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Curriculum Unit on the Gilded Age in the United States

Grade Levels

High School 9-12



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As we continue to dig deeper into the Gilded Age, we begin to see the importance the railroad made for the expansion of the United States. The Transcontinental Railroad was one of the America’s biggest accomplishments in all of its history. It gave companies the ability to move resources across the country in ways that were once either very difficult or impossible to do. The railroad system boosted the economy and was developing the country at a pace that would make it one of the most powerful countries in the world. As time went on, more and more expansion of the railroad was occurring. With all its benefits, there were also issues and problems that arose for those who were not benefiting from this development. Workers on the railroad were treated badly, forced to work in harsh conditions and were paid very little for the amount of work they were required to do. Railroad strikes during the Gilded Age is a topic that is not often discussed due to the negative light it may shine on the railroad industry. The railroad system is always seen as one of the greatest accomplishments of the time but not many people are aware of the issues it created.

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lesson plan, Gilded Age, railroads


Curriculum and Instruction | United States History

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Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Rough Patches on the Railroad



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