were a feudal system in themselves. At the top of the political machine was the boss, such as Boss Tweed, a well known boss for his corruption in New York. The time period was called the Gilded Age because gilded means covered in gold and to the outside eye it seemed as if the United States was prospering with no trouble at all but when you really examined the things going on you found out this was the exact opposite. Immigrants were hated by nonimmigrants because they took the jobs of Americans. Immigrants were also treated horribly by local political machines. They were the center of all scandals. Political parties made promises to the immigrants to ensure that they got their vote.

The governments were run by political machines.

Who ran these political machines depended on the spoils system. Political machines were not all bad because they did help the poor. They made changes and advances to things such as sewer systems and public housing to make sure they got the vote of the poor. Some political machines even helped immigrants get jobs when they first get to their cities. Not all political machines or bosses were bad. One political machine in Cleveland was nothing but good. The political boss of that machine improved the city by miles. It was no longer a run down dump. It wasn't perfect but the living conditions improved for many people. Most of the time political machines hurt more than they helped. Poor whites and immigrants had no choice but to listen to political machines because if they went against the machine in their constituent they would...

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