III. Social Darwinism and Social Reform Gilded Age Ideas What were the main ideas of Social Darwinism, and how did it compare with the ideas of individualism? Gilded Age ideas Amazing new inventions 1873 Mark Twain and Charles Warner wrote a novel entitled The Gilded Age. Historians adopted the term to name the era of 1870 to 1900 Twain and Warner were sounding an alarm CORRUPTION POVERTY CRIME GREED EXCESS DISPARITIES IN WEALTH Gilded means expensive on the outside and cheap on the inside Gilded with gold. Might seem to sparkle. Industrial growth Gilded Age Ideas Time of great cultural activity Industrialization and urbanization altered Americans and their society Gave rise to new values In art New entertainment The Idea of Individualism Individualism – the belief that no matter what a person’s background is, he or she can still become successful through effort Americans could rise as far as their talents and commitments could take them, no matter how humble their origins The Idea of Individualism Horatio Alger expressed it the best Wrote more that 100 “rags to riches” novels Poor person goes to the city and through hard work becomes successful Alger’s books convinced many young people success was possible Charles Darwin Herbert Spencer British philosopher in 1859 wrote On Spencer argued that human society also evolved then Origins of species by Means of Natural Selection Darwin argued plants and animals evolved over millions of years Process of natural selection is species that cannot adapt die out, those that adapt thrive and live on through competition. Society became better because only the fit survived Spencer and William Graham Sumner became know as Social Darwinism “Survival of the fittest” became the catch phrase Some industrial leaders used this theory to support laissez-faire- capitalism This doctrine opposed any government programs that interfered with business The most fit were white, industrialized societies such as the U.S. and Great Britain. Social Darwinism Social Darwinism – a philosophy based in Charles Darwin’s theories of evolution and natural selection, asserting that humans have developed through competition and natural selection with only the strongest surviving Theories reinforced the idea of individualism Darwinism and the Church Many Christians found Darwinism offensive They rejected the theory of evolution Thought it contradicted the theory in Bible of creation Some clergy thought evolution was God’s way of creating the world Carnegie’s Gospel of Wealth Carnegie advocated a gentler version of Social Darwinism. Thought wealthy Americans should engage in philanthropy Philanthropy – providing money to support humanitarian or social goals Building schools, hospitals was better than handouts to the poor Carnegie founded the creation of public libraries in cities Gilded Age Ideas How did Horatio Alger’s books demonstrate the idea of individualism? Gilded Age Ideas Alger’s books gave people hope that they could improve their lives by hard work, as the characters did in the story The Rebirth of Reform What methods and philosophies were developed for helping the urban poor? The Rebirth of Reform Industrialization and Urbanization triggered a debate on society’s problems Some embraced Social Darwinism (survival of the fittest) and individualism (work hard for success) American government needed to help to fix society’s problems • Regulating the economy • Helping those in need REFORM DARWINISM – People succeeded because they learned to cooperate Naturalism in Literature Naturalists challenged the ideas of Social Darwinism Many people failed in life because of circumstances out of their control Stephen Crane’s novel Maggie, A Girl of the Streets (1893) story of girls descent into prostitution and death Jack London’s tale of the Alaskan wilderness; power of nature of civilization Theodore Dreiser’s novel Sister Carrie (1900) Painted a world were people sinned without punishment Pursuit of wealth and power destroyed their character Helping the Urban Poor Social Gospel movement worked to better conditions in cities Used biblical ideas of charity and justice Washington Gladden wrote Applied Christianity Early advocate who popularized the movement in writings Helping the Urban Poor Walter Rauschenbusch argued, must “demand protection and moral safety of the people.” Inspired churches to build gyms Provide social programs Child care Help the poor Helping the Urban Poor Salvation Army and Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA) combined faith and interest into reform Salvation Army Offered practical aid Religious counseling to the poor YMCA organized (industrial workers and the poor) Bible studies Citizenship training Group activities Low cost housing for men Helping the Urban Poor Dwight Moody (head of Chicago YMCA) gifted preacher revival