Mark Twain and the Gilded Age


The project is about a remarkable era in American history. The aim of this project is to characterize this period named the Gilded Age, but mostly from the point of the Mark Twain’s view. Mark Twain was a co-writer of a book The Gilded Age: A Tale of Today, which is about those times, that’s why it is used as a tool of resource in this project. The project is highlighting the big differences in the contribution of this era.

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Key words: corruption, gilded, prosperity, poverty, robber barons, wealth.


The Gilded Age, which is dated to the final three decades of the nineteenth century, was one of the most dynamic, controversial, and fleeting periods in American history. America’s industrial economy exploded, creating unprecedented opportunities for individuals to build great fortunes but also leaving many farmers and workers struggling for survival. Overall national wealth increased staggeringly, but one that was accompanied by what many saw as an equally staggering disparity between the rich and the poor.

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A period approximately from the 1870s through the outbreak of World War I in 1914. The growth of industry and a wave of immigrants marked this period in American history. The production of iron and steel rose dramatically and western resources like lumber, gold, and silver increased the demand for improved transportation. Railroad development raised as trains moved goods from the resource-rich West to the East. Steel and oil were in great demand. All this industry produced a lot of wealth for a number of businessmen like John D. Rockefeller or Andrew Carnegie, known as robber barons, people who got rich through ruthless business deals. The Gilded Age first came into being thanks to Mark Twain and his friend Charles Dudley Warner in 1873. Their novel titled The Gilded Age: A Tale of Today gave name to that remarkable era. Mr. Twain dealt with what he believed was the growing corruption in Ameri…