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The Flowering Of American Culture

The Flowering Of American Culture
Along with the new social currents of the day caused by rapid urbanization, immigration, and the growth of business, came a fervor of cultural display. American culture diversified as Americans saw the society around them drastically changing, causing them to strive to express their views through various forms.

Henry James: James was a writer and brother of philosopher William James. He wrote about the impact of European culture on Americans who traveled or lived abroad. Some of his famous writings include The Ambassadors, The Wings of the Dove, and The Golden Bowl.

Charles Darwin: Darwin was a British Scientist who created the theory of modern evolution. In his theory, the development of organisms came through a process called natural selection, which is often called "survival of the fittest." His theories were presented in his novel The Origin of Species.

Rev. Russell Conwell, "Acres of Diamonds":
Conwell was a Baptist minister who preached about ordinary man's and capitalist's materialistic longings. He used religious virtue to justify the quest for wealth as a Christian endeavor. This was the message in his "Acres of Diamonds" lecture, which he gave over 6000 times.

Dwight L. Moody: Moody was the creator of the Illinois Street Church which was later renamed the Moody Memorial Church. Together with Ira Sankey, he began a series of revival meetings and opened the Northfield Seminary for Young Women and the Mount Hermon School for Boys. He also founded the Bible Institute in Chicago in 1889.

Rerum Novarum, 1891:
Formulated by Pope Leo XIII, it was the Catholic social doctrine. It held private property as a natural right, and it found fault with capitalism for the poverty and insecurity that it left the working class in. Many Catholic socialism movements are derived from this.

Charles Sheldon, In His Steps: He was a Congregational clergyman and a social reformer. He was also the author of the book In His Steps , which is the story of people who tried to pattern their lives after the life of Jesus. It emphasized social problems which tied it into the Social Gospel Movement.

Mary Baker Eddy: She was the founder of the Christian Science Association and the Church of Christ, Scientist. After a remarkable recovery from sickness, she published Science and Health, about the fundamentals of her metaphysical system of healing. In addition, she founded the international daily newspaper Christian Science Monitor.

Chautauqua Movement: Methodists John Heyl Vincent and Lewis Miller founded this movement, which combined daily Bible studies with healthful recreation. It later expanded to include concerts, lectures, and courses in science and humanities. The movement was imitated numerous times in the United States.

Johns Hopkins University:
Financed by John Hopkins, it is an institution of higher learning in Baltimore, Maryland. It was founded in 1876. It is world renowned for its medical school and its applied physics laboratory. Former President Woodrow Wilson received his Ph.D. in political science here.

Charles W. Eliot, Harvard: Educated at Harvard University, he was an assistant professor of mathematics and chemistry there for five years. In 1869, he became the president of Harvard, who remodeled the curriculum on a liberal basis. He created a set of books containing 50 volumes known as Harvard Classics.

Josiah Willard Gibbs: At Yale, he was a professor of mathematical physics for 34 years. He laid the foundations of the modern understanding of electromagnetic phenomenon and thermodynamics. The real importance of his studies and theoretical descriptions of the behavior of subatomic particles have only been recently recognized.

Morrill Land Act, 1862: Introduced to Congress by Republican Justin Morrill, the act introduced a bill to establish state colleges of agriculture and to bring higher education within the reach of the common people. Proceeds from the sale of public lands were given to states to fund the establishment of these universities of agriculture and mechanics. They were called land grant colleges and were located in the Midwest and West. Many universities such as Michigan, Iowa State, and Purdue profited from its provisions.

Hatch Act, 1887: It was an act written by Representative William Henry Hatch of Missouri. This act gave each state $15,000 a year to help establish and maintain agricultural experiment stations. It was a supplement to the land grant colleges, which the government in order to promte the teaching of agriculture.

"gilded age":
Given its name by the novel by Mark Twain and Charles Dudley, it is a time period which criticized the lobbyists, swindlers, politicians who took bribes, and those who got rich in the postwar boom. The period was characterized by industrial production, westward expansion, immigration, and urban growth, as well as strikes, depressions, despair and bitterness, buoyancy and free-spending. The span of this era ranges from the end of the Civil War, 1869, to the turn of the century.

