During the late 19th century, the industrial sectors of society rapidly expanded. Corporations emerged, and the captains of industry created ,major industrial empires that drastically changed the face of American business. Although many opposed the large businesses when they hurt individuals, Americans generally favored industrialization. Even the common man shared in the American desire to gain wealth through the new industrial economy.
Laissez-faire: It meant non-governmental interference in business. The doctrine favors capitalist self-interest, competition, and natural consumer preferences as forces leading to optimal prosperity and freedom. It began in the late 18th century as a strong liberal reaction to trade taxation and nationalist governmental control known as mercantilism.
Adam Smith, The Wealth of Nations: In The Wealth of Nations, published in 1776, Adam Smith believed that self-interest was an "invisible hand in the marketplace, automatically regulating the supply of and demand for goods and services." He endorsed a laissez-faire approach to economics and was the first to define the system of capitalism.
Andrew Carnegie: Carnegie decided to build his own steel mill in 1870. His philosophy was simple: "watch the costs and the profit will take care of themselves." At the age of 33, when he had an annual income of $50,000, he said, "beyond this never earn, make no effort to increase fortune, but spend the surplus each year for benevolent purposes."
UNION PACIFIC RAILROAD, CENTRAL PACIFIC RAILROAD: The Pacific Railroad Act of 1862 had authorized the construction of the transcontinental railroad. The Union Pacific and Central Pacific Railroads were joined together to form the first transcontinental railroad in May 1869 when railroad executives drove a golden spike into the ground at Promontory Point, Utah in order to connect the two. It allowed Americans to travel from coast to coast in a week; it had previously taken several months to do so.
"Robber Barrons": Known as the great captains of industy and as robber barons who lined their pockets, these captains, or villains, of industry made their money by manipulating the stock markets and company policies. Some of these Robber Barrons were Jay Gould, Hill, and John D. Rockefeller.
John D. Rockefeller: He is famous for his Standard Oil Company. He had a desire for cost cutting and efficiency. Rockefeller helped form the South Improvement Company in early 1872, which was an association of the largest oil refiners in Cleveland, and he arranged with the railroads to obtain substantial rebates on shipments by members of the association.
Standard Oil Company: The Standard Oil Company was organized in 1870 by Rockefeller, his brother William, and several associates. In 1882 Rockefeller formed the Standard Oil Trust. This, the first corporate trust, was declared an illegal monopoly and ordered dissolved by the Ohio Supreme Court in 1892.
Horizontal consolidation: Within three years, the Standard Oil Trust had consolidated crude oil by buying throughout its member firms. It had slashed the number of refineries in half. Rockefeller integrated the petroleum industry horizontally by merging the competing oil companies into one giant system.
Vertical consolidation: The Standard Oil Trust had consolidated crude-oil buying throughout it members firms and slashed the number of refineries in half. Rockefeller integrated the petroleum industry vertically by controlling every function from production to local retailing. He controlled all aspects of manufacturing from mining to selling.
Henry Clay Frick: Frick’s job was to manage the daily operations of Carnegie’s company. With Frick’s great leadership, Carnegie’s steel mill profits rose every year despite labor troubles and a national depression. With Henry’s help, Carnegie was free to pursue philanthropic activities.
Charles Schwab: He became president of Carnegie Steel when he bought half of the company for half a billion dollars. Therefore, he combined Carnegie’s company with Federal Steel. After the agreement, Morgan set up the U.S. Steel corporation. This became the first business to capitalize at more than $1 billion dollars.
Thomas A. Edison: He epitomized the inventive impulse. An American inventor, his development of a practical electric light bulb, electric generating system, sound-recording device, and motion picture projector had advanced the life of modern society. He shared the same dream as Carnegie to interconnect industry system with technology.
Alexander Graham Bell: An American inventor and teacher of the deaf, he was most famous for his invention of the telephone. Since the age of 18, Bell had been working on the idea of transmitting speech. He was one of the cofounders of the National Geographic Society, and he served as its president from 1896 to 1904. He also founded the journal Science in 1883. His other inventions includes the induction balance, audiometer, and the first was recording cylinder introduced in 1885.
