The Gilded Age

Named after a Mark Twain and Charles Dudley Warner novel, the Gilded Age was a time of great industrial growth in the country. However, widespread political corruption and social problems were hidden underneath the shiny surface. After the Civil War, the country worked to put itself back together during a time known as Reconstruction. The 15th Amendment was ratified – constitutionally extending voting rights to African American men. Still, many states’ voting laws blocked this right. Cities grew as a result of increased industrialization and a great wave of immigration. The Gilded Age was dominated by Republican presidents, with Grover Cleveland the sole Democrat of the period. At the end of this period, the U.S. fought “a splendid little war” against Spain. Fun fact: All Gilded Age presidents, except McKinley, had facial hair.

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