APUSH Unit VIIThe Gilded Age and the Progressive Response1877-1914By: Chris Russell, Demi Adejuyigbe, Ragini Mistry,Gokul Mani, Tiffany Shieh, Michael Kraft, Dakota Reynolds,Tanya Srivastava, and Charles Basile*disclaimer*- There may be errors in this review. If you think something’s wrong, we suggest you look itup. This is shared with others with the current understanding that it cannot be used to cheat in anyway. We do not authorize this review to be used for cheating of any kind.
Gilded Age- Coined by Mark Twain is the period from 1878-1889. A time when the US was onlyrich and amazing on the surface, or gilded with the rich of the few and underneath the majority waspoor.
Jim Fisk- together with Jay Gould they tried to control the US gold market (not controlled by thegovernment but the people in the Gold Room of the NY Stock Exchange) by using Grant. Grantstopped the sail of gold raising prices and eventually realizing the outcome released $4 mil. in golddriving down prices on “Black Friday” (Sept. 24, 1869).
Jay Gould- starting with the Erie railroad line in NY, he was a major competition to Vanderbilt’scompany. Although forced out of his railroad line due to stock watering (See # 11), he did continuein “business” with Jim Fisk.
Credit Mobilier- (1872) Mass. Congressman Oakes Ames was one of the directors of UnionPacific. With the other leaders of that enterprise he made the Credit Mobilier of America which gotall construction contracts for the government. They then charged congress $94 mil. for work thatwas only worth $44 mil., Ames made the deal easier back in Washington by spreading the sharesfor Credit Mobilier and selling them at half their price.
Leland Stanford- The main entrepreneur behind Central Pacific, building the railroad fromCalifornia to central US. Similar business style as Oakes Ames, by winning land grants, contracts,and overpayments to his railroad-owned construction company. One of the few to get away withhis scandals and later built a university with the money.
“Commodore” Cornelius Vanderbilt- started a Staten Island ferry business that he built into a steamship empire. After the Civil War he expanded into railroads. His company, the New York Central,was built on graft and bribery, and became the largest single railroad line in the US.
Thomas Edison- An inventor of many things, the phonogram, light bulb, moving pictures, and thebasic ability to transmit electricity over larger distances using Direct Current. This meant the abilityto power whole towns with electricity (allowing the towns to spread out further from the center) andwith the light bulb, work hours could go on into the night.
John D. Rockefeller- Originally a book keeper and when asked to see the prospects in oil, heresponded that it had “no future”, to then invest in it himself. His first business was SouthImprovement Company, but was severely corrupt forcing it out of business, to which Rockefeller started Standard Oil of Cleveland in 1870. Standard Oil bought out other businesses with bribesand driving down prices until the competing company went out of business or he could buy themout with Standard Oil stock. Built his business on the idea of horizontal integration (See #14). Alsohe used “trusts” designed by one of his accountants, Samuel C. T. Dodd. The “trusts” were ways toget around state anti-monopoly laws. By making a nine-man board of trustees and selling “trustcertificates” instead of stock. Controlled 90 to 98% of the oil business in the US.