Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Tuesday Tidbits: The Gilded Age

Ah, the Gilded Age

That wonderful time of prosperity in the United States that was . . . When exactly? Why was it called  the "Gilded Age"? And what made it the "Gilded Age"?

I had thought that the Gilded Age was from around 1900 up to the Stock Market Crash of 1929, encompassing the glitter Roaring Twenties. Boy was I wrong.

The Gilded Age was the late 19th century, from the end of the Civil War to about 1900.

Why this term "Gilded Age"? In 1873, Mark Twain coined this term in his book The Gilded Age: A Tale of Today.

Gilded Age refers to the glittering surface of the time, but there was greed and corruption underneath that surface.

What made this the Gilded Age was the rapid economic growth, technology, government, and social change. Previously, Americans didn't want to behave or to be viewed as being anything like Europe. But with the advent of "new money" people being snubbed by "old money" people, some of the customs, behaviors, and view began to be adopted. At the same time, industry boomed creating some of this new money, and along with money and progress came corruption.

So that's the Gilded Age in a nut shell.

Award-winning novelist MARY DAVIS has over two dozen titles in both historical and contemporary themes. She is a member of ACFW and active in two critique groups. Mary lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband of over thirty years and two cats. She has three adult children and on grandchild.

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