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ERIC Number: ED311432
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1989-Aug
Pages: 35
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: N/A
Ray Stannard Baker and the Spirit of Democracy, 1900-1910.
Mitchell, Tom; List, Karen K.
The early years of the twentieth century, years when the forces of capitalism tested the nation's will to keep the promises of democracy for all citizens, represent a time of national moral and intellectual lethargy. The muckraking movement sought to instill in the American mind a sense of outrage by exposing the evils of the new social order. If the American people could be made to understand the plight of those being trampled by the nation's amorphous social, political, and economic institutions, the Muckrakers believed, the people would implement the necessary reforms via the democratic process. Many of these journalists, especially Ray Stannard Baker, saw democracy as more than a political apparatus: they saw it as a force for establishing a social morality. Baker's vision of an American democratic structure, or "New Democracy" led to muckraking investigations on labor-capital relations, racism, and religion, during the years 1900-1910, the golden age of muckraking. In the same way that capitalism set no limits on the amount of wealth an individual could acquire, so Baker believed that the promises inherent in American democracy would allow the human spirit to evolve to greater, as yet unforseen heights. Baker's ideal democratic state would instill in its citizens a commitment to service to humanity and society, a desire to maintain the highest educational standards, and the spirit of unselfish brotherly love. (Seventy-seven notes are included.) (MS)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Historical Materials
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A