meetings drew thousands Moody rejected the Social Gospel and Social Darwinism Help the poor by Redeeming their souls and reforming their character Not by providing services Helping the Urban Poor Settlement house began as offshoot of Social Gospel Settlement House - an institution located in a poor neighborhood that provided numerous community services such a medical care, child care, libraries, and classes in English Settlement Houses College educated women in the late 1800’s established settlement houses in poor heavily immigrant neighborhoods Reformers lived in the settlement houses Offered everything from medical care to kindergarten and recreational activities Helping the Urban Poor Jane Addams opened Hull House in Chicago in 1889 Jewish reformer Lillian Wald founded Henry Street Settlement in New York City Both women powerful force in the settlement house movement Public Education Industrialization and Urbanization needed more trained workers Public schools increased dramatically after the Civil War 7 million in 1870 to 15.5 million in 1900 Public school crucial to immigrant child success Public Education At schools immigrant were taught English and American history and culture Process was called Americanization Americanization – the process of acquiring or causing a person to acquire American traits and characteristics Public Education Grammar schools divided students into grades Drilled them in punctuality Neatness and efficiency Necessary habits for the workplace Vocational education in high school taught skills for specific trades Public Education City children had greater access to education than rural areas African Americans faced educational inequalities Booker T. Washington founded the Tuskegee Institute in 1881 Public Education What role did religion play in the Social Gospel movement? How did churches respond to this movement? Why were public schools important to the success of immigrant children? Public Education Religious morals and teachings were the foundation of these organizations. Churches built gyms, provided social programs and childcare, and helped the poor. Children learned English, American culture and history, as well as workplace skills A Changing Culture Why do you think artists and writers portraying Americans more realistically? Realism Movement in Art and Literature late 1800s Artists and writers wanted to portray the world realistically Thomas Eakins, America’s best know realist painter Painted men rowing Athletes playing baseball Surgeons and scientists in action Realism Writers attempted to capture the world as they saw it William Dean Howells presented realistic descriptions of American life Wrote The Rise of Silas Lapham Attempts of self made man trying to enter Boston society Howells first to declare Mark Twain an American genius Realism Twain’s real name was Samuel Clemens published Adventures of Huckleberry Finn 1884 Title character and his friend Jim who escaped slavery Float down Mississippi River on a raft Twain wrote with a local dialect with a lively sense of humor Popular Culture Changed considerably in the late 1800s Industrialization Improved standard of living Spend money on entertainment and recreation Divided life into work and home People began “going out” to public entertainment Popular Culture In cities saloons outnumbered grocery stores Saloons played a major role in male workers lives Saloons offered Drinks Free toilets Water for horses Free newspapers Popular Culture Saloons offered the first lunch Salty food that made patrons drink more Served as political centers Saloonkeepers key figures in the political machine Popular Culture Amusement parks opened Coney Island in New York City Railroad rides and water slides cost only a nickel or a dime People began watching professional sports First professional baseball team was the Cincinnati Red Stockings 1903 first World Series Boston Americans and Pittsburgh Pirates Football gained popularity Popular Culture Work became less strenuous People looked for physical exercise activities Tennis, golf and croquet became popular 1891 James Nainsmith (Massachusetts) invented indoor game of basketball Popular Culture People enjoyed comic theatre and music Vaudeville adapted from French Theatre 1880s hodgepodge of animal acts, singers, comedians, acrobats, and dancers Popular Culture Ragtime music Syncopated rhythms grew out of riverside honkytonks Saloon pianists and banjo players used patterns of African American music Scott Joplin King of Ragtime ‘The Maple Leaf Rag” in 1899 A Changing Culture Why was it possible to pursue more leisure activities and popular entertainment during this time period? A Changing Culture An improving standard of living provided more income to spend on such activities, and a decrease in work’s strenuousness encouraged more sport and exercise.