Timber, copper, iron, and coal

Could be found in the land of the free.

This discovery fulfilled the goal

Of Abraham Lincoln’s last plea.

Settlers and miners traveled west

In the railroads that took them to the oil fields.

They were given barely any time to rest,

And to the east they had to send all of their yields.

In 50 years the population grew times 3;

People were living longer.

From the English Channel to the Yangtze,

17 million immigrants came from all over.

Many new inventions increased the nation’s productivity.

People like Bell and Edison made enormous progression;

Their companies still thriving due to their creativity.

It’s clear why they made such a big impression.

“Let people do as they choose”,

Was the anthem of this time.

Many businesses were started by entrepreneurs,

And the stock market slowly climbed. 

To make the transcontinental railroad possible,

The Union and Central Pacific worked side by side.

Together they were unstoppable,

And in the end the U.S. swelled with pride.

Camp life was rough and dirty,

And workers faced blizzards and heat.

It was rare that any of them reached thirty,

But after 4 years the railroad was complete.

From New York to Chicago, Vanderbilt merged railroad lines.

In order to clear confusion,

The ARA divided the country into 4 different times. 

To encourage railroad construction,

The government gave out land.

But all of the companies were full of corruption,

And the Robber Barons had it all planned. 

Corporations thrived,

Stockholders owned their shares.

Small businesses barely survived,

While the big ones became billionaires. 

Andrew Carnegie

Introduced vertical integration.

He owned a steel company,

And became the king of his corporation.

Meanwhile over at Standard Oil,

Integration was horizontal.

Rockefeller’s competitors became loyal,

His monopoly was truly remarkable. 

J.P. Morgan was an investor,

Issuing stock was his specialization.

Companies sold stocks to a banker,

Who then sold them to people across the nation.

Life for the workers was really hard,

Unhealthy, dangerous, and poor.

A Union acted as a sort of guard,

So that a worker’s dehumanization was hard to ignore.

A dissatisfied worker results in a strike,

An employer would see this a child’s play.

Lockouts and strikes are quite alike,

Companies locked workers out and refused to pay.

The Knights of Labor were a different kind of Union,

They favored fairness and justice.

A system that helped them is arbitration,

An outsider picked a side in order to end the crisis.

The AFL became more favorable,

And many workers switched over.

Samuel Gompers, the president, was quite capable,

And handled the Union with firm composure.

Amazing inventions, industrial growth,

Corruption, poverty, a gap between rich and poor.

Not just good or bad but both,

Gold on the surface but inside impure.








This poem is about: 
My country


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