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The Gilded Age A study of wealth and poverty through cartoons and images


The New Rich vs. The Urban Poor The New Rich:

The Urban Poor:

Many adopted view of “Social Darwinism” Russell H. Conwell  Gave Social Darwinism a religious view  Said wealthy men can use money to perform good works Andrew Carnegie - “Gospel of Wealth”  Believed that the wealthy had a duty to help others  Should set an example of modest living Conspicuous consumption  Making a point of showing off one’s wealth  Competing to see who could live in grandest style

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Horatio Alger  Wrote popular dime novels about “rags to riches” stories 10% of population owned 90% of wealth (ex., The Johnstown Flood) Tenements  Apartment buildings designed to house as many people as cheaply as possible  Lacked room, light, air, sanitation  Jacob Riis - reporter and photographer who brought attention to tenement conditions (How The Other Half Lives) Sweatshops  Dimly lit, poorly ventilated, overcrowded and dangerous factories  Often used child labor


Horatio Alger

Sources: Washburn University, Creative Commons, and World Public Library


Jacob Riis - How The Other Half Lives


Tenement Floor Plan


Family Earnings


Who was helping the urban poor? Private aid:  Social workers - well trained, often college graduates, often women, looking for long-term solutions  Settlement houses centers providing services to the poor such as teaching English, teaching about rights, giving food and clothing  Jane Addams - founder of the most famous settlement house, named Hull House in Chicago

 Churches - many churches at the time did little to help  Social Gospel - new view that religious teachings should be applied to society, and churches should aid the poor  William Booth started chapter of the Salvation Army in the United States


The New Rich & The Urban Poor