Chapter 1 | The Gilded Age | American Experience | PBS
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Chapter 1 | The Gilded Age | American Experience | PBS

September 2, 2019


♪ ♪ (kids shouting) NARRATOR: A vicious cold snap hit New York in the first week
of February 1897, but nothing could slow
the preparations for the impending revelry. The city’s wealthiest citizens
were readying themselves for one of the most anticipated
balls in the nation’s history– an extravagant exclamation point on what would come to be known as the Gilded Age. REBECCA EDWARDS: During the Gilded Age, Americans feel quite certainly
that they are the vanguard of civilization and progress. This is an enormous period of opportunity,
and possibility, and hope. NARRATOR:
No group felt more confident about the future than the guests
who would gather for the party at the luxurious
Waldorf Hotel. The evening’s total price tag,
according to newspaper reports, was enough to feed nearly a
thousand working-class families for a full year. ♪ ♪ Defenders noted
that the ball stood to benefit the entire city. Critics begged to differ. “With all the people,”
warned one minister, “who have to lie awake nights
contriving “to spend their time and their
money, and all the others “who lie awake wondering
how they may get food, there is danger in the air.” It was a fractious time in which
a sense of desperation amidst growing wealth
was emerging. EDWARD O’DONNELL: Increasingly workers
begin to say, “If I as, as a member
of this society “lack the ability to pay my
bills, and to feed my family “then I am not a free citizen
of a healthy republic. “I’m something, something else, something that the Founding
Fathers would not recognize.” (whistle blows) RICHARD JOHN: The magnitude of the late
19th-century transformation of American society
is hard to exaggerate. It was as if you woke up
in one country and you went to bed in another. ♪ ♪ NARRATOR:
Thirty years after the Civil War, America had transformed into an economic powerhouse, but the transformation had
created stark new divides in wealth, standing,
and opportunity. STEVE FRASER: It’s shocking for people to see a country developing before them that is increasingly
clearly divided into the haves and have-nots. NELL IRVIN PAINTER:
Gilded is not golden. Gilded has the sense of a patina
covering something else. It’s the shiny exterior
and the rot underneath. NARRATOR: By the time New York’s elite
gathered at Waldorf ballroom, the richest 4,000 families
in the country, less than one percent
of all Americans, had scooped up nearly
as much treasure as the other 11.6 million
families combined. “We are the rich,”
one partygoer remarked. “We own America;
we got it, God knows how, “but we intend to keep it
if we can.” There is this fight over what is America’s
collective self-identity. Who are we? Are we two nations,
the poor and the wealthy, or are we one nation where everybody has a chance
to succeed? ♪ ♪ DAVID NASAW: When this nation comes out of the Civil War, we are still a nation divided
by regions. There’s very little
national market. If you need a pair of shoes, you don’t get it from a factory
a hundred miles away. You get it from
the local shoemaker. (birds squawking) PAINTER:
Life was much, much more local, much more what was going on
right around you, what your neighbors were doing,
what your friends were doing, what your enemies were doing,
and how you were doing on a day-to-day basis. H.W. BRANDS:
America had been founded, its political system
had been founded, for a country of farmers, but it was becoming a nation
of industrialists. It was becoming a nation
of urban workers. It was becoming a nation
of cities. (train chugging) Railroads knit the entire
country together in a way that hadn’t existed
before. So now merchants, manufacturers,
industrialists can think nationally. You don’t have to think simply
in terms of your local market. If you have a good idea, if you have a good procedure
for producing something, you can think of selling your
goods all over the country. (train clacking on tracks) NARRATOR: By the early 1880s the nation’s
largest corporation, the Pennsylvania Railroad, carried more than
two million tons of industrial and consumer goods
every year. Steel left mills in Pittsburgh for destinations
around the country; so too did refined oil
from Cleveland, factory-made furniture
from Cincinnati, and harvesters from Chicago. (train steam hissing) Railroads moved coal from
Wyoming, timber from Oregon, silver from Nevada and Colorado,
and copper from Montana. ♪ ♪ Tens of thousands of young men
and women from farm families could hop on the train to go
where the jobs were: the newly industrializing
cities. Former slaves and their children
joined the urban migration, bound for new opportunities
in Memphis, Atlanta, Richmond, or as far north as Philadelphia
and New York. The hope is for equality, and
for first-class citizenship, and to be a part of
what is happening in terms of progress and change. They’re trying to make
the democracy and the country work for them. FRASER: Progress is part
of the American credo and has been almost from
the beginning of the nation. Americans prided themselves on their inventiveness,
their ingenuity, their entrepreneurial
get-up-and-go. GIDDINGS: Progress is thought of
as inevitable. It’s divinely inspired. There’s a pastor who talked about these
technological innovations as God’s tools to make
a more perfect society. ♪ ♪ And so it becomes almost
a spiritual idea, this industrial spirit. (birds chirping) ♪ ♪ (horse hooves clomping) NARRATOR: One of the most innovative
entrepreneurs of the day was Andrew Carnegie. He owned a stable
full of fine-blooded horses and enjoyed taking long rides
through Central Park. (horse whinnies) ♪ ♪ In the spring of 1881 he was a
man in the saddle in all ways, having just consolidated his growing manufacturing
enterprises under a single banner:
Carnegie Brothers & Company. Some days Carnegie would ride
out of the park and head north on upper
Broadway. Other days he would ride
all the way to the High Bridge, where traffic loosened and
he could open up to a gallop along the banks
of the Harlem River. In the few hours he was out
riding through New York his blast furnaces 300 miles
to the west produced more than
60 tons of steel, and earned him about as much as the average American
made in a year. This remarkable and novel fact
made 45-year-old Andrew Carnegie the emblem of a new kind
of American dream. ♪ ♪ Like John D. Rockefeller
in the oil refining business and Cornelius Vanderbilt
in railroads, Carnegie was riding a wave
of industrialization — using new technology
and mass production to secure enormous
personal wealth. NASAW: What’s important to realize
is that these men, they have visions. Carnegie, Rockefeller,
the railroad barons — they don’t invent anything. They’re managers. JACKSON LEARS: Carnegie is one of the few
American millionaires of this era or any other who can genuinely call himself
a self-made man. He really does come
from humble origins.

