The reform of The Gilded Era was not a failure because the government passed laws to define and limit the size of companies and monitor their behavior. The government passed the Sherman Antitrust Act in the 1890s, an act to protect trade and commerce against unlawful restraints and monopolies. Due to the movement of people from rural area to urbanized area, there became a swell of cheap labor. This opened a way for big companies to take advantage of workers. Advancements made by the unions to organize and support the rights of the workers, mostly addressing safety points of the workers.
Reformers began to fight labor condition issues and Upton Sinclair wrote The Jungle, exposing the working conditions of many of the powerful issues of large and powerful companies. Though the Gilded Era progressed American Society by using unethical tactics, the reform of the Gilded Era helped expose and pass laws to prohibit this behavior. Many of these laws are still prominent today.
The debate over Social Darwinism and Social Reform is clearly evidenced in the current political climate in America today. Social Reform and Social Darwinism are reflective of the opposing points of view in much of today’s political discourse and the competition of extreme points of view.
At one end of the spectrum, is the progressive philosophy that supports Social Reform, that strives for equal outcome and justice for all citizens regardless of race, ethnicity, or economic status. Social Reformists supports the view that the federal/state government should play a stronger role in providing for the wellbeing of its citizens.
At the other end of the spectrum is the conservative philosophy that supports Social Darwinism. The conservatives strive for equal opportunity for all citizens to enable citizens to determine their own success. Social Darwinists have a more minimalistic view of the role of the federal government and supports the idea of state’s rights.
Each of these philosophies have distinct pros and cons. Some pro’s of Social Reform include, supporting the goals of social justice, their compassion towards feeding the hungry, housing the homeless, and providing medical car for the indigent. They also strive for a strong safety net. Where the pro’s for Social Darwinism is that the party encourages people to strive for success, thereby increasing the societies opportunity potential. Despite the pro’s there are con’s to both ideas. Some con’s that Social Reform has is that it creates large bureaucracies that thwarts opportunity and it dampens the motivation of ingenuity which has a negative effect on opportunity. Some cons of Darwinism is that human nature will cause green and more injustice in today’s society. It also minimized the amount of resources that is applied to the strong social safety net.