Leland Stanford: An American Railroad magnate and a politician, he served as the Republican governor of California and the U.S. senator from California. With Hill, he started the Central Pacific Railroad Company, and in 1870, he founded the Southern Pacific Railroad Company.
James G. Hill, Great Northern Railroad: He reorganized and expanded the railroad industry in the 1870s and 1880s. He was exemplified as a robber baron who manipulated stock markets and company policies. He and three other partners bought the St. Paul and Pacific Railroad.
Cornelius Vanderbilt: An American industrialist and philanthropist, he became associated with the New York and Harlem Railroad in 1867, and became president in 1886. At the same time he began to act as head of the Vanderbilt family. He founded the Vanderbilt University.
Bessemer process: The process consisted of a shot of air blasted through an enormous crucible of molten iron to burn off carbon and impurities. This new technology, combined with cost analysis, provided a learning railroad experience for Carnegie. The bessemer invention offered a means of driving up profits, lowering cost, and improving efficiency.
United States Steel Corporation, Elbert H. Gary: Gary was a lawyer who later became president of the Federal Steel Company in 1898. Gary was a strong foe of unions, but he introduced profit sharing and encouraged higher wages and better working conditions. The city of Gary, Indiana., originally a steel company town, is named after him.
Mesabi Range: Andrew Carnegie bought an ore company in the newly opened Mesabi Range in Minnesota in 1892. The hills contained large deposits of iron ore. The Mesabi Range is one of the chief iron-producing regions in the world. Iron production began there in the late 19th century.
J. Pierpont Morgan: When national depression struck a number of railroads in 1893, Morgan refinanced their debts and built an intersystem alliance by purchasing blocks of stock in the world of competing railroads. He also marketed U.S. government securities on a massive scale.
Gustavus Swift, Phillip Armour: Swift, a Chicago meatpacker, and Philip Armour turned pigs and cattle into bacon, pork chops, and steaks. They also developed the technique of refrigerating food in order to ship food across seas. They both won a large share of the eastern urban market for meat.
James B. Duke: An American tobacco industrialist and philanthropist whose career originated with a small family business, James, along with four partners, merged to form the American Tobacco Company in 1890. The family concentrated on cigarette production in 1881. Within few years, James lead and dominated the national market.
Andrew Mellon: An American financier, industrialist, and statesman, and educated at the University of Pennsylvania, he started his career in the banking firm of Thomas Mellon and Sons of Pittsburgh. He later became a partner and the president, in 1902, of the firm that developed into the Mellon National Bank.
"Stock watering": This term referred to the act of issuing stock certificates far in excess of the actual value of the assets. Some who "stock watered" persuaded the populace to buy up stock, but then sold the stock when prices rose, and made a profit while ruining the business of other investors. This was during 1890 when the stock market was at an all time high.
Jay Cook Co.: He was a Philadelphia banker who had taken over the new transcontinental line, the Northern Pacific, in 1869. In September of that year, his vault was full of bonds that he could no longer sell. Cook fail to meet obligation and his bank, which was the largest in the nation, was shut down.
Jay Gould and Jim Fiske: They attempted to corner the gold market in 1869 with the help of Grant’s brother-in-law. When gold prices tumbled, Gould and Fiske salvaged their own fortunes. Unfortunately, investors were ruined. Grant’s reputation was tarnished and could not be restored.
Pool, Trust: Competition became so vicious that railroads tried to end it by establishing pools in order to divide the traffic equally and to charge similar rates. The pool lacked legal status, while the trust was a legal device that centralized control over a number of different companies by setting up a board of trustees to run all of them.
Rebates: A rebate is a partial monetary return of an amount paid. The Interstate Commerce Act prohibited rebates for railway rates because they discriminated between different groups. Small farmers were angered that they were required to pay more than other interests were. This Act was passed in 1887 with the Interstate Commerce Commission.
Depression of 1873: Early in Grant’s second term, the country was hit by an economic depression known as the panic of 1873. Brought on by over expansive tendencies of railroad builders and businessmen during the immediate postwar boom, the Panic was triggered by economic downturns in Europe and by the failure of Jay Cooke’s bank.
