During the Gilded Age, business was very much a part of American society. It was important for every town, city and state to have a strong economy. The US congress wanted to help business to prosper as well. One way they tried to do this was through the regulation of trade.
There were many laws that were implemented in the early days of the US. These laws included the first railroad law and the first federal patent laws. The US Congress felt that it was their responsibility to protect the interests of the American people and set up rules and laws to help them make money. They felt it was their duty to tell manufacturers how to build the products they needed to sell. To do this they implemented many trade policies. Each of these policies had their own purpose and were designed to support business in the United States.
The textile laws helped American companies to provide better clothing and textile products to the world. This helped to improve the lives of many Americans. Many women found it easier to go to work in the textile mills during the late 1800’s than in previous years. The industrial revolution also changed the way Americans used clothing. Women in the industrial cities were less likely to wear jeans and were more apt to wear dressier clothing.
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The Combination Act was one of many attempts by the US Congress to reform the laws of companies dealing with credit. These laws had an impact on American lending. Many small lenders were either bankrupted or forced into bankruptcy because of these combinations. These combinations also often involved foreign companies with giant capital and much more power than the average American business could muster.
American Compromise meant that the US Congress allowed other countries to buy America’s resources if the country did not want to. This helped American companies to continue their global trade. Many European companies like England and France were happy to buy America’s resources, but in return the US had to agree to some kind of reciprocity. The British for instance agreed to send wheat to the French promised to send grain to Britain.
The Gilded Age was also the era of enormous expansion of the internal combustion engine into business and transportation. This made possible the development of new industries such as the Ford Motor Company. The Homestead Act gave rights to families to farm and ranch land. Many of these practices were illegal in Europe at the time. The Gilded Age also witnessed the formation of the first major unions in America – the Knights of Columbus and the American Railway Union.
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Many laws regulating business were passed in response to the rise of the Gilded Age. These laws gave the U.S. economy a boost. Some of these laws made it easier for Americans to travel and bring home their goods. For example, the Wholesale Trade Act made it possible for American companies to ship goods overseas. The indirect duty and other taxes were also levied to help maintain world order.
As years went by, other countries were beginning to adopt the same practices. With globalization came new problems such as uneven trade and political instability. This is why it is important to look back and consider the roots of the U.S. economy before it was modernized. Many people in the past argued that if you allow free trade, there will be too much competition and prices will fall. However, it is difficult to argue with the fact that the Gilded Age resulted in the creation of many great inventions and great cities.