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By Noel J Kent

The various key matters about the usa as we input the twenty first century have been already taking form as we entered the 20 th century. enterprise mergers, U.S. army intervention (in the Philippines), alternate disputes with China and Europe, racial violence, excessive degrees of crime, emerging source of revenue gaps among wealthy and negative, unstable inventory industry costs, homelessness within the towns, the risks of immigration, and the domination of cash in elections -- most of these significant nationwide concerns in 1900 are regularly occurring in a few shape to american citizens at the present time. The country grappled for the 1st time with a chain of advanced new demanding situations: distribution of wealth and fiscal chance; the shape race and ethnic relatives should still absorb a rustic of accelerating range; the connection among giant enterprise and govt; how the us, as a brand new global strength, should still act in a foreign country; and a number of others. Written in a fluid and hugely readable kind, Kent's ten chapters contain a colourful narrative background of the foremost occasions of this pivotal yr that keeps to resonate a century later.

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New industries emerged based upon products patented in the nineties. The railroads were operating above capacity, taking in record profits and laying miles of additional track. There is “still greater room for further increase … our country being hardly opened west of Minot,” wrote Western railroad magnate James Hill to a business associate. ”10 With prices of pig iron doubling during 1900 and steel rail prices rising by five times, new iron ore mines and blast furnaces were hurriedly brought on line.

By no coincidence, it was also around the beginning of the twentieth century that the core dilemmas that confront us today were appearing more or less full-blown. ” In that sense, we are still living in the same epoch as the Americans of 1900 (An Introduction to Contemporary History, p. 20). Our travelers in time, in fact, scanning this morning’s headlines or television news would find much that resonates. Charges of monopoly practices against Bill Gates and Microsoft might easily recall the bitter controversy during their own time surrounding the machinations of John D.

Automobiles powered by electricity or gas were available, and 4,000 would be sold during 1900. Motorcycles were being introduced from France. For domestic tasks, a host of new appliances such as Hoover vacuum cleaners, Detroit gas ranges, and washing machines and porcelain bathtubs were in the stores. The candy shops had Whitman’s chocolates and bonbons, the flower shops had orchids. O. Schwartz’s toys. Diamonds sold particularly well. Smith and Wesson handguns (“Yours to command,” read one of its advertisements.

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