Federal Government In The Gilded Age Essay

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What should have been the role of the federal government in regulating the economy during the Gilded Age? During the Gilded Age, the federal government’s involvement in the economy hugely impacted the American citizen’s way of life. Reformers, such as President Rutherford Hayes, focused on corporations and how they abused the people by earning money to the expense of the workers. They also strived for better working conditions and wages to prosper in a class society. While it tried various solutions to help the economy, the government should have focused on establishing labor laws, disproving Social Darwinism, and creating more useful tariffs. The United States government addressed problems with the method of managing economics. Companies…show more content…
Darwinism combines Darwin’s “natural selection” and Herbert Spencer’s “ survival of the fittest” to justify class distinctions (Shi and Tindall, 636). This kept the working poor at the bottom of the social and economic ladder while the rich reaped the benefits of the poor’s work. The federal government could have conducted experiments and given examples of persons, like Andrew Carnegie, who had gained power. After becoming a millionaire, Carnegie used his wealth to build hospitals, libraries, and universities (Doc B). Had the government responded this way, then American social classes would be less distinct, and the economy would have been better. Not only should the government have changed the thoughts and lives of the citizens, but it should have regulated itself. William Sumners, a social theorist, stated that “Society does not need any care or supervision” (Doc L). This could not have been more wrong given that without guidance, society would implode and turn into anarchy. Corruption ruled the U.S. because of greedy politicians and uncaring leaders; lawmakers bribed others to vote a certain way. Business would never improve if the government could not be

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