100 Comments

  • Reply M Soda August 21, 2018 at 5:33 pm

    History repeats

  • Reply Barbara Kempf August 25, 2018 at 4:41 pm

    Let them eat cake all over again

  • Reply flakjacket5 August 29, 2018 at 3:21 am

    You are not poor because someone else is rich.

  • Reply Arthur Gabriel September 6, 2018 at 4:27 pm

    i learned so much thank u its a shame we dont use horses to travel anymore i would enjoy that

  • Reply NaYawkr September 6, 2018 at 8:58 pm

    "He has shown might in His arm. He has banished the rich in the conceit of their hearts, He has filled the hungry with good things, and sent the rich away empty. " This is what God will do.

  • Reply NaYawkr September 6, 2018 at 9:06 pm

    Walmart ruined the small businessman. On May 31st, 1889 the rich owners of the steel mills owned an exclusive club called the South Fork hunting and fishing club, 15 miles above Johnstown, Pennsylvania and at 3: 10 PM their privately owned, badly neglected and unsafe dam failed sending a flood down on the city and killing over 2000 innocent men, women and children, Not one penny in lawsuits against these rich people, including Carnegie, Frick, Mellon the banker, and their pals was ever paid to the victims to this day. That was the worst disaster to befall this nation until 9-11-2001.

  • Reply Jack Twist September 7, 2018 at 9:23 pm

    It was the Haves that created the wealth that would create jobs for the Have Nots! America was, is and hopefully, will always be, the engine of the world! Communism/Socialism create nothing-they redistribute the wealth that Capitalism creates. There is NO utopian world. God Bless Capitalism!

  • Reply mark Johnson September 8, 2018 at 8:09 pm

    History is repeating itself ! 😂😂😂 M

  • Reply njhawk89 September 16, 2018 at 9:40 pm

    A great glimpse of the rise, and fall, of the Gilded Age can be found in the book "Fortune's Children: The Fall of the House of Vanderbilt" A great read and a look perhaps at our world today?

  • Reply Michael Dugenia September 24, 2018 at 11:31 am

    The same thing is happening now. The 1% of the world controls 80% of the global wealth. And they flaunt it in a way that may not be as overt as the way it was done before. Today, the elite of the world use charity as a way of making their flaunting less offensive. Yet, they have rigged the game in such as way that they stay wealthy less because of hard work and more because of a system made to favour them.

  • Reply Hank Rogers September 27, 2018 at 7:44 pm

    One day soon we will murder & eat the rich.