Holding Companies: A holding company is a corporation that owns a controlling share of the stock of one or more other firms. When Standard Oil faced the problem of antitrust suits in 1892, lawyers invoked New Jersey law that allowed permitted corporations to own property in other states by simply reorganizing the trust as an enormous holding company.
Fourteenth Amendment’s "due process clause": The fourteenth amendment declared in its first clause that all person born or naturalized in the United States were recognized as citizens of the nation and as citizens of their states and that no state could abridge their rights without due process of law or deny them equal protection of the law.
INTERSTATE COMMERCE ACT, INTERSTATE COMMERCE COMMISSION: The Interstate Commerce Act of 1887 was passed to provide that a commission be established to oversee fair and just railway rates, prohibit rebates, end discriminatory practices, and require annual reports and financial statements. The act established a new agncy, the Interstate Commerce Commission, which allowed the government to investigate and oversee railroad activities.
Long haul, short haul: It was cheaper to ship a long haul on the railroads than it was to ship a short haul. Small farmers were angered that they, who made many short hauls, were discriminated against. In the 1870s, many state legislatures, outlawed rate discrimination as a result of protests led by the Grangers.
SHERMAN ANTITRUST ACT, 1890: Fearing that the trusts would stamp out all competition, Congress passed the Sherman Antitrust Act in 1890, which outlawed trusts and other restraints of trade. Violators were fined up to five thousand dollars and one year in prison. The Sherman Antitrust act failed to define either trust or restraint of trade clearly. As a result, between 1890 and 1904, the government prosecuted only eighteen antitrust suits, and it was instead used to hinder the efforts of labor unions who acted "in restraint of trade."
Frank Norris, The Octopus:The U.S. novelist Frank Norris, was a noted pioneer of naturalism in literature. His novels portray the demoralizing effects of modern technology on the human fate. His best-known works, The Octopus, published in 1901, and The Pit , published in 1903, attack the railroad and wheat industries in the United States.
New South, Henry Grady: Henry Grady was a U.S. journalist and orator born in Athens, Georgia. He bought share in Atlantic Constitution in 1879. As editor, he did much to restore friendly relations between the North and South during a period of bitter hatred and conflict. He often lectured on the concept of "The New South," which referred to a rejuvenated south.
The Growth Of Labor
Reacting to the emergence of big business, workers organized themselves to protect their welfare. Feeling that they were helpless against the practices of the large corporations, workers collectivized to gain power through their numbers. Labor Unions, such as the National Labor Union and the Knights of Labor, were created in order to establish forums for workers to express discontent.
National Labor Union, William Sylvis: In 1866, acting on his dream of a nationwide association to represent all workers. Sylvis called a convention in Baltimore that formed the National Labor Union (NLU). The organization supported the eight-hour day movement, but also embraced banking reform and an end to conviction labor.
KNIGHTS OF LABOR, URIAH STEPHENS, TERRENCE POWDERLY: The Knights of labor dreamed of a national labor movement. This organization was founded in Philadelphia in 1869, and was led by Uriah Stephens, who was also the head of the Garment Cutters of Philadelphia. They welcomed all wage earners, and demanded equal pay for women, an end to child and convict labor, and cooperative employer-employee ownership. In their organization, they excluded bankers, lawyers, professional gambler, and liquor dealers.
AMERICAN FEDERATION OF LABOR (AFL): Confronted by big business, Samuel Gompers and Adolph Strasser put together a combination of national crafts unions to represent the material interests of labor in the matter of wages, hours, and safety precautions. They demanded bargaining in labor contracts with large corporations such as railroads, mining, and manufacturing. They did not intend to have a violent revolution nor political radicalism.
Samuel Gompers: An American labor leader, he, as president of the American Federation of Labor (AFL), stressed cooperation between management and labor instead of strike actions, as a means of obtaining labor demands. He led the AFL for forty years, until his death in 1924.
Collective bargaining: The major function of unions is collective bargaining, a process by which unions and employers negotiate terms of employment. The terms are set forth in a written agreement that the union and the employer promise to enforce. The AFL demanded collective bargaining in labor contracts with large corporations.
