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Period 2




The Problem(s)

-Growth of industry causes gap in incomes
-Gap grew as rich people obtained more money
-While rich lived in extravagant mansions, poor lived in cheap tenements
-While rich spent their free time doing fun activities, the poor were working, barely able to provide food and shelter for their family
-Education was scarce for the poor; it was rare for them to send their children to school.Later they were able to be provided with free public education-but in some places it was still not provided
-Schooling for poor families usually lasted only 3-4 months a year
-Middle and high class families were able to send all their children to school for all 12 years while poor families struggled to send their children through elementary school. Some poor children remained illiterate.
-Because of this big gap in wealth compared to the middle and high class, many children in poor families were put in child labor. They would be given jobs at the factory because of their size and be put through low pay, lousy working conditions and long hours. They were paid less than the adults and other immigrants.
-A lot of rich children were sent to private academies and later colleges or universities for superior schooling. This excellent schooling usually gave them much more success than the less wealthy children. Wealth was a great asset.

The Solution(s)

-The government’s goal was to narrow the gap of wealth between very rich and extremely poor.
-A graduated income tax would help as the more you buy, the higher the tax (national and state)
-Corporations would receive higher taxes
-Larger taxes on inheritance taxes would help as the wealthier would pay a higher tax
-Better education for lower and middle class children would help balance out the inequality of the higher class compared to the lower class
-Free public schools would be provided for the lower class so that all students could attend school
-Free public schools and colleges would provide better academics while providing more studies in science and industry for the older students.

-The Sixteenth Amendment was added to the Constitution to help bridge the gap; it allowed the government to tax anyone.

The Images


external image pants.jpg
"Mrs. Battaglia with Tessie, age 12, and Tony, age 7. Mrs. Battaglia works in a garment shop except on Saturdays, when the children sew with her at home. Get 2 or 3 cents a pair finishing men's pants. Said they earn $1 to $1.50 on Saturday. Father disabled and can earn very little. New York City." ~Lewis W. Hine
A family living in a tenement during the Gilded Age
external image Room%20in%20a%20tenement.jpg

The Primary Sources

“God gave me my money. I believe the power to make money is a gift from God.
I believe it is my duty to make money and still more money and to use the money I
make for the good of my fellow man according to the dictates of my conscience.”
~John D. Rockefeller

“The man who dies rich dies disgraced.”
~Andrew Carnegie

The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived, without apportionment among the several states, and without regard to any census or enumeration.
~The Sixteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution


The Citations

" The History Place Child Labor in America 1908-1912 Photographs of Lewis W. Hine". The History Place. February 20th, 2007 <http://www.historyplace.com/unitedstates/childlabor/>

"US Constitution: Sixteenth Amendment" FindLaw. February 20th, 2007
< http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/data/constitution/amendment16/>