Popular Culture and Industrialism, 1865-1890

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9780814703892: Popular Culture and Industrialism, 1865-1890

In the years after the Civil War a new force - the mass media - came on the American scene. As steam-powered printing presses and trunkline railroads made possible the mass production and nationwide distribution of books and magazines, the spread of free public education created the market for them.

With the mass media came standardization of taste and opinion, as well s the realization that our nation had changed from an agrarian to an irrevocably urban-industrial society. A new breed - the multimillionaire financier; a new environment - the metropolis; new conflicts between labor and big business; even a new religion - revivalism, all challenged traditional values and beliefs.

Much of this mass distributed material originated in the urban centers of the North. Ignoring the scars of the Civil War, this national press expressed the great optimism of America, its faith in technology, hard work, and progress. There were rumblings from the growing slums, the laborers, and the unemployed, and for these Mr. Smith reproduces testimony given before a wide-ranging Senate committee investigating labor-capital relations.

By the 1870's, strikes and riots protesting low wages and spreading poverty had begun to shake the American optimism. The Haymarket bombing of 1886 provided a focus for this class-mass conflict, and reactions of the time, including the cartoons of Thomas Nast, show vividly the besetting dilemma of American popular culture - its inability to reconcile traditional beliefs with social fact.

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Published by New York University Press (1967)
ISBN 10: 0814703895 ISBN 13: 9780814703892
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Book Description New York University Press, 1967. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # M0814703895

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