America in 1900 by Noel J Kent

By Noel J Kent

Some of the key matters in regards to the usa as we input the twenty first century have been already taking form as we entered the twentieth century. company mergers, U.S. army intervention (in the Philippines), alternate disputes with China and Europe, racial violence, excessive degrees of crime, emerging source of revenue gaps among wealthy and bad, risky inventory marketplace costs, homelessness within the towns, the hazards of immigration, and the domination of cash in elections -- most of these significant nationwide concerns in 1900 are widely used in a few shape to americans this present day. The country grappled for the 1st time with a sequence of advanced new demanding situations: distribution of wealth and financial chance; the shape race and ethnic family members may still soak up a rustic of accelerating variety; the connection among sizeable enterprise and executive; how the U.S., as a brand new global strength, should still act out of the country; and a bunch of others. Written in a fluid and hugely readable variety, Kent's ten chapters include a colourful narrative heritage of the main occasions of this pivotal yr that maintains to resonate a century later.

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In 1896 came the Supreme Court’s watershed Plessy v. Ferguson decision, upholding the legality of segregation. New state constitutions disenfranchised black voters en masse, while white supremacy was fortified by frequent acts of vigilante violence and lynch law. The historian Richard Hofstadter has argued that the debacles of the nineties brought on a “psychic crisis” among some Americans and a demand for outlets to both vent frustrations and express genuinely humanistic impulses. S. S. foreign policy after 1895.

What also was passed over in the media and elsewhere was any meaningful attempt at assessing the tumultuous decade just ending. The late nineteenth century had been an era of massive, pulverizing change, and the Gay Nineties had brought its epic conflicts and contradictions to a head. Quite suddenly, the expansive vistas of an earlier America seemed to have vanished: “Now the nation seemed filled. ”2 Life was culturally ajar and dislocated. Throughout the nineties, tensions and conflicts were being thrown up faster than the capacity of existing institutions to cope with them.

3 The instability of business conditions during the nineties meant a corporate focus on greater efficiencies and reducing costs. 4 What bedazzled foreign observers of the American scene wasn’t simply the size of these new corporate juggernauts, or even the astounding rate in the increase in national wealth (now reckoned at $100 billion). Rather it was the sheer dynamism and velocity of the American economic scene, the crackling nervous energy animating commercial life. The dense crowds hurrying through the streets of the great cities, the breakneck pace of workers in Pittsburgh feeding the massive blast furnaces at the Edgar Thompson Steel Works or bottling fifty-seven varieties of ketchup at the Heinz factory, Great Northern locomotives running a hundred miles an hour full throttle across the prairies carrying settlers into North Dakota and Montana, the turbines churning at Niagara Falls, the chaotic hurly-burly at the stock exchanges—all seemed to spell the coming of a qualitatively different civilization, open to imagination and defiant of limits.

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