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Prepare For Class

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Chapter Themes


Theme: America accomplished heavy industrialization in the postCivil War era. Spurred by the transcontinental rail network, business grew and consolidated into giant corporate trusts, as epitomized by the oil and steel industries.

Theme: Industrialization radically transformed the practices of labor and the condition of American working people. But despite frequent industrial strife and the efforts of various reformers and unions, workers failed to develop effective labor organizations to match the corporate forms of business.

Theme: With the concentration of capital in the hands of a few, new moralities arose to advance justifications for this social and economic phenomenon. A survival of the fittest theory emerged, a popular theory based on the thought of Herbert Spencer and William Graham Sumner, which argued that millionaires were products of natural selection. Another theory known as the Gospel of Wealth argued that societies well-to-do had to prove themselves morally responsible.



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