  • Reply jean tyler September 30, 2018 at 9:45 pm

    And we're right back where we started.

  • Reply caleast October 3, 2018 at 2:37 am

    Part 2??

  • Reply iron grip 455 October 3, 2018 at 12:16 pm

    China is going through this right now.

  • Reply Jason Coomer October 21, 2018 at 12:07 am

    Propaganda to revise the character of the "monsters" such as Carnage who stole the land from under those who worked it.

  • Reply shadrach October 24, 2018 at 5:14 pm

    I would LOVE to be waited on hand and foot!

  • Reply Pipe Tunes October 25, 2018 at 10:40 pm

    Plastic is the only difference

  • Reply Pipe Tunes October 25, 2018 at 10:43 pm

    4:45 Five head

  • Reply Pipe Tunes October 25, 2018 at 10:49 pm

    Since when is Carnigie pronounced like that???

  • Reply Lynette Trenam October 30, 2018 at 9:37 pm

    Nothings changed!

  • Reply Bernard's Channel November 24, 2018 at 12:47 pm

    Such elegant clothing.

  • Reply Grant Goodson November 27, 2018 at 2:21 pm

    hi

  • Reply L Myrski December 1, 2018 at 5:25 am

    Just a lot of academic ivory tower dwellers preaching hatred of the upper class, and steering the viewer towards resentment, socialism, and class warfare. They neglect to mention these people made the industries that allowed the flood of immigrants – who would have starved or been blocked from entry otherwise- to survive. While the grand edifices, dresses, etc., these left tainted commentators regard with disgust as excess allowed many skilled craftsmen, architects, dressmakers, artists, etc to flourish far beyond any level they could have selling to people of modest means. The yachts these people built employed much larger numbers of men than are employed today, as did the large houses they owned. Many young immigrant women were able to support themselves and often siblings and parents working as domestics. There are many accounts from the people who staffed these estates looking back fondly, and many of their patrons were generous in their wills. This money was not stolen from the poor, as is the underlying message. Certainly if life was so terrible here in the USA immigrants would stop coming and migrate home….yet the funny thing is, no matter what these preachers of class warfare and utopian socialist historical interpretations say, people kept coming in ridiculous numbers that would strain any society, and yet over time they kept living better, mainly due to the industries these people built, not government mandated wealth re-appropriation and handouts. Tainted, slanted, documentaries like this is why I hang up when PBS calls. I just wish the government would stop funding them too.

  • Reply Cynthia Moyers December 2, 2018 at 12:17 am

    This was not what i expected.

  • Reply Tommie Busche December 9, 2018 at 12:35 pm

    Thank you PBS for the wisdom & foibles that always makes your product irresistible! You are appreciated.

  • Reply Nicole Fisher December 17, 2018 at 1:11 pm

    I have been pronouncing Carnegie wrong my entire life

  • Reply ChasingDogma January 9, 2019 at 5:07 pm

    The US government is the issue here, not the wealthy. When laws are influenced by large campaign donations or worse, written by lobbyists representing corporate interests or the 1% (such as the tax scam last year), the poor and middle class have no voice and no say in how the system is ran. The playing field is blatantly slanted through legislation or lack of regulations to benefit the wealthy. Until we put forth the effort to overhaul our system of government, income inequality will increase – despite the promises given by either party. Money needs to be removed from politics for the system to work as the founding fathers wanted it to, whether that is by banning PACS, dark money, lobbying, ect.

  • Reply E. jenima January 23, 2019 at 9:55 am

    something this clip fails to mention is the that in that time the middle classes from the blue collar to the upper middle class were growing rapidly during this time and was filling in the gap between rich and poor they had the spare cash to spend on a multitude of products and entertainment . That is the only difference between then and today we have no middle class as it once was .It is not easy to simply earn a good living for your self if you a just single or married. Hell you have to jump through hoops just to get a part time minimum wage job that does not include working for big bad Walmart or a fast food joint for christ sake! everyone is expected to have collage degrees they may or may not even use and a hie school diploma is not even enoff anymore because we have become a far too electronically driven society . we have dug ourselves into this hole and we are too stupid to get ourselves out of it. their are many things I love about the gilded age but I feel in some ways we should not have evolved past post colonial america which also had it issues but their were plenty of things which were good about it . The founding Fathers would turn in their graves at seeing how their experiment turned out and at the same time watch in amazement and horror….like a train wreck.

