What is the phrase "Gilded Age" implying about the late 1800's?

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  • 5 years ago
    Favourite answer

    Gilded Age - A name for the late 1800s, coined by Mark Twain (SARCASTICALLY because of the CORRUPTION) 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.

    Gilded means covered in gold, and Twain described this era as gilded because it glittered on the outside, but underneath the surface it was full of corruption; during this time, the Western Frontier was closing, a modern industrial economy was established, political partisanship was apparent, and numerous reforms were enacted.

    The time of economic growth, the second industrial revolution, urbanization, immigration, and political/economic corruption - It included the era of forgotten presidents (Hayes, Garfield, Arthur, and Harrison) Congress and Business were more influential than the presidency during this time.

    In other words, although this age seemed golden, it was clear that underneath it all was so much corruption, that it was only gilded.

  • Gary C
    Lv 7
    5 years ago

    Gretchen S has the correct answer. I will add that it was Mark Twain who first used the phrase "gilded age" to refer to the American experience in the late 1800s.

    Someting that is gilded, as opposed to golden, has a very thin layer of gold leaf applied to the outer surface of a cheaper material.

  • RP
    Lv 7
    5 years ago

    That it was a golden age.

  • 5 years ago

    Superficial well-being and prosperity. It *looks* fancy but not if one investigates any more deeply.

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