Growing industrialism of the Gilded Age a threat to American Democracy?

Essay by Anonymous UserCollege, UndergraduateB+, February 1997

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The growing industrialism of the Gilded Age was indeed a threat to American Democracy. The American Government stood idly by as the Industrialists became more and more powerful. The Preamble of the document that is the foundation of this great country, The Constitution of the United States, reads:

'We, the people of the United States, in order to form a perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic tranquillity, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this constitution for the United States of America.'

The American Government was not doing its best to ensure domestic tranquillity or to promote general welfare. Major Industrialists of the time were not kept in check, and the working class citizen paid for it big time. Company towns, the presence of monopolies, and an inactive government all contributed to this threat to American Democracy.

During the Gilded Age many large companies took over entire towns. Everybody in that particular town worked for that company. These were called company towns. The large companies replaced all the stores that already existed in that town with their own stores. To keep the citizens of that town from going to other towns to buy supplies they printed their own money and the workers were paid with that. This allowed the large companies to charge an unfair amount for the goods sold in their stores. All competition was eliminated in that town. Competition is the major principle behind the American economy and ultimately the American Democracy. Without competition, weather it be between companies for a profit or politicians for a political office, this great American Democracy would fail.

Company towns were also a center for political corruption. Many immigrants that came to this...