Injunction: An injuntion is a court order. It was generally used against strikers. It is an order or decree in the law of equity, requiring a defendant to refrain from committing a specific act, either in process or threatened, injurious to the plaintiff. Injunctions are generally preventive, restraining, or prohibitory in nature.
Pinkertons: They were a group in Allan Pinkerton’s organization, the National Detective Agency. They often spied on the unions for the companies. In 1877, when a railroad strike broke out, they were called in as strikebreakers. In the Homestead Strike, the Pinkertons fired on the strikers, killing many of them.
Closed Shop: The closed shop is an agreement between a trade union and an employer which is a collective bargain. It provides that employees in the bargaining unit shall be union members and remain in good standing in the union as a condition of employment. Many of these shops were banned by the Taft-Hartley Act of 1947.
Blacklist, Yellow Dog Contracts: With the formation of labor unions, workers began to strike to obtain better conditions. However, employers blacklisted employees that went on strike, which which made getting another job later much harder. They also made employees sign yellow dog contracts, which forced the employee to agree not to strike or join a union.
Company Union: First adapted by the Colorado Fuel and Iron Company in 1915, it was a company-sponsored labor union that was dominated by the management. The workers wanted unions, and they got them, but they were controlled by the management, so the company had the final word on the labor policy.
Great Railroad Strike, 1877: A group of railroad workers on the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad rose up and began to strike due to wage cuts. This spread up and down the railroad line across the nation. Railroad roadhouse were torched. President Rutherford B. Hayes sent in troops to stop the strike. 100 people died in the strike.
haymarket square riot: Strikers and police had a confrontation while a strike was in progress on May 4, 1886, at the McCormick reaper works in Chicago. Several protesters were shot by police the day before, and a protest against police violence was called. The police were attempting to break up the meeting when a bomb was thrown by a protester. A violent gun battle ensuedin which seven police were killed. Many police and civilians were injured as well.
John Peter Altgeld: He served as the liberal governor of Illinois from 1893 to 1897. He was criticized for pardoning the anarchists who threw the bomb in the Haymarket Square Riot and for objecting to the use of federal troops in the Pullman strike. His action was considered dangerously radical by the American public.
Homestead Strike: Called in 1892 by the Amalgamated Association of Iron, Steel, and Tin Workers, it was one of the most violent strikes in U.S. history. It was against the Homestead Steel Works, which was part of the Carnegie Steel Company, in Pennsylvania in retaliation against wage cuts. On July 6, company guards and Pinkertons opened fire on the strikers after four months of striking, killing and wounding many strikers. The state militia dispersed the strikers.
American Railway Union: Created by Eugene V. Debs, it was a union created in a short-lived attempt to bring all of the railroad workers into one organization. This union was a precursor of the union movement that followed in the 1930s. The union was involved in the 1894 Pullman Strike.
Pullman Strike: The American Railway Union and Eugene V. Debs led a nonviolent strike which brought about a shut down of western railroads, which took place against the Pullman Palace Car Company in Chicago in 1894, because of the poor wages of the Pullman workers. President Grover Cleveland interfered and stopped the strike by saying that they had interfered with the right of the government to maintain the uninterrupted transport of mail. Debs was arrested and the strike was broken up.
Eugene V. Debs: As the president and the organizer of the American Railway Union, he helped bring about the shut down of western railroads with the 1894 Pullman Strike. He was arrested for these actions. He also helped organize the Social Democrat party in 1897, after meeting socialist Victor Berger. He was the party’s presidential candidate five times: in 1900, 1904, 1908, and 1912. He later became a lecturer and organizer for the Socialist movement.
Richard Olney: He was the United States Attorney General from 1893 to 1897. He also sat on the board of directors of three major networks of railroads. The General Manager’s Association attempted to get an federal injunction from Olney against the strikers for refusing to move cars carrying U.S. mail.
Danbury Hatters Strike:. The Supreme Court declared in 1908, after a strike by workers in Danbury, Connecticut, which was known for its hat industry, that unions were prohibited from setting up boycotts in support of strikes. It was said that a boycott was a "conspiracy in restraint of trade."
