American profile, 1900-1909 by Edward Wagenknecht

By Edward Wagenknecht

Describes American existence, actions, faith, schooling, artwork, and game in the course of Theodore Roosevelt's management, and contains profiles of admired american citizens who formed the last decade.

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Sometimes they were fanned much more powerfully by "intellectuals" who had no direct contacts with either capital or labor and whom the economic barons despised too much to fear. If Yale's William Graham Sumner was still the high priest of nineteenth-century social Darwinism, William James, John Dewey, Thornstein Veblen, Charles S. Peirce, Richard T. Ely, Albion W. Small, and other scientists, philosophers, and sociologists ("social science" was a challenging new word) were moving toward a more "open" conception of the universe as subject to changes in which the human will might have a part.

The United States was producing more than half the world's cotton, corn, copper, and oil; more than one-third of its steel, pig iron, and silver; about a third of its coal and gold. The value of consumer goods sold, which had been some 12 billion annually in 1883, would increase to 25 billion early in the new century. Foreign investments and interests were increasing, and the newly organized National Association of Manufacturers was busy promoting exports. The United States Treasury had a surplus in excess of 46 million dollars.

The tide was already turning against small businesses, individually managed, and J. P. Morgan and Company; Kuhn, Loeb, and Company; Kidder, Peabody, and Company; and Lee, Higginson, and Company were widening and extending their credit control. " Many saw the balance of power passing from statesmen to financiers; certainly there could be no doubt that clergymen, artists, and intellectuals were lagging far in the rear. Writing in the Saturday Evening Post, Russell H. Sage advised that boys be "turned into the active work of the world at fifteen or sixteen," prepared to work eighteen to twenty hours a day if necessary and never to spend a penny they could possibly save.

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