  • Reply Phil McCrackin February 21, 2019 at 3:48 am

    You don’t have to stay

  • Reply Dawn Nicolas April 3, 2019 at 3:01 pm

    They can have their opulent lifestyles, what is in your heart is priceless. Having wealth does not necessarily denote happiness or a rich life. Snobbery and elitism gets you nowhere in the eyes of God. I would much Rather be poor but rich in the Lord. Most of the mega rich have gained their wealth off the blood, sweat and tears of the average person by societal means.

  • Reply Tina Smith April 16, 2019 at 10:41 pm

    Were still living in the gilded age. The rich should not be allowed to be so wealthy when there is so much poverty. The aristocrats were so wealthy because they did not have to pay taxes while everyone else was taxed. Today, the rich have their tax advisors and accountants find every loop hole in the tax laws so they don't get taxed accordingly. They also reinvest their money so it doesn't get taxed as income. Instead of having an estate when they are deceased, they leave everything in a trust so there is no inheritance tax. This is how the rich got to be so wealthy. They avoid paying their share of taxes! The rich are wealthier now than they have ever been in all of history. Instead off millionaires we have billionaires. The Rothschild family is worth over a trillion dollars. Todays wealthy is wealthiest of all time.

  • Reply Micheal Rawlings April 25, 2019 at 9:38 am

    “We are the rich . We own America. We got it, God knows how?!? But we intend to keep it!!!” 3:28mark. Powerful statement. To bad we don’t know who made that statement. I’m sure they still own America. 🇺🇸

  • Reply Semiramis Bonaparte May 8, 2019 at 6:22 am

    These Robber Barons, bankers, etc NEED TO GIVE THE AMERICAN PEOPLE OUR ISH BACK THAT WAS STOLEN AND FRAUDULENTLY PLUCKED FROM OUR ANCESTORS! WE ARE TRADITIONALLY AGRARIAN AND THIS HAS BEEN TAKEN FROM US. AS WAS OUR SILVER AND OUR GOLD. OUR INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY ETC. THEIR "TRUSTS" AND "ESTATES" AND MUSEUMS SHOULD BE TAXED BY US. WE CAN REMOVE WHOMEVER WE DESIRE FROM GOVERNMENT OR OUR SOCIETY IN GENERAL. RELEASE OUR LANDS, RETURN OUR RESOURCES, CANCEL OUR "DEBT" AND CLOSE THEIR BANKS AND INSTITUTIONS. STOP ALLOWING FOREIGNERS TO BUY OUR LANDS AND BENEFIT WHILE TREATING AMERICANS LIKE CRAP AS THEY SPIT ON US AND STEAL OUR MONEY. REFUSE TAXES UNTIL WE SEE CHANGE AND SATISFACTION WITH OUR COMMUNITIES. THEY ARE SUPPOSED TO BOW AND BEND TO US NOT THE OTHER WAY AROUND. PEOPLE HAVE FORGOTTEN!! IM TIRED OF THE WORLD LIVING IT UP AT THE EXPENSE OF AMERICA AND THE SACRIFICES OF OUR FOREFATHERS ALL THE WHILE THEY DISRESPECT US AND UNDERMINE US. WE'RE EVEN BEING INVADED AND INFILTRATED RIGHT NOW AND NO ONE SEEMS TO BAT AN EYE. THIS IS HOW HISTORY REPEATS. NO FOREIGNER OR ILLEGAL SHOULD BE ABLE TO COME HERE AND REAP BENEFITS WHILE OUR OWN CITIZENS AND VETERANS LAY HUNGRY AND HOMELESS IN THE STREETS. WHILE OUR YOUTHS FUTURES ARENT SECURED AND FAMILIES ARE LOSING THEIR HOMES AND LANDS. I HEAR OTHERS CRY ABOUT THEIR INHERITANCES AND WHATS DUE TO THEM BUT EVERYONE SEEMS TO FORGET THE MISSING INHERITANCE OF THE AMERICANS AND HOW WE'RE ENSLAVED ON OUR OWN LAND. WHY ARE THERE PEOPLE HERE IN AMERICA WHO CAN'T EVEN COMMUNICATE WITH THE LOCAL POPULATION YET THEY OWN BUSINESSES IN OUR NEIGHBORHOODS?! WHY ARE FOREIGN NATIONS ALLOWED TO BUY OUR LAND AND OPPRESS OUR PEOPLE? TEAR DOWN OUR MONUMENTS AND HISTORICAL BUILDINGS?! WAKE UP AMERICA AND STOP BEING SO NAIVE. WE NEED TO BE STINGY, WE NEED TO BE TERRITORIAL, WE NEED TO BE PROTECTIVE, WE NEED TO SET HIGHER STANDARDS AND STOP ACCEPTING ANY AND EVERYTHING. WE OWE NO ONE ANYTHING, NO EXPLANATIONS, NO POT TO PISS IN, NO ROOM TO SLEEP. OUR FIRST PRIORITY SHOULD BE NOTHING ELSE BUT OURSELVES. AMERICAN PEOPLE. WE CAN'T HELP OTHERS IF WE OURSELVES NEED HELP. TAKE BACK AMERICA….OUR LIVES SHOULD BE GILDED, OUR FLOORS AND OUR STREETS. WHERE'S THE WEALTH?? BRING BACK THE LIBERTY TREE. BRING BACK TARRING AND FEATHERING. BRING BACK PRIDE IN OUR NATION AND UNITY THROUGH OUR SHARED CORE VALUES AND HISTORIES. KICK OUT MEGA CORP AND STAND UP FOR THIS COUNTRY BEFORE ITS TOO LATE. SINCE OUR INCEPTION WE'VE BEEN THE MOST HATED, MOST ENVIED, MOST ADMIRED, AND THE STAT QUO. WE NEED TO REMIND THE WORLD WHO COLUMBIA IS AND THAT WE ARE A FREE REPUBLIC WHO BOWS TO NONE. SORRY FOR THE RANT BUT DAMMIT AMERICA SNAP OUT OF THE COMA.

