Class Notes

Literature helped bridge the gap between the Gilded Age and the Progressive Age.  Many authors came out with novels showing the divide between rich and poor and ways to create equality. One such author was Edward Bellamy, who wrote, “Looking Backwards.”  Bellamy’s book was a Utopian novel where the protagonist Julian West fell asleep in 1887 and woke up in 2000 to a perfect society.  No surprise here but this book was clearly fiction, not the time travel part but a perfect society in 2000. In Bellamy’s 2000, Government had taken over everything so life was now easy. Many of us would question Bellamy’s socialists state, and they did in 1887 also, but at the same time it was one of the most widely read books of the 19th Century.  Clubs were formed to discuss his ideas.  Clearly some in the Gilded Age wanted to the government more involved.

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