Rebuttal Essay on the Topic: The Gilded Age

The United States' "Gilded Age" Period

The United States of America's late 19th century was referred to as the "Guilded Age" by Mark Twain. This is parody because the situation in Maine at the time appeared to be glittering on the outside but was actually rotten on the inside. In reality, the era was marked by avarice, disgraceful politics, dubious business dealings, graft, and unbridled capitalism. (Gary 225).

Characteristics of the Gilded Age

The Gilded Age was characterized by technological advancement, widespread immigration, and conflicts over money, tariffs, and railways. Railroads contributed significantly to the industry's expansion and to urbanization and manufacturing. (Foner 34).

Political Problems and Social Injustices

Political problems like prohibition and racial discrimination were very important and were present. Unions stood up for injustices against children, women, working conditions among other grievances.

Temperance Movement in Maine

Temperance leaders in Maine focused on alcohol, end of slavery, abolition of death penalty, and cubing women suffering. Many of these proponents such as Neal Dow positioned themselves on religious and moral high grounds claiming that these happenings were a source of society's ills. They believed that the sin was huge and propelled for salvation. Expansion of the working class, increase of immigration and diversifying drinking habits grew more political. The pre-Civil War brought public attention on abolition of slavery, the punitive treatment of the prisoners among other social concerns (Foner 34). The Maine law championed for prohibition and justified search and seizure for liquor. Governor John Hubbard passed and signed the statute which outlined strict rules against alcoholics. Women leaders such as M.N Stevens of Dover rose to power and took up the fight against national prohibition (Kyle 180). These leaders occupy a unique position in the history of the temperance movement as they were the world's first Total Abstinence Society hence placing Maine as the beginners of the movement

Thomas Reed and James G. Blaine

Thomas Reed, a Republican of Maine was one of the most effective and important speakers who led the United States House of Representatives into the modern era. Among other things, he championed for the abolition of capital punishment, protective tariffs, peace, women's suffrage, and a strong navy. Reed was a prominent speaker in the Gilded Age who wrestled to protect American workers and over taxation. James G. Blaine served two terms as a secretary of state. He entered politics as a Republican who was elected to congress I 1862 although was not successful for the candidature for the Republican nomination for president (Foner 33). To cap off his success story, he promoted peace within America, facilitated commercial expansion, championed increase of the naval power and release of the arrested U.S citizens.

Work Cited

Foner. Eric. Give Me Liberty: America’s Guilded Age. Norton & Company Inc. 2010. 370-410

James, Gary (2009). The Big Book of City. Halifax: James Ward. ISBN 978-0-9558127-2-9., pp 225-228

Kyle G.,Volk, (2014). Moral Minorities and the Making of American Democracy. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press. pp. 167–205. ISBN 019937192X.

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