The Gilded Age
As wealth expanded during the late nineteenth century in America, two distinct classes rose simultaneously, one exceedingly rich, the other increasingly poor. These disparities sparked passionate and violent debate over questions still being asked in our own times: How is wealth best distributed, and by what process? Does government exist to protect private property or serve all citizens? Should the government concern itself chiefly with economic growth or economic justice? The battles over these questions were fought in Congress, the courts, the polling place, the workplace and the streets. This PBS documentary examines one of the most convulsive and transformative eras in American history.