Do you see any parallels between the Gilded Age and today, of the myths of rags to riches and the notions of Social Darwinism? Explain.

**Readings- Howard Zinn’s <The Twentieth Century> Intro and Chapter 1, Eric Foner’s <Give Me Liberty> Chapter 15-17; Oliver Stone/Peter Kuznick’s <The Untold History of the United States>, Intro to page xxxiii; various websites listed.

The paper must be double-spaced, Times New Roman, 12 pt. font with one inch margins. The Prompt topic of the essay must be clearly indicated at the start of the essay. All materials MUST be cited with footnotes or endnotes in the Chicago Style only. Failure to follow formatting instructions will result in grade reduction.

Choose ONE of the following essay selections to answer as specifically as possible. Be sure to include factual support for thesis statements and opinions in your answers. You are not graded on your ideological positions but will be held accountable for factually supporting any statements. Write as much as you know regarding the specifics in the Prompt and be very inclusive of lecture and text materials. Course texts and lecture materials are required for use and consideration in the essays. Students can use external sources in addition to course sources, but cannot ignore course sources. Please use college level English (i.e. write complete sentences and paragraphs).

3. Discuss the rise of industrialization in the United States. What were the important components? Who were the major players or “robber barons” and in what industries did they thrive? How did technology tie into their developments? Describe the development of a new, industrial working class, and explain their circumstances and conditions (rise of labor unions)? Discuss the rise and significance of the labor movement in its various phases. Who were the labor leaders and did they influence the coming 20th century? If so, how? Be sure to discuss the various intersections of classes in this rapidly growing American capitalism. Do you see any parallels between the Gilded Age and today, of the myths of rags to riches and the notions of Social Darwinism? Explain. How do authors Oliver Stone and Peter Kuznick, in the beginning of their text <The Untold History of the United States>, frame the problems of writing and the telling of history, and how do those concepts relate to these aforementioned issues above?

For more info on the Gilded Age then and now…

A Gilded Age, then and now

On Class Conflicts

From then until now…interpretations of the Gilded Age…America is a land of plenty, but not necessarily for all…

Selected thoughts from Republican economist Kevin Phillips on Wealth and Democracy

And a Kevin Phillips interview PBS interview

The Disappearing Middle Class in the Present

Another Gilded Age