The Gilded Age

a belief in the importance of the individual and the virtue of self-reliance and personal independence
Social Darwinism
strongly reinforced the idea of individualism; survival to the fittest. Although rejected by biologists, this theory from the 1870s is often associated with Herbert Spencer and is said to have justified the competition of laissez-faire capitalism, the new racial superiority ideas, and imperialist policies.
The idea that the wealthy should use their fortunes to create conditions that help people help themselves
Settlement House
Institution located in a poor neighborhood that provided numerous community services such as medical care, child care, libraries, and classes in English
Process of assimilating immigrants into American culture by teaching English, American history, and citizenship
the gradual change in a species over time
Gilded Age
A name for the late 1800s, coined by Mark Twain to describe the tremendous increase in wealth caused by the industrial age and the ostentatious lifestyles it allowed the very rich. The great industrial success of the U.S. and the fabulous lifestyles of the wealthy hid the many social problems of the time, including a high poverty rate, a high crime rate, and corruption in the government.
Gospel of Wealth
This was a book written by Carnegie that described the responsibility of the rich to be philanthropists. This softened the harshness of Social Darwinism as well as promoted the idea of philanthropy.
Mark Twain
In 1873 along with the help of Charles Dudley Warner he wrote The Gilded Age. This is why the time period is called the “Gilded Age”. One of Americas greatest authors and social critics
Social Gospel
Movement led by Washington Gladden – taught religion and human dignity would help the middle class over come problems of industrialization
Jane Adams
Social reformer who worked to improve the lives of the working class. In 1889 she founded Hull House in Chicago, the first private social welfare agency in the U.S., to assist the poor, combat juvenile delinquency and help immigrants learn to speak English.
2 Concepts that shaped American Attitudes During the Gilded Age
Individualism and Social Darwinism shaped American attitudes about industrialization
Changing American Culture during the Industrial Age
Writers and Artists began to portray life in America more realistically
What was the importance of the saloon in city life
A place for male workers to discuss politics, and life with others who shared their experiences
The Main Idea of Social Darwinism
Human Society evolves through competition and natural selection: survival of the fittest
Reforms in response to industrialization
Reformers developed new methods and ideas to help the urban poor
Congressional Action to regulate Big Business
The Interstate and Commerce Commission and the Sherman Antitrust Act