When did the Gilded Age start and end?

Dan Kappes

Dan Kappes

Member
I think it started a couple decades after the American Civil War, and it lasted until World War I, but it could be extended so that the ending could either be in 1929 when the stock market crashed or when World War II began. The 1950s and 60s were somewhat glamorous as well, but once jet airplanes came in service, the golden age of the luxurious ocean liners came to an end.
 
Dave Gittins

Dave Gittins

Member
Roughly from the 1870s to 1900. See Wikipedia. It's an American thing.
 
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robert warren

Member
I actually wrote a thesis on this subject not too long ago but I will give a refresher. The Gilded Age started during the Reconstruction period as the Robber Barrons and their fortunes came to fruition after the Civil War.By the 1890s the period was full swing.However the Gilded Age was more than a time period, it was a lifestyle. Lavish , decadent and corrupt at the same time. It was all about yachts, millionares outspending each other and showing off, being at certain places during the year, winters in Europe, summers in Newport etc. It was about lavish parties costing hundreds of thousands(BACK THEN), and going on till daybreak. One party giver even had nightengales singing in transplanted rose trees at his soiree. Women changing clothes 7-8 times a day as well as living by a massive set of social rules and etiquettes that dominated every aspect of life. You have to read some books on this to see how these people lived, very fascinating and more detailed than what I mentioned. Of course the Income Tax of 1913 put a damper on this lifestyle, and the War pretty much finished it. Even though some people in the new post war era tried to live like everything was the same, by the 20s this world was a memory.
 
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Seumas

Seumas

Member
Did Walter Lord not also write a book about the American "Gilded Age" ?
 
Dan Kappes

Dan Kappes

Member
He did write a book about America in the early 1900s called The Good Years. I hope to read it someday.
 
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Dan Kappes

Dan Kappes

Member
How did the Income Tax and World War I change things? I remember Walter Lord said that the Titanic's sinking, the income tax, and World War I brought about "the end of an era" in his book A Night to Remember.
 
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robert warren

Member
Prior to the income tax, the millionare's way of life was tax free. It put a cap(and damper)on this lavish over the top lifestyle. World War 1 was a bloodbath that leveled most of Europe, killed millions, introduced the horrors of mechanized, chemical and air warfare,and sent several empires and dynasties down the toilet.Things changed because having experienced such horror, people were not as inclined to place such importance on the things I mentioned above. Also it was a new era. You cant go back to the past after having something like that tear apart the world.
 
Dan Kappes

Dan Kappes

Member
I have also read that the Ottoman Empire was dissolved by various peace treaties after WWI.

How could that mighty empire which lasted for centuries just vanish forever?
 
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