Change at the turn of the century

“This Was America” by Martin Sandler. One of the many books of historic photographs that I’ve enjoyed. This is turn-of-the century, nineteenth to twentieth America. Americans are leaving  farms for cities. Agriculture is replacing manufacturing. Inventions are transforming daily life — telephone, bicycle, automobile, electricity. The western frontier is settled. Immigrants flood into the country, women don’t have the right to vote, Jim Crow rules the South and lynchings are a time for postcards and picnics, there are no child labor laws. Kids slave in factory and mine. Urban slums are notorious. The wealth differential between rich and poor dramatically increases. The wealthy enjoy Palm Springs and Newport, sailing, sports hunting and fishing, golf, and horse racing.  Restaurants, theatre, luxury and  servants — the good life. America is a world power; some would label it imperialistic.

No question that this was an exciting time in America history. Much of who we are today began or began to change then. Read history.  It’s important to know how we got where we are.

Take a look at the photographs (a new documentary invention back then). Was this when America was great?   If not when?

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