Gilded Age Analysis

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The Gilded Age saw an increase of European immigrants to the United States. Earlier, Ireland lost a quarter of its population as a result of the Great Famine of 1845, partly because of the million that fled to other parts of Europe or North America (Trueman). The idea of the American Dream and advertisements offering land lured them in. Additionally, The United States actively encouraged white immigrants to come and claim the Native Americans’ territories. Tragically, the poverty-stricken newcomers met with similar - or worse - circumstances in the new country to those that they had hoped to escape in theirs. Firstly, the housing was carelessly built and often cramped. Additionally, the food was low-quality and deplorable. Furthermore, the…show more content…
Less than a month into his work, a night-time watchman persuaded him to become a citizen. Seemingly, the scenario was full of benefits: he received time off work in order to complete his tasks, then collected payment for voting. Teta Elzbieta’s brother, Jonas, managed to vote multiple times and received extra money. To the struggling family, it was a perplexing yet welcome blessing. It was soon after that a union man explained the situation to Jurgis. America was democratic; of “two rival set of grafters, known as political parties, the one got the office which bought the most votes”. (Sinclair 1981, 98) With his family members dead or purposely left behind, Jurgis found himself at a more profitable end of the voting process. He rallied groups ‘against’ political candidate Mike Scully, who was secretly supporting his friend Scotty Doyle. He recruited the same type of people the watchman had targeted years ago. Newly-arrived immigrants filled his carriage as it made multiple trips to the polls. Jurgis earned “not more than twenty-five of each lot”, by the end of which he had “nearly three hundred dollars in the bank”. (Sinclair 1981, 280-1) Every election, whether he participated in any way or not, put a bit of money in the poor man’s pockets and huge power in the winning candidate's. The working class was at the mercy of the wealthy politicians, and they were glad to be as long as the mighty threw them a couple of

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