By Noel J Kent
Some of the key concerns about the usa as we input the twenty first century have been already taking form as we entered the 20 th century. company mergers, U.S. army intervention (in the Philippines), exchange disputes with China and Europe, racial violence, excessive degrees of crime, emerging source of revenue gaps among wealthy and negative, risky inventory marketplace costs, homelessness within the towns, the risks of immigration, and the domination of cash in elections -- some of these significant nationwide matters in 1900 are primary in a few shape to americans this day. The state grappled for the 1st time with a sequence of complicated new demanding situations: distribution of wealth and fiscal chance; the shape race and ethnic relatives should still soak up a rustic of accelerating range; the connection among colossal enterprise and govt; how the U.S., as a brand new international energy, may still act out of the country; and a bunch of others. Written in a fluid and hugely readable sort, Kent's ten chapters contain a colourful narrative historical past of the foremost occasions of this pivotal yr that keeps to resonate a century later.
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ISBN 0-7656-0595-3 (hardcover: alk. paper) ISBN 0-7656-0596-1 (pbk. : alk. paper) 1. United States—History—1865–1921. 2. United States—Civilization—1865–1918. 3. D. I. Title. 8′8—dc21 99-089342 ISBN 13: 9780765605962 (pbk) ISBN 13: 9780765605955 (hbk) For Chelsea and Daniel And in memory of my father, Alexander Kent Table of Contents Acknowledgments Introduction Part I In the Year Double-Zero Chapter 1 New Year’s Day 1900 Chapter 2 The Invincible Economy Chapter 3 American Dreaming: The Power, the Glory, and the Chaos Part II Fin de Siècle Dilemmas Chapter 4 Kings of America Chapter 5 The Great Game Chapter 6 Other Americans Chapter 7 White Man’s Country Chapter 8 Black in White Man’s Country Chapter 9 “A New Power of the First Order” Chapter 10 Of Trusts, Islands, Dinner Pails, and an Election Epilogue Back to the Future: 1900 and 2000 Notes Bibliography Index About the Author Acknowledgments The field work for this study was aided immeasurably by grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the University of Hawaii Manoa Research Relations Fund and Social Sciences Research Institute.
It came in the form of Swift’s premium hams and bacon, “Schlitz, the beer that made Milwaukee famous,” Wrigley chewing gum, and Bull Durham smoking tobacco. The families of bank clerks and machinists might breakfast on Grape Nuts (“Healthy Brains Move the World; Keep Them Healthy”), use packaged gelatin desserts, brush with Hood’s tooth powder, and perhaps wash up with Sapollo soap. The considerable immigration from southern and eastern Europe meant the advent of new ethnic restaurants and dishes like spaghetti.
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. If the United States had entered the modern industrial age, then the emotional loyalties of Americans still seemed rooted in an earlier era. Big corporations had not yet gained widespread legitimacy. Many citizens, such as skilled artisans making a last-ditch defense of their old autonomy, found they could no longer protect cherished lifestyles.