Rapid urbanization began in the 1870s as people flocked to the cities. These urban centers quickly crowded, and many cities became impersonal metropolises that were divided into business, residential, social and ethnic centers. Amidst this chaos, corruption thrived as political bosses ran the city for their own personal gain. It appeared as if the nation was modernizing quicker than it could deal with problems of urbanization.
George Washington Plunkitt: A minor boss in Tammany Hall and a member of the New York State Assembly, he was skilled in winning numerous votes for party candidates by associating with and being kind to the people in New York. He was paid by these candidates, and he received generous rewards.
"Honest Graft": This term, created by George Washington Plunkitt, referred to the police corruption that took place in the Tammany Hall political machine. The practices included paying bribes to make an individual a police officer, to get him a promotion, or to get him to the position of a sergeant.
Boss Tweed: He was an important figure in New York’s political machine, the Tammany Society. He held New York City and state political posts where he increased his power. Forming the Tweed Ring, which bought votes, he controlled New York politics, and encouraged judicial corruption.
Boss George B. Cox: Cox, the boss of Cincinnati’s Republican political machine, had a reputation for being one of the most honest bosses. He worked his way up the ladder from being a newspaper boy to being the head of the political machine. In addition, he helped with many public works in the city.
TAMMANY HALL: Founded by anti-federalist William Mooney, it is the name for the New York Democratic party machine, also known as the Tammany Society, whose supposed goal was to preserve democratic institutions. However, Tammany Hall gained a great reputation for its corrupt practices, and was opposed by reform groups. It began to gain power with the rise of Boss Tweed in 1868. Its leader, Alfred E. Smith, ran for president of the United States.
Thomas Nast: A political cartoonist and caricaturist, he became an illustrator for Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper in 1855. He later worked for Harper’s Weekly. He was best known for his cartoons slandering the corrupt Tammany ring of New York during the period from 1869 to 1872.
Streetcar Suburbs: The creation of electric streetcar systems allowed families to move farther from the city’s center. Streetcar companies purchased land on the city’s periphery and made tremendous profits on the sale of the real estate. The streetcar system allowed people to live farther away from their work. This facilitated the move away from the city’s center.
Tenements: Built by a landlord, tenements were small housing units that were extremely overcrowded, poorly built, and that contained filth. There was a lack of fresh air and light in these housing units, and in addition, they were inhabited mainly by new immigrants. The worst tenements became known as slums.
Denis Kearney: He was a labor leader who protested the increasing numbers of Chinese laborers when California had an economic depression in 1877. With his support, he formed the Workingman’s Party of California, which later became associated with the Grange movement.
James Bryce: He was a British historian and statesman who became the leader of the Liberal Party. He served as the ambassador to the United States from 1907 to 1913. He was also the author of The American Commonwealth (1888), which is one of the most discerning studies ever written on U.S. political institutions.
John A. Roebling: Roebling was one of the creators of the suspension bridges. He also created and manufactured steel-wire ropes which he used, along with steel cables, in his construction. One of his most famous works was the Brooklyn Bridge which he completed shortly before his death.
Louis Sullivan: Sullivan was an American architect who used steel frames to design skyscrappers. He was also the founder of what is now the Chicago School of Architects. His most famous pupil was Frank Lloyd Wright, who later became a famous architect. Together with his partner Dankmar Adler, he produced over 100 buildings.
Frank Lloyd Wright: Wright was one of the greatest twentieth-century architect and is cosidered a pioneer of the modern style. He began as a designer for the Adler Sullivan firm, and he introduced many innovations, including double-glass windows, metal furniture, and air conditioning. He created the philosophy of "Organic Architecture."
Ashcan School: This school contained a group of painters, known as The Eight, who exhibited their style together as a group in 1908. Led by Robert Henri, the Ashcan School focused on more contemporary subjects, rather than on the academic and impressionist styles of the 19th century.
Armory Show: It was an art exhibition that took place in New York between February 17 and March 15, 1913 at the 69th Regiment Armory. It was an international exhibition in which modern art was first shown in the United States. A quarter of a million paid to see the show.
Anthony Comstock: Comstock was a reformer, who helped organize the New York Society for the Suppression of Vice in 1873, of which he became secretary. He was also influential in the passage by Congress of the 1873 law concerned with obscenity in the U.S. mails. It became known as the Comstock Law.
