Labor Politics in a Democratic Republic: Moderation, Division, and Disruption in the Presidential Election of 1928

By Vaughn Davis Bornet | Go to book overview

Chapter 1
Unions in a Prosperous America

MOST AMERICANS FELT a certain sense of security in the year 1928 as they reflected on their past progress, surveyed their present situation, and looked ahead to a clearly predictable future. Most citizens viewed with satisfaction their traditionally democratic way of life. The economic benefits that had come through several centuries of national expansion across a new continent of vast resources had encouraged general faith in the merits of an almost unfettered capitalist system. Leaders in political life tended to assume that the nation (and most of the planet) would be governed increasingly in accordance with the obviously benevolent experience which mankind had gained through countless years of upward movement in Western civilization. Thus there was widespread belief that whatever festering problems of social and economic democracy remained in the nation could eventually be solved by orderly means in progressive stages. The passage of a reasonable period of time would do wonders, even for knotty problems of old. Would not the deserving of the land at length be satisfied and happy? Critics of such concepts as these lacked appeal for the masses of Americans, for whatever the fog in the crystal ball, this was the pervading spirit of the day.

-1-

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