The Age of Innocence Historical Context

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After the Civil War (1861-1865), the South was in ruins, economically and structurally, but the

North flourished. While wealth in the South declined by sixty percent, wealth in the North increased by fifty percent. As a result, there was a growing class of wealthy New Yorkers in the 1870s. This trend is represented by the character of Julius Beaufort, who has become a millionaire. Although the tight social circle of New York does not favor outsiders, he is allowed in by virtue of his marriage to Regina Mingott, a member of a very respectable family.

As people in the North gathered wealth,New York became especially showy. The upper class enjoyed attending the theater and the opera and hosting extravagant parties. A woman named Mrs. Stuyvesant Fish held a dinner party in New York City to honor her dog, who arrived at the party...

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This section contains 509 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Age of Innocence Study Guide
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