The Gilded Age to Progressive Era

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The Gilded Age was a time of great amounts of political corruption and lasted from the 1870s until the 1890s. At the head of this political corruption were political bosses such as William Tweed. Political Bosses would cheat cities out of money and donate to the poor in exchange for their support in recent elections.

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Big businesses and corporations were also involved with corruption by bribing elected officials and those in office to do things that helped their businesses and corporations. The amount of corruption and political injustice that took place in the Gilded Age lead to the Progressive Era when all of this corruption and social injustice would be fixed.

There was a lot of corruption during the Gilded Age and a lot of that came from political bosses such as William Tweed. Boss Tweed would cheat the city out of millions of dollars by delaying work or doing work incorrectly and then redoing it for more money. Political Bosses like William Tweed were extremely popular among the poor in their city. Political bosses would give out food and clothing to the poor in exchange William Tweed gained their political support and their vote. Political Bosses also controlled all the work done locally and they demanded that they be given payoffs from businesses.

Many owners of big business were corrupt, a prime example of this is when Collis Huntington attempted to bribe certain members of Congress to remove a bill on railroads that would negatively affect his business. This made it known to the public that big businesses and corporations were very corrupt and had a lot of power. They took over industries and destroys competition among different businesses. Monopolies would take over certain industries and take away opportunities for other small businesses and companies. These corporations and trusts had a lot of power and they were also corrupt. This is why many wanted them to be regulated by the government.

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