  • Reply logibear64 May 11, 2019 at 3:01 pm

    The great delusion is modern America is more enlightened that the Americans of the gilded age. We aren't fit to tie their shoes. They left us a great legacy but we effed it up.

  • Reply Lizabeth Gussman May 11, 2019 at 11:40 pm

    Many-if not most— of the wealthy people of the Gilded Age were one, if that many, generations removed from poverty.

  • Reply Captain Lou Casella May 16, 2019 at 11:04 pm

    Stop whining and work hard. The world owes you nothing.

  • Reply Adam Albrec May 21, 2019 at 4:36 pm

    And here we are again.

  • Reply anthony cannata jr May 27, 2019 at 10:29 pm

    Looks like current times…

  • Reply AmericanExperiencePBS May 29, 2019 at 1:54 pm

    Learn more about our documentary, THE GILDED AGE, including where to watch the full film: https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/films/gilded-age/

  • Reply JR Rodriguez May 29, 2019 at 11:46 pm

    Frankfurt school propaganda. My first 6 months in the USA in 1966 I was homeless. Now I am a multimillionaire and not one Government grant nor ever apied as the biracial Hispanic that I am. This is the land of opportunity. This biased revisionist history is by communist like those that destroyed my birth country of Cuba. PBS, NPR and the endowment for art is infested with communists and should be defunded .

  • Reply Terri Mcwilliams May 30, 2019 at 9:10 pm

    Humm not much has changed. Same assholes own everything.

  • Reply Jamaal Shelton June 5, 2019 at 3:00 am

    These documentaries ignoring of the largest minority group…American Blacks is always absurd. Especially when their slave labor is responsible for that wealth

  • Reply Frisky Opossum June 9, 2019 at 8:14 pm

    Alright, we hear close into this of the 1%. Is this PBS propaganda or an endorsement of the Pegan Motorcycle club?

  • Reply Bunne Rabb June 10, 2019 at 12:16 pm

    Dear billionaires. Please start putting back and growing wealth on the ground or stop calling yourselves capialists.

  • Reply MrTimeless101 June 13, 2019 at 4:21 pm

    Actually America was always three nation's, wealthy whites, poor whites and black Americans.

  • Reply Judy Evancic June 16, 2019 at 2:02 am

    We are in the same place today… the haves are now multi-millionaires, billionaires… The greed today is just about the same as it was back then…

  • Reply Hvalpikk June 18, 2019 at 11:35 pm

    Then, like today, the wealthy attempt to control the working class. A healthy, educated, voting lower/middle class terrifies the rulers. This is why we have trump and his crime family running the show. Vanderbilts, Astors, Trumps, Kushners …. Same shit different toilet.