Nouveau riche: It was the new class of people which was created by the wealth and prosperity generated from the industrial capitalism and the big businesses. This class grew during the Gilded Age. Most of these people were self-made and showed their importance through ostentatious displays. Robber barons were included in this class.

William James:
James was a philosopher and psychologist, who came up with the philosophy of pragmatism, which is summed up in his lectures entitled Pragmatism: A New Name for Old Ways of Thinking. As a psychologist, he wrote his famous Principles of Psychology which established him as one of the most influential thinkers of the time.

Developed by William James and Charles Sanders Pierce, it is a philosophical doctrine stating that the test of the truth of a proposition is its practical utility, the effect of an idea is more important than its origin, and the purpose of thought is to guide action.

E.L. Godkin, editor of The Nation: Godkin was an editor, whose criticism in his book The Nation and New York's Evening Post, which he edited, was influential in the reform movement. He and others codified the standards in the Victorian era in both literature and the fine arts. He was also a former mugwump and anti-imperialist.

William Dean Howells: Howells was a novelist, critic, and editor of the Atlantic, who championed authors such as Stephen Crane, Mark Twain, Frank Norris, and Henry James. He was also president of the American Academy of Arts and Letters. In his life he wrote many works, including A Fearful Responsibility, and The Rise of Silas Lapham.

Stephen Crane:
Cranes was a writer and poet who began the use of the naturalistic style of writing. His most famous novels include The Red Badge of Courage, Maggie, a Girl of the Streets, and The Open Boats and Other Stories. The Black Riders and Other Lines, and War is Kind and Other Poems are two volumes of his poems.

Hamlin Garland: Garland was a short story writer who used his experiences working on farms in Iowa and South Dakota as central themes for his countless short stories that denounced American farm life. He published these stories under the titles Main-Travelled Roads and Other Main-Travelled Roads.

Bret Harte: Harte was a writer who was also the editor of the Overland Monthly, which published many of his famous works. These stories included "The Luck of Roaring Camp" and "The Outcasts of Poker Flat." He published a collection of his works called The Luck of Roaring Camp and Other Short Stories. He also wrote for Atlantic Monthly.

Mark Twain: Twain was a writer named Samuel Langhorne Clemens, who used Mark Twain as his pseudonym. He is characterized by his humor and sharp social satire. His many famous novels include The Adventure of Huckleberry Finn, Tom Sawyer, and A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court.

The Gilded Age, Mark Twain and Charles Dudley: It is a novel written in a time when materialism and corruption controlled the lives of Americans. It was written by Twain, and Dudley was the coauthor. Many of the characters in the novel were recognized by readers of the book as figures in society.

Horatio Alger's Books for Youth: Alger was a writer of juvenile fiction. His novels held a theme of rags to riches, where poor youth would win fame and money by having virtues of honesty, diligence, and perseverance. Among his collection are Luck and Pluck, Tattered Tom, and his most famous Ragged Dick. By emphasizing merit rather than focusing on social status as the way to determine success, his more than 100 novels had a major impact on the youth of that time.

James McNeill Whistler: Whistler was an etcher and painter who was a champion of modern art. He also incorporated Japanese styles of art and made many technical innovations in art. He is also well known for his portraits. The White Girl and Twelve Etchings from Nature are his most famous etchings.

Winslow Homer:
One of the greatest American painters, Winslow Homer is best known for his watercolors and oil paintings of the sea. These paintings often have great dramatic effect because of the way they show man's powerlessness in the face of the unfeeling and mysterious forces of nature.

Joseph Pulitzer:
Joseph Pulitzer was a large newspaper publisher. In the newspaper circulation wars of the 1890s, publisher Joseph Pulitzer was one of the leading combatants. His chief opponent was William Randolph Hearst. The two used every tactic, including sensational yellow journalism, to encourage people to buy their papers.

William Randolph Hearst:
Through dishonest and exaggerated reporting, William Randolph Hearst's newspapers whipped up public sentiment against Spain, actually helping to cause the Spanish-American War. Hearst was quite willing to take credit for this, as his New York City newspaper testified in an 1898 headline: "How Do You Like the Journal’s War?"


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