The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 54, July 1950 - April, 1951 Page: 378
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
scientists, and teachers have their place, lawyers and ministers
are slighted. But when this is said, Riegel has delineated with
skillful strokes and by selected detail the panorama of a vast area
of social history for the fourth decade.
Riegel has selected his material almost entirely from writers
contemporary with the period. Generous quotations tend to re-
capture the flavor and thoughts of the time. Young America is
divided into four major divisions, entitled "Americans," "At
Work," "At Home," "At Play," with the bulk of emphasis upon
Americans at home under such chapters as "Homes and Hotels,"
"Women," "Schools," "Churches," "Reformers," "Doctors," and
"Scientists." The author stresses the adjustments being made by
Eastern agriculture and the increasing tempo of the new indus-
trialism, while showing how these changes affected the life of the
new immigrants as well as the New England farm girls. The
problems-public health, fire hazard, sewage disposal, and water
supply-associated with the growth of industrial areas and cities,
are discussed ably and logically. Each chapter is well planned.
The author failed to include the military leaders or the active
or pensioned soldiers as classes or groups in society. These groups
need more attention from the social historian since the only
generation to live at peace, yet not free of militia duty, lived in
the brief interval of 188o to 1898. That militia duty was a part
of citizenship appears to have been more clearly understood by
the men of Jackson's era than by many draftees of the Atom Age.
While brief but interesting accounts of new sects and examples
of "anti-Catholic agitation" are included, the author has little
time for the clergy as a group in society. He concludes: "The
influence of the ministry on American life is doubtful. ... Ex-
cept for a few men such as Beecher, Fisk, and Wayland in the
East, and Dow, Cartwright, and Finney in the West, most minis-
ters probably only reinforced traditional morality. They followed
rather than led" (pp. 269-270). While agreeing in general with
the characterization of Protestant sects as evidencing sharp "di-
versity and bickering," it was also true that the "calm stability
of the Roman Catholic Church" was shaken, at least temporarily
during this decade, by squabbles over trusteeism and educational
The number and degree of the hierarchy of leadership seems
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 54, July 1950 - April, 1951, periodical, 1951; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101133/m1/490/: accessed November 17, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.