  • Reply cody34429 June 24, 2019 at 1:35 am

    This is laughable all Americans CAN become rich THIS IS JUVENILE! PURE PROPAGANDA! HA HA! LOL!

  • Reply Hidesertgirl June 24, 2019 at 10:55 am

    the great divide is still alive and well today

  • Reply Milton Welch June 25, 2019 at 3:09 pm

    PBS has that uncanny ability to portray serious social frictions and divide as some kind of a "cute story" with soft raspy voices of various narrators and soothing music background, with appearance of being resolved by "that's who we are – a problem solvers".

  • Reply Connie Crawford June 26, 2019 at 1:22 am

    It’s s wonder anyone survived that filthy air pollution from factories, trains and coal burning homes! So many pollutants being released near so many residential areas!

  • Reply Cultural Marxist Watch June 26, 2019 at 7:15 am

    How is this any different than the immoral, greedy democrat oligarchs of 2019, Bill Gates, Larry Page, Michael Bloomberg, Diane Feinstein, Nancy Pelosi, Jeff Bezos, The Kennedys, Mark Zuckerberg and the evil Hollywood elite? At least the Czars of The Gilded Age like The Carnegies built libraries, schools and culturally enriching institutions to benefit the masses, today’s wealthy give their money to evil, criminal enterprises like The Clinton Global Initiative and fund obscene art and pornography and build hideous buildings void of aesthetic value tearing down treasures and building up a dystopian hell. IMO This current viper’s brood is worse and more merciless than any decadent mob before them.

  • Reply gourmet cavewoman June 27, 2019 at 7:42 pm

    Nothing has changed

  • Reply T Byas June 27, 2019 at 10:55 pm

    ADOS American desendents of slaves know where the rich got their money, from out forefathers and we ended up with no inheritance after 400 years of free labor starting out with nothing.

  • Reply MASTER BLASTER June 28, 2019 at 12:04 am

    PBS socialist fail to show the growth of the middle class and the prosperity that was created – they show pictures of new immigrants living in one bedroom apartments oh sorry – this is propaganda fake documentary anti-capitalism

  • Reply Liberty GiveMe June 28, 2019 at 4:11 am

    I'm sorry, but an Asian describing "The Gilded Age"?! That's like a Neo Nazi describing "The Holocaust"!!!! Just STRANGE!!!!

  • Reply Liberty GiveMe June 28, 2019 at 4:15 am

    Jesus Himself said – "The poor will ALWAYS be with you." Until He comes back, of course. But America, at least at some point, was LESS, US AGAINST THEM than ANY OTHER COUNTRY!!!!

  • Reply green yoshi gamer gaming,vlogs,and more dumb stuff June 28, 2019 at 4:52 am

    Oh just like now! Exactly!!

  • Reply Marrowbones June 29, 2019 at 2:54 am

    Let's see…. France gives us a statue and a Marxist immigrant writes a poem that national conceit allows to become its motto; "Give me your tired and your poor! Your huddled masses, yearning to be free! Send me, the homeless tempest-tossed to me! I lift my lamp beside the golden door!" And so, they came and then, oh, guess what? They are poor, tired, and yearn to be free! And this was America's fault! This is a Marxist documentary that still pretends that America should be the default landing place for the worst and most desperate denizens of the planet. And all because of a poem that was never voted on, which created a policy that Marxists like Emanuel Celler schemed to unfold and eventually change America into a Marxist Socialist Order.

  • Reply Marrowbones June 29, 2019 at 2:56 am

    Mark Twian coined the term "The Gilded Age," and wrote a book titled the same. It was about politics and corrupt politicians and industrialists.

  • Reply muuri psoras June 29, 2019 at 4:47 pm

    Nothing has changed 😏

  • Reply JTrainer trainer June 29, 2019 at 7:32 pm

    The clothing at 3:46 must have been a costume ball. That's not the fashion of that era.

  • Reply A.J London June 30, 2019 at 2:34 am

    Plus c'est change plus c'est la meme chose.

  • Reply Loulou June 30, 2019 at 2:05 pm

    Any still continues to be the same today…………..

  • Reply Unruly Sue June 30, 2019 at 3:32 pm

    And now here we are, a hundred plus years later and history is repeating itself. The first divide was brought about with the industrial revolution. Our current situation a result of the technological age. Not to say that either industry or technology are bad but rather that human greed has caused their misuse.

