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Unit 8: The Gilded Age

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The Big Picture: 

After the Civil War, the United States experienced national and regional changes. In the South, Reconstruction came to an end and Jim Crow laws and sharecropping became the norm. In the West, miners, ranchers, and homesteaders flooded into the frontier aided by expanded railroad networks, government incentives, and the destruction of the Plains Indians. By 1890, the western frontier and Indian resistance came to an end. In the North (and Midwest), the U.S. experienced an industrial revolution in railroads, oil, steel, and electricity. During this era, modern corporations and monopolies were formed; Southern and Eastern European immigrants flooded to America; Nativism increased; urbanization led to skyscrapers, slums, political machines. During the Gilded Age, national politicians protected corporate America and the status quo and failed to meet the needs of Native Americans, unions, urban immigrants, African-Americans, and the Populists.