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Unformatted text preview: alent, leading to the
growth of our commercial society.
147 - Some symptoms of commercialization: higher life
expectancy due to advances in medical care and better
diets, more upwards mobility [education became key],
flush toilets, processed and preserved foods, readymade clothing, department and chain stores, and my
personal favorite, advertising.
*Ideologies of the Time*
- So what do you say when many small businesses are
being ruthlessly crushed by mega-big moguls? It’s easy!
Social Darwinism, originally advocated by Herbert
Spencer, was taken over by Yale professor William
Graham Sumner and stated that the survival of the
fittest implied that the gov’t should stay out and let the
rightful winners take their share. Monopolies = natural
accumulation of power.
- To add on to that, there was the Andrew Carnegie
Gospel of Wealth concept: wealth carries moral
responsibilities, and it’s good we moguls have it all b/c
that way we can be the guardians of society. Gimme a
break! Still, some industrialists did give a lot to charities.
- It’s important to note that, though laissez-faire was the
big concept, business leaders still pressed the gov’t for
assistance, which it provided in the form of tariffs on
foreign goods [allowed them to raise prices], subsidies,
loans, and tax breaks.
- Naturally, all this activity didn’t go by unnoticed, and
some people certainly spoke out against it, portraying
corporations as greedy and voicing fears of monopolies.
- Some favored gov’t regulation or even som: in
1883 sociologist Lester Ward appealed for gov’t
intervention and a cooperative philosophy in Dynamic
148 Sociology, in 1879 writer Henry George asked for a tax
on the rise in property values in Progress and Poverty,
and in 1888 novelist Edward Bellamy wrote of a utopian,
council of elders controlled city where jobs were
managed by a small elite in Looking Backward.
- As a result of popular pressure, states began to prohibit
monopolies. But a nat’l level of legislation was needed,
and it only came in 1890 with the Sherman Anti-Trust
Act, which was le...
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This note was uploaded on 04/02/2014 for the course APUSH AP United taught by Professor Orban during the Fall '10 term at Harrison High School, Harrison.
- Fall '10