The Gilded Age:

native the 1870s to the beforehand 1900s, the United says experienced an era the rapid financial growth. As industrialization expanded, a small number of businessmen dominated American economics. The country’s wealth gap increased greatly and became very apparent to the public. Numerous citizens resented the height 1% that owned the bulk of the nation’s wealth. These service titans likewise often exploited their workers for profit, result in many strikes and also worker unions. Later, mark Twain coined this era the “Gilded Age” because the economic growth gift the figure of a glittering jewel, but underneath lurked disparity, conspicuous consumption, and corruption (White 2019). Politics cartoons ended up being a prime device to refer the public’s anger. 

Cartoon #1:

“Protectors of our Industries” was developed by Bernhard Gillam and also published through Keppler and also Schwarzmann in The Puck, a satirical magazine. It was released in 1883, 6 years before the Johnstown flood (Gillam 1883). The cartoon depicts the outrageous inequalities that devastated the Gilded Age. In the image, wealthy businessmen sit on height of a raft that is hosted up by various varieties of workers. The businessmen cling to your money, when the workers struggle beneath them. This image records the public’s frustration with the parasitic power dynamic in between the industrial giants and the functioning class. Businessmen commonly exploited your workers, forcing them to shoulder horrendous and often dangerous functioning conditions, while suffering no such circumstances themselves. In the results of the Johnstown Flood, this strength dynamic was basic to the public’s anger. That was specifically infuriating that the figures who were responsible for the disaster were currently exploiting numerous of the victim in the an initial place, yet confronted no consequences for one of two people crime.

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Cartoon #2:


“Bosses the the Senate” was produced by Joseph Keppler and additionally published in The Puck on January 23, 1889, much less than five months before the Johnstown Flood. This photo was heavily circulated in the media (Keppler 1889). It depicts large, overindulgent businessmen representing their corporate interests as they loom over tiny senators. The authorize behind the businessmen reads, “This is the Senate that the Monopolists by the Monopolists for the Monopolists.” Businessmen had an overwhelming political influence during the Gilded Age. America’s legal system was corrupt and also essentially useless, due to the fact that dominating industrial interests undermined any pursuit of justice. In spite of often exhilaration unfairly and even illegally, businessmen were regularly able to evade consequences. This corruption became apparent in the results of the Johnstown Flood. In spite of evidence of your guilt, the south Fork Fishing society members took benefit of their considerable wealth and also influence to avoid any legal liability. 

Cartoon #3:


“Andrew Carnegie plays a twin Roll” was released in the Saturday globe in 1892, three years after ~ the flood. The cartoon depicts two contradictory sides that Carnegie: the service titan and the philanthropist. The end of all of the prominent business figures that emerged during the Gilded Age, Andrew Carnegie is perhaps viewed in the many positive light. Cursed to his Gospel the Wealth, Carnegie donated lot of his wide range to charity and was known for donating libraries to miscellaneous towns. However, this image points out that if his philanthropy to be commendable, that was also a ruthless businessman. His financial ferocity to be perhaps ideal represented through the homestead Strike of 1982, wherein workers in among his stole factories went on strike in really hopes of boosted wages and also working conditions. Carnegie rental a private security team to accomplish these strikes through violence (White 2019). Despite perhaps much more generous than plenty of others, Carnegie was very first and foremost an unrelenting businessman that exploited his workers. Carnegie was among the most influential members that the south Fork Fishing Club. ~ the flood, citizens thought about him responsible, along with many various other club members, because that the disaster. Continuing with his usual practice, Carnegie donated a library to Johnstown as component of the relief initiative (PA Inquirer, august 23, 1889). The general public reaction come his action is well-represented in this cartoon. Johnstown citizens were grateful for the library, yet that did not excuse the injustices that resulted in the disaster in the first place.

Cartoon #4:

“The Republican monopoly Pleasure Club and its dangerous Dam” was published in Puck magazine on June 12, 1889 (JAHA 2019). The depicts the members the the south Fork Fishing club picnicking atop the dam, enjoy it leisurely tasks while the leaking dam floods the city beneath. Though this cartoon records the Johnstown Flood much more literally than the vault cartoons, it is quite comparable to them. Also if the Johnstown overwhelming did not occur, it would certainly not be how amazing to uncover this picture in a collection of overexaggerated metaphorical cartoons illustrating the injustices that the Gilded Age. Choose the vault images, that depicts the turoulend outrage in the direction of the businessmen who confronted no after-effects for your harmful actions. Not just are the club members unconcerned with the dreadful tragedy that they room causing, however they still enjoy the very same lavish lifestyle while the lives of the citizens that they were currently exploiting gain washed away.

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By city hall this series of cartoons, that is apparent that the Johnstown catastrophe was just an additional dramatic instance of the exact same economic and also social power dynamic that pervaded the Gilded Age. The devastation of the southern Fork Dam copy the collapse of the industrialists’ call in the late 1800s. Adhering to the Gilded age was the progressive Era, a period where activists supported for social and also political reform in stimulate to deal with the problems caused by industrialization (White 2019). Public reactions to the political and also economic corruption that was exposed by the Johnstown Flood helped launch the united States into this new Progressive Era that would start within a te of this disaster.