Propaganda & Mass Persuasion: The Middle Class and their "Search for Order"

Sunday, February 08, 2009

The Middle Class and their "Search for Order"

America was founded on the principle that everyone was equal and that we all have the same goal of the pursuit of happiness. But over the course of two centuries, the American public were being separated into different class systems. As time passed, it was becoming obvious who was in what class.

"The period between the end of the Civil War and the first decade of the twentieth century was, for many people in the United States, a period of profound confusion and turmoil. From being a highly regionalized, preindustrial nation in which a relatively disparate middle class (comprised, for the most part, of Anglo-American merchants, professionals, artisans, and small landowners) set the social, economic, and cultural patterns of life in provincial towns and rural areas, America was now becoming society driven- in unison- by an expanding industrial behemoth. Large-scale national economic consolidation was under way in a wide range of industries, and- more and more- a small number of powerful, disdainfully arrogant men were dictating the social circumstances and life rhythms of countless people throughout the United States." (Stuart Ewen, PR!, page 40)

The majority of American citizens are categorized into the middle class. Rapid growth of different businesses and their monopolies were compromising the potential growth of the struggling middle class. It made the middle class question how well their way of life was. Large business were being built and it crushed small-scale businesses. The rich would continue to make more money, at the middle class and their expense.

1 Comments:

Blogger A. Mattson said...

A good post and a key quotation for understanding the political and economic context at the beginning of the 20th century.

The middle class was by no means a majority, then or now, except according to a loose, subjective interpretation. It was the growing urban working class of immigrants that threatened the status quo during the progressive era. The middle class felt trapped between the political and economic power of the elite and the increasing numbers of poor slum-dwelling workers crowding the cities.

2/10/2009 11:38 AM  

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