Jacob Riis, How the Other Half Lives: Riis was a social reformer and writer who wrote one of the most influential, popular, and early social documentaries in American history. He wanted to reform tenement housing and schools. In addition, he was influential in bringing about parks and playgrounds in overcrowded neighborhoods.
Thorstein Veblen, The Theory of the Leisure Class: Thorstein Bunde Veblen was best known for his book, The Theory of The Leisure Class, which was published in 1899. Introducing the concept of "conspicuous consumption," his writing was an assault on the values and lifestyles of the Gilded Age businessmen.
From Melting Pot To Salad Bowl
The earlier immigrants to American consisted mainly of Northern Europeans. However, during the 1870s, a flood of immigrants, arriving from Southern and Eastern Europe, gushed into the already overcrowded metropolises. Many immigrants faced the dual problems of changing cultures and migrating from a rural life to an urban one. In addition to these difficulties, the new immigrants often faced prejudice from nativist Americans.
"New Immigration": They were a new group of immigrants coming into the United States that consisted of Italians, Slavs, Greeks, Jews, and Armenians. They came from both Southern and Eastern Europe, and also from the Middle East. In the 1890s, their numbers first began to increase, and the numbers continued to increase for the next three decades. Most of the immigrants came from peasant and poor backgrounds and boosted America’s foreign-born population by 18 million. They were often discriminated against.
"Old Immigration": This Term applies to those migrating from Western and Eastern Europe. They were the largest group of immigrants that migrated to the United States. The largest group of approximately three million, came from Germany in the 1840s and 1850s. Next came the British, Scottish, and Welsh immigrants, which totaled 2 million. In addition, one and a half million traveled over from Ireland. All of these immigrants came over in search of jobs and of new economic opportunities.
Literacy tests: Passed by Congress in 1917in order to restrict immigration, the law enlarged the group of immigrants that could be excluded from the United States. Literacy tests were imposed on all immigrants, and any immigrant who could not pass the tests was not allowed entry into the U.S.
Chinese Exclusion Law, 1882: Passed by Congress, it was one of three laws that attempted to solve the increasing immigration problem. There had also been increasing labor violence against the Chinese. By this law, immigrants had to be examined, and all convicts, polygamists, prostitutes, anarchists, persons suffering from loathsome or contagious diseases, and persons liable to become public disturbances and problems were all excluded form the U.S.
American Protective Association: Founded by Henry F. Bowers, this was a secret anti-Catholic society founded in 1887, in Clinton Iowa. The panic of 1893 greatly increased its membership, and it supported the Republican Party until it split over the question of whether or not to support William McKinley. It died in 1911.
The Middle Class Reform Impulse
As Americans viewed the poverty throughout their cities, middle class Americans strove to enact reform measures that would aid their society. Groups were formed to aid the less fortunate Americans who inhabited the slums of the cities. Although these citizens strove to aid their fellow man, in many cases, there was a prevalent feeling of condecension towards the poorer classes.
Jane Addams, Hull House: She was a social worker and a Nobel laureate. With the help of Ellen Star, she created the Hull House in 1889 in Chicago, which was the first settlement house in the U.S. It was a welfare agency for needy families, and it also served to combat juvenile delinquency and to assist the recent immigrants in learning the English language and in becoming citizens. In addition, in 1912, Addams played a large role in the formation of the National Progressive Party and the Women’s Peace Party.
Lester Frank Ward: Ward worked with the U.S. Geological Survey. He argued against William Graham Sumner in his Dynamic Sociology and stated that the laws of nature could be changed by mankind through government experts regulating big business, protecting society’s weaker classes, and preventing the destruction of natural resources.
SOCIAL GOSPEL: It was a Protestant liberal movement led by Washington Gladden and Walter Rauschenbusch that applied Christian principles to the numerous social problems that affected the late 19th century United States as a result of industrialization. The movement preached and taught religion and human dignity to the working class in order to correct the effects of capitalism. In 1908 the Federal Council of the Churches of Christ in America adopted a social creed that called for many improvements in society.
