March 1, 2013
Following the Era of Reconstruction came another age, the Gilded Age. After the Civil War the country was torn apart and had to be put back together. This brought about the Era of Reconstruction, which consisted of physically rebuilding a torn apart nation as well as rebuilding states governments who had succeeded from the country. After the country was put back together what was called the “Gilded Age” began. The word Gilded means “covered in gold leaf” and properly described this time in America. It was a time of extreme economic growth in America and it attracted many people from Europe.
The Gilded Age followed the Era or Reconstruction. This would help to quickly grow America’s economy in new areas, like factories, mining and railroads. Mining in the west greatly increased due to the first transcontinental railroad opening in 1869. Instead of it taking six months to travel from San Francisco to New York, it now only took six hours. Between the years 1860 to 1890 the United States became a world leader in applied technology, having 500,000 patents issued to new inventors.
The Economy in America grew at some of its fastest rates ever in the 1870s to 1880s. Between these years the production of wheat grew 256%, corn grew 222%, coal by 800%, and railroad track increased by 567%. By the 1900s the per capita income as well as the industrial production in the United States led the world. This could all be increased because of the new railroad, which led to the moving of resources like lumber gold and silver from the resource rich west to the east. Therefore the railroad demanded the use of oil and steel, which meant those industries, would also increase.
Since there was all of the sudden such a large demand for things such as steel and oil businessmen such as John D. Rockefeller as well as Andrew Carnegie became very rich during the Gilded Age. John D. Rockefeller was the founder of Standard Oil...