Reconstruction & Gilded Age

Last Updated: Mar. 12, 2008

Reconstruction & Gilded Age (First Turning, 1865–1886) saw old crusaders pushed aside while, notes Van Wyck Brooks, war veterans who “might have been writers in the days of The Dial were seeking their fortunes in railroads, mines, and oil wells.” Savings rates climbed, mass production roared, mechanical and political “machines” hummed, real wages surged, and “middle-class” families prospered in an age of pragmatism that vaunted “truth’s cash value.”

  • Transcendentals entering elderhood
  • Gilded entering midlife
  • Progressives entering young adulthood
  • Missionaries entering childhood

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