Walter Rauschenbusch: He was a clergyman who was one of the leaders of the Social Gospel movement. He sought to solve social problems caused by the industrialized society by applying Christian principles. He also helped found the Society of Jesus to publish periodicals for the working class.
Washington Gladden: He was a Congregationalist minister who became known for his pragmatic social theology. He linked theological liberalism with strong social concern. He worked with Walter Rauschenbusch as a leader of the Social Gospel movement. In addition, he wrote 38 books, which include Working People and their Employers.
Anti-Saloon League: During and after the American Civil War, the laws regulating many aspects of saloons were either reduced or eliminated. As a result, many people united in this league in the fight against saloons. By 1916 they enacted anti-saloon laws in 23 states and in 1917 they passed the 18th amendment beginning prohibition.
Salvation Army: Founded by Methodist William Booth, it is a religious and charitable organization dedicated to spreading the Christian faith and giving assistance to those in need of both spiritual and material aid. It was founded in 1865 in England as the Christian Mission, whose goal was to give aid to the London slums.
YMCA: British Sir George Williams founded this organization in response to unsanitary social conditions in large cities at the end of the Industrial Revolution, and to stop the young workers from gambling and engaging in other disreputable. In the U.S., it began constructing gyms, libraries, and summer camps.
Rev. Josiah Strong: Strong was the secretary of the American Home Missionary Society and the minister of Cincinnati's Central Congregational Church. Afraid that poverty was escalating, he wrote his book Our Country; Its Possible Future and Its Present Crisis in 1885, where he stated that cities were centers of anarchy and destruction.
SOCIAL DARWINISM: It is a theory developed in the late 19th century by which individuals and societies believed that people, like all other organisms compete for survival and success in life. It was believed that human progress depended highly on competition. Those who were best fit for survival would become rich and powerful, and the less fit in society would be poor and the lower classes. Many felt that this theory was expounded by Charles Darwin, but in reality, they misinterpreted his words.
Herbert Spencer: Spencer was a British philosopher, who was regarded as one of the first sociologists. His works include Social Statics, Principles of Psychology, and A System of Synthetic Philosophy. He created a system of philosophy that included his own theory of evolution, but also incorporated all existing fields of knowledge.
William Graham Sumner, What Social Classes Owe Each Other: Sumner was a sociologist and author of What Social Classes Owe Each Other. In this book, he stated that unchangeable laws of nature, such as survival of the fittest, control all social order and they can not be changed by man.
Henry Ward Beecher: Beecher was the pastor of the Plymouth Church of the Pilgrims in Brooklyn, New York, who was also one of the earliest and best known abolitionists. Also, he was an effective champion of women's rights and suffrage. He was also editor in chief of the religious and political periodicals Independent and The Christian Union.
Edward Bellamy, Looking Backward, 2000-1887: He was an essayist and journalist who founded the Springfield Daily News, and then turned toward literature. He published his most famous work in 1888, which was entitled Looking Backward, 2000-1887. This novel was a depiction of an ideal society in the year 2000. This novel led to the formation of many socialistic clubs. To further publicize his views, Bellamy created the journal, New Nation, in 1891.
Henry George,Progress and Poverty: George was an economist and social philosopher. In his book Progress and Poverty, he stated that land ownership is concentrated in the hands of a few, and these people reap the benefits of the rise in value of the land. He recommended a shift to what he called a single tax.
The Single Tax: Developed by social philosopher and economist Henry George, it was a doctrine of social reform where all taxation should be reduced to a single tax on land. The doctrine was described in his book Progress and Poverty, and it was influenced by 17th century philosopher John Locke and British economist David Ricardo.
The Flowering Of American Culture
Along with the new social currents of the day caused by rapid urbanization, immigration, and the growth of business, came a fervor of cultural display. American culture diversified as Americans saw the society around them drastically changing, causing them to strive to express their views through various forms.
Henry James: James was a writer and brother of philosopher William James. He wrote about the impact of European culture on Americans who traveled or lived abroad. Some of his famous writings include The Ambassadors, The Wings of the Dove, and The Golden Bowl.
