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Foundations of American Political Thought

Readings and Commentary

Edited By Raymond Polin and Constance Polin

Foundations of American Political Thought: Readings and Commentary explains American historical concepts and key political ideas from 1620 to 1910. In this primer for democracy, all verbatim passages and original documents point to their original intentions and ideological movements. Key terms and basic terminology are incisive and essential for a thorough understanding of democracy. This book represents the setting and trends that produced sound progress in American political growth.

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Section Four: The Triumph of Industrial Capitalism

Extract

The Triumph of Industrial Capitalism Commentary Economic Royalists, Defenders, and Reformers fJ he postbellum three decades of the nineteenth century were a period of anticipated great developments and accomplishments in the face of unre-solved but highly visible issues. Areas of optimistic anticipation of soaring accomplishment included indus- try and agriculture and their nourishing system of transcontinental trunk lines and regional feeder lines, financial organization, scientific discovery and invention, education, mass dissemination of current news events and new knowledge, native and immigrant population, reduction of poverty, moral improvement, and grow- ing cosmopolitanization and artistic advancement. There was heightening expec- tation after the Civil War that the United States of America by the turn of the new century would rapidly and substantially increase the size and output of its industrial production system, especially what related to mining, processing of metals and manufacture of metal products, and understanding and use of chemi- cals; its agricultural production system, especially what related to food crops, ani- mal feed, cotton, and tobacco; and its livestock production system, especially what related to herding, meatpacking, the dairy industry, and the poultry and egg industry. The burgeoning railroads were regarded as the key new arteries for the development of a continental-wide and extra-continental civilization wherein 442 J THE TRIUMPH OF INDUSTRIAL CAPITALISM America would lead the world to attainment of previously unreachable levels of wealth, progress, freedom, and happiness: a flowering of God's plan for the New World. Popular government, public and higher education, science, and religion would in...

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