1870-1900 Big Business Growth

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From the time period of 1870 to 1900 the growth of big businesses in the United States had a major impact on the economy, politics, and the response of Americans of Americans to these changes. These businesses grew significantly in number, size, and influence and had an ever-lasting effect on Americans and their surrounding community. Industry and its new technologies have had an amazing impact on reducing the costs of the goods necessary to life, such as food prices, fuel and lighting prices, and the cost of living (Document A). The standard of living of most Americans should have increased, as more wages would be left over to spend on luxuries. Aware of the extra-money available to working families, the different pieces of a Big Business have acted in such a way to suck that extra-money from the poor families. Accordingly, railroads raised their prices on food suppliers; Standard Oil increased their fuel prices. In addition large grocery and department stores have added a greater price to their goods as well. As a result, the cost of living from 1870-1900 stayed approximately constant despite decreasing food and fuel prices. For the great majority of Americans, their standard of living remained the same, or even declined in response to the rise of tenement housing and an influx of immigrant workers. However, those with some wealth were afforded great opportunity with the rise of industry as humongous department stores filled with every nature of good arose to support a growing demnd from a muchneeded middle class composed largely of industry managers. As the gap between rich and poor grew, so did their standard of living as these department stores afforded the middle class dress goods, stationery, and jewelry (Document I). Labor forces, Populist party members, and those victimized by Big Business all helplessly contended that the government at all levels had
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