A Response to the New Spirit

Subject: Economics
Type: Expository Essay
Pages: 3
Word count: 932
Topics: Capitalism, American Culture


The historical times in the U.S. and other parts of the world are characterized by different expressions of various aspects of life. The U.S. culture is considered the most radical given the rise of activism and reforms during the 1800s. The different culture defined the expressions of relationships and sexuality among other aspects affecting the older and newer generations. The new spirit introduces different ideologies in the youth welfare, the expression of sexuality, and scientific development. For instance, the change in youth perspectives was a source of conflict between the contradicting expectations of the parents and the youth. Moreover, new visions lead to generational variations and modifications in the U.S. The focus of this paper is to analyze the varying perspectives in the youth ideologies and expectations as well as the changing ideas in the expression of sexuality and scientific development of the 19th century. 

New Visions in Youth Affairs

The youth have been yearning for expression of civilization aspects as suggested by Jane Adams. The expression of family life between the 1853 and 1893 was imperative to Orphan Trains, which were a threat to family life. The problems facing parenting at the time included unemployment, prolonged illnesses, and desertion of children. These issues led to the poor upbringing of the youth although the organizers of the orphan train justified of their actions.  The family life was under threat, and the children welfare faced haphazard treatment due to the frequency of changing hands, misinformation, and unfair systems. The outcome of the orphan trains in the life of youth was a mobile generation and a breed of young independent-minded Americans.  This generation was defined as the outsiders, whose lives were characterized by slavery and other limitations in education, social, and economic life. For instance, the immigrant population faced the contradiction of their parental traditions while dealing with the novelties of the American life. The outsiders formed the new generation in which case the advancement of parenthood by investing in future through became common. 

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The insiders did not exhibit the characteristics of divided working class, immigrant youth, and the white privilege as they exercised expansive choice of professions and formalities. The new spirit in sporting led to tensions in some activities as well as gender rivalries. For instance, the previous belief and existence of discontinuities between generations were overcome by the new spirit in which case the youth had limited gaps in the expression of dreams and realities. The new vision led to an awakening, which defined the right to the interaction between classes, the interracial marriages, sporting competition, and expression of freedoms such as voting. Thus, the new spirit was defined by the rise of activism in which the youth led to changes through educational attainment and material prosperity, which made them be considered the liberation forces of the race. 

The modern youth culture was after the civil war and was characterized by bourgeoisie dominance, which created differences in cultural tones, differences in working classes, the rise of middle-class piety, and sense of respectability. The new spirit was a change in cultural aspects of social and economic life. The rise of mass sport formed the vibrant youth and the consumer-oriented culture of the 19th century. The differences in sexual orientation in the era of the new spirit were varied from the Victorian belief of family, sex, and religious faith.  The Victorian period and expectations of relationships were characterized by separation and respect. For instance, the belief in sex out of wedlock and chaperoning of unmarried girls among other practices in the expression of Victorian beliefs and ideologies were considered alien in America.  The new spirit and the conflicting ideas led to commercialized sex and sexual crimes, which led to the belief that women were exposed to danger due to the risks of sexual exploitation and violence. The Victorian belief on marriage and family life changed with seismic shifts in economic and social lives. The romanticism of the Victorian period was rapidly evolving to embrace divorce and separation among other changing views. The expression of bachelorhood and independent women were influenced by the new spirit in which feminist ideologies of women dependency changed. Also, the expression of relationships and freedom formed part of the legislative procedures. 

Science is one of the methods of defining the new spirit and changes in ideologies in the 19th century U.S. It was considered a creation of a new universe that was incomparable to the old. Moreover, the explanation of natural history was based on science and revolutionary thoughts to American life.  The radical views influence the economic, social, and intellectual views on American history. Changes contributed to various aspects of life such as medicine, knowledge, and human welfare. Therefore, evolution became an important part of explaining natural history through the law of natural selection and random mutation. The evolution of human societies and their economies faced conflicting ideologies from theorists. The Lamarckian theory of acquired traits and the Darwinian theory of evolution defined the nature of business growth and the rise of capitalistic ideologies. The new spirit was defined by the rise of technology and corporate capitalism, which formed part of the changed business environment in America. Also, the promise of medicine was important in disease prevention such as yellow fever and tuberculosis among others. Despite the wealth and status difference, protection from disease was because of scientific development and technology that led to changed perceptions in society. Thus, the new spirit led to reduced racial prejudices in practice of medicine and other cultures in the U.S. As such, the consideration of development, medicine, and technology are progressive.  

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  1. Edwards, Rebecca. New Spirits: Americans and the World, 1865-1905. New York: Oxford University Press, 2006. 
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