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The term “Gilded Age” was first used by Charles Dudley and Mark Twain and encompassed the years ranging from 1870s to 1900.
To scholars, the legacies of reconstruction and civil war are seen as vital contributors towards the transformations which happened during the last three decades of the 19th century. It actually seemed like after the American civil war, the development of a nation was really good. The nation was getting economically stronger, and even despite the depression that the citizens and the nation were going through, it seemed that everything was headed to the best. It was about time that the Vietnam War started that people saw that enough was enough. Politicians started pulling for themselves while the labor unions and the politicians together started scratching each other's backs (Twain, 2010).
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It was argued by progressive historians that politicians of the Gilded Age were merely tools meant for business interests who ignored escalating social divisions and inequalities. The economic depression, the anger of the Populist Revolt and the labor turmoil eventually significantly affected these perceptions and thus played a major role in the destruction of the political system during the Gilded Age. The American Federation of Labor, which was founded in 1886, was known for promotion of the tactic of working within the confines of the modern political structure through lobbying, strikes and via selective endorsement of individuals to political offices.
In conclusion, the Gilded Age resulted in turbulent times of politics which engaged the American population in various public issues to the extent that was never seen since the beginning of the 20th century. This Gilded Age era brought big scale economic and social changes, which in their turn were marked by numerous contradictions. Together with the resurgence of women movement for rights and the start of the American labor movement, the Gilded Age also saw the implementation of the Jim Crow Laws concerning rigid segregation of races in the South.
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