  • Reply Anthony Rivera June 30, 2019 at 7:31 pm

    Ffs this is such ahistorical propaganda
    The poor were living better than they ever had anytime in history. This is what a documentary looks like when you look at it all through a modern revised lense. People doing better than others isnt a problem when everyone is increasingly doing better

  • Reply Dale Mack June 30, 2019 at 8:35 pm

    First they say the wealthy were horrible and wicked and show people who are enslaved by them and say the 1% had all the money and everybody else starved, then they show people using the newly established railroads to go to cities where there were opportunities for better life. What better life was there if everybody in cities were starving and living in the mud?

    So without the Vanderbilts railroads and Carnagy's steel to make them and everything else this would not be possible. Yes, of course there were terrible injustices — many of which have since been handled — but, like it, or not, it takes those with money to finance great inventions and construction. And if it's their money used then they deserve the profits. a lot of this is just class envy.

  • Reply Steve Wilson July 1, 2019 at 1:14 am

    Strong wind huh🔮

  • Reply Rachel Garber July 1, 2019 at 3:53 am

    Well, doesn't this sound familiar. Except today's 1% worth is measured in the billions, instead of millions. The Kochs, DeVoses etc must look back at that era with dismissive disdain. Pfft they were pickers compared to us.

  • Reply Caligula Longhbottom July 1, 2019 at 4:41 am

    Fancy analogy but that's not really how you use the word 'patina'.

  • Reply A Dominguez July 1, 2019 at 5:22 am

    Sounds like a bunch of ungrateful, socialist IMMIGRANTS. Same thing is occurring right now…AGAIN!!!! Illegal aliens are storming our borders trying to get their share of the American dream!!! They are not entitled to a share!!! They have not put in their time or their share of the work!!! My family has enjoyed middle-class status for over 100 years!!! On a whole, the United States appreciates their wealthy citizens. We realized that they provide jobs and stability in our country. We know that here in the United States we have the hope of securing our wealth. However, we don't care to be ridiculously wealthy and by the same token we don't want to support illegals who come here and expect handouts in the form higher taxes and of changing our Federal economy to one of socialism!!!! I GUESS THEY SEE ALL THESE TV COMMERCIALS AND THINK THAT ALL AMERICANS LIVE IN HIGH-TECH HOMES AND DRIVE A LEXUS OR A BMW…. WRONG!!! They need to go home and work!! Most of these people come from some of the most fertile land on the planet!!! They pay coyotes $5,000 to $7,000 a piece to cross them illegally into the United States!!! just think what that kind of money can do for them back in their own country!!! Some Mexican villages are sick and tired of all the problems that are occurring because of this mass migration. They love their land and they have picked up arms!! These villages are becoming police, judge, jury and executioners!!! They love their land and they have no desire to come to the United States!!! illegal aliens who are invading our country our street rats from large Central and South American countries!!! Don't be fooled by the children!! Most of these women are prostitutes!!!

  • Reply idcraw July 2, 2019 at 1:43 am

    I love the way yanks make it sound like they are the only ones who ever had an idea

  • Reply A Cobra July 2, 2019 at 8:24 am

    Its amazing to see the wealthy in photographs look so miserable…smile.. bloody hell their heads are stuck too far up their own asses to look outside and see how blessed they were to be filthy rich they didnt need to struggle day to day to worry what to eat or wear or even where to live…

  • Reply Sescopian July 3, 2019 at 3:23 am

    And here we have the same old American delusions poured out of an incessantly re-guilded bottle that implies, everybody can make it if only…, there has never been, and never will be a time when EVERYBODY succeeds. The fact of the matter is too many people in positions to keep wrenches in any possibility of anything resembling a more equitable coexistence have every intention of seeing that never happens, the terms Slavery and CoIntelPro are no longer used but in the case of the first, the families that engaged in it, and in the case of the other the families, of those J Edgar Hoover Directed to engage in it, haven't just disappeared off the face of the earth, are we to just imagine the mentality and drive to organize the means to resurrect the above mentioned in incessantly-morphing forms simply ceased with the terms use, or might they both still be in full effect in an utterly transformed way in plain sight nationwide?

