How Corrupt Was American Governance and Business in the 19th Century – Assignment Example

The paper "How Corrupt Was American Governance and Business in the 19th Century" is a wonderful example of a history assignment.
Nineteenth-century governance brought the informal system of accountability. While government workers were loyal to their respective parties, they were not above taking bribes or payoffs. Ind While government workers were loyal to their respective parties, they were not above taking bribes or payoffs. Indeed, research indicates that taking bribes pretty much started in 330 A.D. in the Roman Empire. Government officials were allowed to take up to 100 gold pieces from others but anything beyond that was considered disgraceful. In the 1800’s, there is little documentation existing before the year 1875. It is shameful that so few documents regarding government accounting exist but the review of what is available leads to the conclusion that each government (be it state or local) had the ability to decide independently how to use the purses that each municipality had. It is interesting that so few documents exist which would detail the accounting practices of America governance especially since the state of Alabama in 1812 specifically called for the state accounting in its’ constitution.

What was the nature and methods of American business in the 19th Century?
The 19th century was known as the “Gilded Age”. Here one saw the heights of wealth and the bowels of poverty. Those who were wealthy threw parties that even today are unmatched. Those who were wealthy were old money which had been cultivated by a newer generation (such as the Astors) and brilliant inventions combined with intense marketing. During this time of sewing machines and skyscrapers, eleven million American families out of twelve million earned less than twelve million dollars per year. The average annual income was $380 which left the vast majority far below the poverty line.