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In: Historical Events

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| Capitalism vs. Socialism during the 1920’s | Diamond Jackson | | History II Dr. Hilton | |

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Upton Sinclairs’ The Jungle is a common form of muckraking during the 20’s. The book is about a Lithuanian family who relocated to the US in hopes of finding success and building better lives. After hearing the story of how America supports the idea of freedom, and has unlimited opportunity, the main character Jurgis is convinced America was the place to be. Once arriving to America and coming in contact with the reality of the myth of his ideal society, Jurgis exposes the deeply rooted capitalism and the effects and problems that it causes. Because of this, Sinclair feels that socialism is the remedy to the capitalistic conditions he’s now a part of. Andrew Carnegies’ The Gospel of Wealth is a viewpoint of how beneficial capitalism is to American society and economy which is seen through the eyes of a high-class businessperson. Carnegie discusses the history of there being an equal society, the natural law of competition, and the capitalistic results and benefits. Sinclairs’ The Jungle and Carnegies’ The Gospel of Wealth are opposing viewpoints, therefore when it comes to the unequal distribution of wealth and ideas about capitalism and socialism both arguments are supportive and reasonable to a certain extent.
In the 1920’s, the unequal distribution of wealth is evident and Americans start to see many cultural changes. America has now adopted the idea of conspicuous consumption which means Americans are competing with their neighbors and spending their income on luxury goods to show economic status. Sinclair’s views uneven distribution of wealth as unfair and cruel to the lower-class. Sinclair criticizes the capitalism by mentioning the social conditions of the people in city, the work environment of employees, and the impact capitalism had on…...

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