By Melanie Dawson, Susan Harris Smith
The US on the final fin de si?cle used to be in a interval of profound societal transition. Industrialization used to be good less than means and with it a burgeoning feel of professionalism and a starting to be center classification that was once turning into more and more nervous approximately problems with race, gender, and sophistication. the yank Eighteen Nineties: A Cultural Reader is a wide-ranging anthology of essays, feedback, and fiction first revealed in periodicals in the course of these final extraordinary years of the 19th century, a decade ordinarily often called the “golden age” of periodical culture.To depict the numerous alterations occurring within the usa at the moment, Susan Harris Smith and Melanie Dawson have drawn from an eclectic diversity of periodicals: elite monthlies corresponding to Scribner’s, Harper’s, and the Atlantic per 30 days; political magazines akin to the North American evaluate and discussion board; magazines for normal readers equivalent to Cosmopolitan and McClures; and really good guides together with the Chatauquan, day out, and coloured American journal. Authors represented within the assortment contain Andrew Carnegie, Edith Wharton, Theodore Roosevelt, Susan B. Anthony, Booker T. Washington, Stephen Crane,W. E. B. DuBois, Jacob Riis, and Frederick Jackson Turner. A basic creation to the interval, a short contextualizing essay for every choice, and a complete bibliography of secondary resources are supplied besides. In analyzing and debating the decade’s momentous political and social advancements, the essays, editorials, and tales during this anthology mirror a always transferring tradition at a time of inner turmoil, remarkable political enlargement, and a renaissance of contemporary principles and new technologies.Bringing jointly a delicately selected collection of basic assets, the yank Nineties offers a notable number of views—nostalgic, protecting, imperialist, innovative, egalitarian, and democratic—held via americans a century in the past.
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We live often times as we believe, in these days, in a period of possible revolution. It is the scholar’s function to teach humanity everywhere that revolution is the devil’s word. It is ours continually to give to men to feel that the changes in politics, the overthrowing of crowns and scepters that do not in some living way connect themselves with the past, are productive of sorrow and distress in the future. It is ours to show men who have not studied history, whose relation to the past is not a living relationship, that all through the years there has been a steady growing tendency, a divine ideal working itself out; an immense impulse that has gone on from step to step with ever increasing victory, that to-day it means what it meant at the beginning, that it always will have but one message to humankind, and that its hope is the crowning of humanity in the name of our God and our Christ.
This is part of our message. We are to go forth in this great world of rocks and trees, of suns and stars, with the energies of earth mingling their power with the energies of heaven, to demonstrate continually the essential kingship of humanity. It is ours to take hold of every unknown force and bid it tell us its name. It is ours to touch every energy hitherto aimless and harness it to some divine ideal. The whole world of nature is an enigma without man; the life of nature is the darkest of problems without the supremacy of humanity.
Of the eﬀect of any new substitutes proposed we cannot be sure. The Socialist or Anarchist who seeks to overturn present conditions is to be regarded as attacking the foundation upon which civilization itself rests, for civilization took its start from the day when the capable, industrious workman said to his incompetent and lazy fellow, ‘‘If thou dost not sow, thou shalt not reap,’’ and thus ended primitive Communism by separating the drones from the bees. One who studies this subject will soon be brought face to face with the conclusion that upon the sacredness of property civilization itself depends—the right of the laborer to his hundred dollars in the savings-bank, and equally the legal right of the millionaire to his millions.
The American 1890s: A Cultural Reader by Melanie Dawson, Susan Harris Smith