The Gilded Age

The Civil War was devastating to the entire nation, but particularly to the south.  
Reconstruction was seen by the north as rebuilding the country, but in the south it was
seen as an effort to punish them and the occupation by Federal troops was resented.  
The historic presidential race of 1876, in which Samuel Tilden won by a small margin,
but relinquished the presidency in the
Compromise of 1877, ended Reconstruction.

While the economy grew in the northern states the south struggled to rebuild while
fighting the effects of corrupt carpetbaggers.  The move from a rural to an urban society
had started before the war in the north so was easily continued, but it was harder for
this adaptation in the south, which until now had relied on producing goods on farms
and plantations.

Sometimes identified with the
Progressive Era, The Gilded Age is the historical era
from the ending of the Civil War until World War I.  This was a time of many changes in
American life.  The move from a rural to urban, industrial living base opened the doors
for new ideas.


Red Castle Stamps of Gibson Girls

This was a remarkable time of artistic growth in literature, art, music, photography,
architecture.  Americans began  to have more leisure time and began to look for
pastimes such as vacations.  During this time there were  expositions in Philadelphia,
Chicago, St. Louis and San Francisco.  It was during this era that Kate Chopin did her
Other well known authors also wrote during this era.  Chopin died while the St.
Louis Exposition was taking place in 1904.    

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