Friday, April 5, 2013

main themes from the Civil War to WWI

in no particular order:

  • "the way[s] in which an industrializing society's search for order shaped its approach to diverse peoples" (Ahern, reviewing Hoxie's A Final Promise)
  • anti-vice campaigns 
  • reform movements are often more about policing the borders of the elite than they are about helping anyone
  • the long, slow march to modernity, and the general cultural upheaval it caused
  • bureacratization, professionalization, institutionalization as logistical responses to new mass cultures
  • fixing discrete identity categories and policing norms as anxious responses to what probably felt like chaos and flux in new urban industrial centers
  • women starting to break out of separate spheres in the new commercial culture; the New Woman, women missionaries, female circus performers as a foil to Victorian womanhood
  • rationalization of work, commodification of leisure
  • locating agency and recovering voices of oppressed groups: freed blacks, new urban working classes, prostitutes, women, Native Americans
  • whiteness and masculinity as responses to industrialization (which emasculates men)
  • culture of reform movements
  • if the antebellum era was mostly about the creation of industrial capitalism in terms of production, perhaps this era is about the penetration of capitalism into consumption, with the development of the new mass market?

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