  • Reply Lanla Colan July 3, 2019 at 11:34 am

    most people are never truly honest they lie lie lie about the mostly unsuspecting target

  • Reply Me Too July 3, 2019 at 5:33 pm

    Nothing has changed except today we are dealing with the byproduct of the drugs that the industrial revolution created

  • Reply Marisol Sanchez July 3, 2019 at 6:08 pm

    A nation still divided. 😔

  • Reply andrew ey July 4, 2019 at 9:49 am

    The more things change, the more they stay the same

  • Reply anthony j July 4, 2019 at 2:17 pm

    I'll believe the film footage but none of the words. None.

  • Reply Clan Maccus July 4, 2019 at 2:59 pm

    A quaint documentary that ignores the essential role of the Rothschild money that went to Carnegie, Vanderbilt etc. Definitely read Niall Ferguson’s The House of Rothschild (Volumes 1 & 2)

  • Reply Vu Ho July 5, 2019 at 4:55 am

    I like the rich. Aren’t they just lovely? Better give them another tax cut.

  • Reply Jan Van Wagner July 5, 2019 at 6:14 am

    You can easily see that they thought of themselves as a new ARISTOCRACY ! After the battle to escape that very thing in Europe- once they were rich they wanted the system back. They've been working toward that wealthy / serf system since. Farming allowed people to be independent and self sufficient. Working for the rich leaves them independent & everyone else dependent.

  • Reply funkystyle July 5, 2019 at 7:09 am

    I wonder who are they 6:50, there seems to be South Asians too. Might be students from Philadelphia's university at the time.

  • Reply Texas Red July 5, 2019 at 11:21 pm

    Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose, as my French granny would say.

  • Reply Chance Whistler July 5, 2019 at 11:56 pm

    $35000

  • Reply Alex Shuysky July 6, 2019 at 5:34 am

    "Everybody has the chance to succeed"
    But then someone succeed and suddenly they're the enemy of the people. This logic is always surprising for me lol

  • Reply Sharon Spaghetti July 7, 2019 at 3:39 am

    This is ecactly the same in 2019 only the stats then said 1% owned more and now 3% so just about the same. So sad and terrifying.

  • Reply chnalvr July 8, 2019 at 3:46 am

    Could any white person at that time (or ever) in the U.S. truly and accurately be called, "Self-Made"? I don't think so.

  • Reply Talita M. July 8, 2019 at 9:49 pm

    00:43 oh shit! Poor guy lolol!

  • Reply Felicity Ray Self July 10, 2019 at 7:03 am

    Oh shut up and let us enjoy the gild already.

  • Reply Christophe Abiel July 10, 2019 at 6:31 pm

    THERE IS THIS RIFT BETWEEN ANTEBELLUM SOUTH AND INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION WHICH SAYS THAT AMERICA WAS SELF MADE AND SLAVERY DOESN'T MATTER? I DON'T UNDERSTAND.

  • Reply Cappi _01 July 11, 2019 at 2:12 pm

    That brother at the beginning with wind in his hat though!

  • Reply Andrew Gibbon-Williams July 13, 2019 at 4:40 pm

    Aggressive Capitalism will always exploit – beggar the hindmost. It did then. It does now. What cost US prosperity? Ask the victims.

  • Reply T. T July 14, 2019 at 1:06 am

    Seems oddly familiar…

  • Reply Mario Araujo July 14, 2019 at 11:23 am

    This crap has been going on since the get go. Omg I never knew this. Fucking 1% has been around forever.

  • Reply Scott Lay July 18, 2019 at 7:05 am

    Please say to yourself "Carnegie Hall" and then ask why PBS is pronouncing their name so horribly wrong.

  • Reply Scott Lay July 18, 2019 at 7:09 am

    PBS. Please feel free to phone Carnagie Hall at 212 247 7800 to assist your narrators when doing these types of historical pieces. Thank you in advance.

  • Reply wales007 July 29, 2019 at 1:57 am

    Watching this made me remember The Mistborn serie from Brandon Sanderson. Is fantasy but I now realize how much history it has & how incredible accurate is.

  • Reply grease58 August 6, 2019 at 9:43 pm

    Everyone here talks about taxing "The Rich"….. Can someone PLEASE tell me the OFFICIAL definition of "rich"? Is it when I have 100,000? $1,000,000? More? Is that AFTER taxes? Everyone wants to punish "The Rich" but NO ONE can tell me, accurately, what that is!!

  • Reply EqualLandFreePeople August 25, 2019 at 1:23 am

    This series is not a documentary in every sense it is fake propaganda. For example it was the union that tried to kill the strikebreakers. If they were overpaid, why would anyone want to break the strike and work for less?

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