Missionary Generation

Last Updated: Oct. 28, 2008

The Missionary Generation (Prophet, born 1860–1882) became the indulged home-and-hearth children of the post-Civil War era. They came of age as labor anarchists, campus rioters—and ambitious first graduates of black and women’s colleges. Their young adults pursued rural populism, settlement house work, missionary crusades, “muckrake” journalism, and women’s suffrage. In midlife, their Decency brigades and “fundamentalists” imposed Prohibition, cracked down on immigration, and organized Vice Squads. In the 1930s and ‘40s, their elder elite became the “Wise Old Men” who enacted a “New Deal” (and Social Security) for the benefit of youth, led the global war against fascism, and reaffirmed America’s highest ideals during a transformative era in world history. (AMERICAN: (Franklin Roosevelt, W.E.B. DuBois, William Jennings Bryan, Upton Sinclair, Jane Addams, Douglas MacArthur; FOREIGN: Winston Churchill, V.I. Lenin)

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