Looking Backward: 2000-1887 Historical Context

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Looking Backward was written in the late 1800s about the late 1800s. America had just been through two very difficult decades: the 1860s brought the War Between the States and Reconstruction; the 1870s saw an agricultural depression, a labor panic in 1873, and a major railroad strike in 1877. The power of corporate trusts and political machines seemed uncontrollable. Banks and railroads exploited western lands and the people who lived there. Coal smoke choked the air and gave miners black lung disease. Anarchists blew up buildings and threatened political stability. The Labor Movement and the Women's Movement gained momentum as labor problems continued to boil and female suffrage became a major issue. Militant political groups such as the Grangers and the Populists came into being.

The demand for labor brought many new immigrants to America and many farm families to the cities. The conditions of the urban tenements were horrific...

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This section contains 620 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Looking Backward: 2000-1887 Study Guide
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Looking Backward: 2000-1887 from Novels for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.