Charles Darwin: Darwin was a British Scientist who created the theory of modern evolution. In his theory, the development of organisms came through a process called natural selection, which is often called "survival of the fittest." His theories were presented in his novel The Origin of Species.
Rev. Russell Conwell, "Acres of Diamonds": Conwell was a Baptist minister who preached about ordinary man's and capitalist's materialistic longings. He used religious virtue to justify the quest for wealth as a Christian endeavor. This was the message in his "Acres of Diamonds" lecture, which he gave over 6000 times.
Dwight L. Moody: Moody was the creator of the Illinois Street Church which was later renamed the Moody Memorial Church. Together with Ira Sankey, he began a series of revival meetings and opened the Northfield Seminary for Young Women and the Mount Hermon School for Boys. He also founded the Bible Institute in Chicago in 1889.
Rerum Novarum, 1891: Formulated by Pope Leo XIII, it was the Catholic social doctrine. It held private property as a natural right, and it found fault with capitalism for the poverty and insecurity that it left the working class in. Many Catholic socialism movements are derived from this.
Charles Sheldon, In His Steps: He was a Congregational clergyman and a social reformer. He was also the author of the book In His Steps , which is the story of people who tried to pattern their lives after the life of Jesus. It emphasized social problems which tied it into the Social Gospel Movement.
Mary Baker Eddy: She was the founder of the Christian Science Association and the Church of Christ, Scientist. After a remarkable recovery from sickness, she published Science and Health, about the fundamentals of her metaphysical system of healing. In addition, she founded the international daily newspaper Christian Science Monitor.
Chautauqua Movement: Methodists John Heyl Vincent and Lewis Miller founded this movement, which combined daily Bible studies with healthful recreation. It later expanded to include concerts, lectures, and courses in science and humanities. The movement was imitated numerous times in the United States.
Johns Hopkins University: Financed by John Hopkins, it is an institution of higher learning in Baltimore, Maryland. It was founded in 1876. It is world renowned for its medical school and its applied physics laboratory. Former President Woodrow Wilson received his Ph.D. in political science here.
Charles W. Eliot, Harvard: Educated at Harvard University, he was an assistant professor of mathematics and chemistry there for five years. In 1869, he became the president of Harvard, who remodeled the curriculum on a liberal basis. He created a set of books containing 50 volumes known as Harvard Classics.
Josiah Willard Gibbs: At Yale, he was a professor of mathematical physics for 34 years. He laid the foundations of the modern understanding of electromagnetic phenomenon and thermodynamics. The real importance of his studies and theoretical descriptions of the behavior of subatomic particles have only been recently recognized.
Morrill Land Act, 1862: Introduced to Congress by Republican Justin Morrill, the act introduced a bill to establish state colleges of agriculture and to bring higher education within the reach of the common people. Proceeds from the sale of public lands were given to states to fund the establishment of these universities of agriculture and mechanics. They were called land grant colleges and were located in the Midwest and West. Many universities such as Michigan, Iowa State, and Purdue profited from its provisions.
Hatch Act, 1887: It was an act written by Representative William Henry Hatch of Missouri. This act gave each state $15,000 a year to help establish and maintain agricultural experiment stations. It was a supplement to the land grant colleges, which the government in order to promte the teaching of agriculture.
"gilded age": Given its name by the novel by Mark Twain and Charles Dudley, it is a time period which criticized the lobbyists, swindlers, politicians who took bribes, and those who got rich in the postwar boom. The period was characterized by industrial production, westward expansion, immigration, and urban growth, as well as strikes, depressions, despair and bitterness, buoyancy and free-spending. The span of this era ranges from the end of the Civil War, 1869, to the turn of the century.
Nouveau riche: It was the new class of people which was created by the wealth and prosperity generated from the industrial capitalism and the big businesses. This class grew during the Gilded Age. Most of these people were self-made and showed their importance through ostentatious displays. Robber barons were included in this class.
William James: James was a philosopher and psychologist, who came up with the philosophy of pragmatism, which is summed up in his lectures entitled Pragmatism: A New Name for Old Ways of Thinking. As a psychologist, he wrote his famous Principles of Psychology which established him as one of the most influential thinkers of the time.