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During the later half of the 1800s, the U.S. experienced dramatic economic growth. That growth was possible because of the resources available in the U.S. and lead to much progress and also many problems.


The Gilded Age was time of materialism and cultural shallowness. It occured in the later half of the nineteenth century because people were making and giving money freely. Many wealthy people were giving money in many directions especially to the universites. Also economists restated the importance of laissez-faire to economic growth. Government interference with business was minimal during this period, and entrepreneurs expanded their business and earned great wealth. To support the importance of laissez-faire capitalists looked at Charles Darwins theory of natural selection other wise known as Social Darwinism. Social Darwinists said that life was a struggle of survival of the fittest. Non-governmental interference on business competition would weak businesses fail and healthy businesses do well. Government interference would interfere with natural selection. However this also prevented the government from helping the poor or workers as this would violate natual laws as well.


There were many leaders of the gilded age. Some of them were Andrew Carnegie, John D. Rockefeller, J. Pierpont Morgan, and Henry Ford. Carnegie started working young and worked his way through many jobs. He invested his money very well until he had enough to but a steel factory. The steel industry was rising dramtically at this time because of the railroads being built. In 101 he sold his company for 50 million dollars. He believed the wealthy had a debt to society and ended up giving millions to charity. Rockefeller entered the oil-refining business during the civil war. He used ruthless methods to get rid of the competition and soon owned 0% of the American oil-refinery with his company Standard Oil. He also ended up giving millions of dollars to charity. Morgan trained as a banker and profited by making loans to growing businesses. He controlled a variety of companies from electrical to insurance to shipping. In 101 he bought Carnegie Steel and merged it with other companies and created the United States Steel Corporation, the worldd largest. Ford revolutionized automaking in 11 by using a moving assembly line that permitted the mass production of cars, which significantly lowered the cost of production. Ford also paid his men higher wages that set a standard to allow labors to afford purchases as large as these.


During the later half of the 1800s, the U.S. experienced dramatic economic growth. That growth was possible because of the resources available in the U.S. that lead to much progress. Laissez-faire allowed businessman to run businesses without government inference and this pioneered the types of businesses that we have today.


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