The Jolly Corner Historical Context

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Robber Barons

At the turn of the century, American industrial production greatly increased. As technological innovations facilitated large-scale agricultural production, many small farmers were put out of business. Factories—often situated in urban areas— needed a large labor force and attracted people from rural areas, the South, and immigrants from all over the world. With so many people looking for work, companies kept wages low and conditions poor. Working people began to protest the unfairness of the economic system, organizing the Populist Party and labor unions.

The financial rewards in business were enormous. Those men that were industrious, ambitious, and lucky had a decent chance of success. A few number of men earned the title "captain of industry," controlling very large companies and becoming rich. However, the concentration of this wealth took place at the expense of average workers who often worked long hours in unsafe...

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This section contains 385 words
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Buy The Jolly Corner Study Guide
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Short Stories for Students
The Jolly Corner from Short Stories for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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