Unions in a Prosperous America
MOST AMERICANS FELT a certain sense of security in the year 1928 as they reflected on their past progress, surveyed their present situation, and looked ahead to a clearly predictable future. Most citizens viewed with satisfaction their traditionally democratic way of life. The economic benefits that had come through several centuries of national expansion across a new continent of vast resources had encouraged general faith in the merits of an almost unfettered capitalist system. Leaders in political life tended to assume that the nation (and most of the planet) would be governed increasingly in accordance with the obviously benevolent experience which mankind had gained through countless years of upward movement in Western civilization. Thus there was widespread belief that whatever festering problems of social and economic democracy remained in the nation could eventually be solved by orderly means in progressive stages. The passage of a reasonable period of time would do wonders, even for knotty problems of old. Would not the deserving of the land at length be satisfied and happy? Critics of such concepts as these lacked appeal for the masses of Americans, for whatever the fog in the crystal ball, this was the pervading spirit of the day.
KeywordsDepression Steam Income Turkey Gasoline
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- 1.See Paul Arthur Schilpp, “Is Western Civilization Worth Saving?” World Tomorrow, XI (September, 1928), pp. 369–371.Google Scholar
- 12.U. S. Bureau of the Census, Historical Statistics of the United States (Washington, D. C., 1949), tables on pp. 33 and 37–38. The preparation of this key tabular grouping has made historical analyses far more easily accomplished. By gathering in one place many of the best tables from government and private publications, it scored a major breakthrough for the researcher. All the many subsequent references to it are to tabular pages. Google Scholar
- 73.George Soule, Prosperity Decade, From War to Depression: 1917–1929 (New York, 1947), pp. 318–323. From 1926 to 1929 agricultural employment remained constant, coal mining decreased, manufacturing and steam railroads showed slight decreases, and electric light and power employment increased.Google Scholar
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