Gilded Age(redirected from Guilded Age)
Also found in: Dictionary.
The period of American history from approximately the end of the Civil War to the early 20th century. The Gilded Age was marked by rapid industrialization, development of infrastructure (such as railroads), and virtually no government regulation of the economy. Important industrialists, such as Andrew Carnegie, John W. Rockefeller, Cornelius Vanderbilt, and others, led a period of development that created what became the modern American economy. This age saw the early development of organized labor, which the industrialists often violently opposed. Apologists for the Gilded Age point out that this era laid the foundations for American philanthropy and employed many people who might have gone without jobs otherwise. Critics denounce the era's alleged conspicuous consumption on the part of the wealthy and economic instability that they claim came from lack of regulation. See also: Panic of 1873, Panic of 1893, Panic of 1907, Cross of Gold, Robber baron.
The years between the Civil War and World War I when institutions undertook financial manipulations that went virtually unchecked by government. This era produced many infamous activities in the security markets.