The Gilded Age
In 1873, Mark Twain co-authored a satirical novel entitled The Gilded Age. The process of gilding involves applying a thin layer of gold to an object to make it appear more valuable. Historians adopted Twain's title to describe a period of American history characterized by prosperity and industrialization that thinly disguised blatant corruption in politics and business. This program explores many facets of the Gilded Age, including industrialization and the growth of big business, the urbanization of America, the grueling working conditions many endured, and the influence of Victorian culture on American society.