Gilded Age (1878-1889)
The growth of industry and a wave of immigrants
marked this period in American history. The
production of iron and steel rose dramatically and
western resources like lumber, gold, and silver
increased the demand for improved transportation.
Railroad development boomed as trains moved goods
from the resource-rich West to the East. Steel and
oil were in great demand. All this industry
produced a lot of wealth for a number of
businessmen like John D. Rockefeller (in oil) and
Andrew Carnegie (in steel), known as robber barons
(people who got rich through ruthless business
deals). The Gilded Age gets its name from the many
great fortunes created during this period and the
way of life this wealth supported.