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Traversing Through History With Vintage Social & Political Articles

Political and Social Articles of a Century Ago

Step back in time and explore U.S. political and social trends, as they were a century ago. Explore these fascinating vintage articles!

Examining History through Vintage Social and Political Articles

In-depth vintage political articles from more than 100 years ago can be found in a variety of popular magazines. These hard-to-find pieces of history touch on political and social issues from the past, offering insights into the mindsets and values of their respective eras.

A Social Need of the Public School

The author was District Superintendent of Public Schools, New York. In the article she discussed many ways that NY public schools were addressing educational and social needs of children, particularly immigrants, and the ways in which public schools could contribute in future.

Julia Richman, Forum magazine. v.43 1910, page 161. HathiTrust

An Aristocracy of Government in America

The author was the U.S. Consul at Le Havre, France. His wide-ranging essay covers the Federal civil service and the extent to which it was adapting to the needs of a modernizing country.

James Edward Dunning, Forum. v.43 1910, page 567. HathiTrust

Child Labor in Home Industries

The author was Secretary of the New York Committee on Women’s Work. She describes the current situation in NY City regarding business and manufacturing conducted within tenement homes, and the use of child labor in such businesses. She also comments on the status of relevant laws and their enforcement.

Mary Van Kleeck, The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, v.35 1910 Jan-Jun + Suppl.., page 145. HathiTrust

See our collection of vintage articles on various topics

Children of the Coal Shadow

The writer went to the Pennsylvania coal region to investigate the use of child labor in the mines, which was supposedly regulated by law. This article describes what he saw. Illustrated.

Francis H. Nichols, McClure’s magazine. v.20 1902:Nov./1903:Apr.. , page 435. HathiTrust

Election by Terror in Florida

Describes the many ways that the white establishment and the revived Ku Klux Klan were preventing African Americans from exercising their right to vote.

Walter F. White, The New Republic, Jan 12, 1921, p. 195

Employments Unsuitable for Women

Why young ladies should abandon their misguided notions about having careers, and instead dedicate their lives to home and family.

Henry T. Finck, The Independent. v.53 Jan.-Apr. 1901, page 834. HathiTrust

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Exclusion of Hindus from America Due to British Influence

A 1916 pamphlet containing a collection of editorials about discrimination against South Asian (“Hindu”) immigrants, sponsored by the San-Francisco based Gadar Party.

Ram Chandra Bharadwaj

The Children of the Poor

Journalist and social reformer Jacob Riis brought the attention of the entire country to the plight of New York’s immigrant children through his writing and photos. This is illustrated with drawings only.

Jacob Riis, Scribner’s magazine v.11 (1892), page 531. HathiTrust

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The History of the Standard Oil Company

Chapter 1 of a serial, later published as a book. Considered the first notable example of “muckraking” journalism; an expose by social reformers. The Standard Oil Company was later broken by the courts into several companies, to mitigate its monopoly of the oil industry.

Ida M. Tarbell, McClure’s magazine. v.20 1902:Nov./1903:Apr.. , page 3. HathiTrust

The Hoe-Man in the Making: Little Slaves of the Coal-Mines

An investigative report on the dismal home environment and desperate economic circumstances of coal miners and their families, and especially of the boys employed in the mines.

Edwin Markham, Cosmopolitan 1906

See our post about Articles from the early 20th Century about African American Issues

The Japanese in America

Covers the widespread concern in California about Japanese immigrants. Comments on the the various bills introduced in the legislature to control their entry, to prevent them becoming citizens, or to otherwise restrict them.

Payson J. Treat, Review of Reviews and World’s Work. v. 61 1920, page 76. HathiTrust

See our collection of vintage articles on historical and military topics

The Ku Klux Klan – “Soul of Chivalry”

A report on the alarming growing influence of the KKK, which had been recreated and revived over the previous 20 years.

Albert de Silver, The Nation. v.113 1921 Jul-Dec., page 285. HathiTrust

The Lynching Madness

An editorial against the explosively-growing national ‘mania’ for lynching African Americans.

The Nation. v.77 Jul-Dec 1903, page 4. HathiTrust

Overworked children on the farm and in the school

Woods Hutchinson, Selected Articles on Child Labor 1909

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The Passing of Jim Crow

The author was one of the most influential African American spokesmen of his time. This article addresses the practice of southern states of steadily reducing African American legal rights, and their migration out of their home states to less restrictive places.

W. E. Burghardt Du Bois, The Independent. v.91 1917, page 53. HathiTrust

Politics (1857-1907)

“The process by which a nation was created and unified came at last to an end, and a still more fateful process began which was to determine its place and example in the general history of the world.”

Woodrow Wilson, The Atlantic 1907

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The Progress of the World – 1916

Reporting and analysis of election returns from the presidential election of 1916.

Editors, Review of Reviews and World’s Work, vol. 54, no. 6, Dec 1916, p. 579

The Rape of the Redwood

Description of how unrestricted logging was wiping out the redwood forests, and a plea for rational controls.

Val. Shaw, Overland monthly and the Out West magazine. ser.2:v.39 1902:Jan.-June, page 739 HathiTrust

To Clap the Lid on the Melting-Pot

Report and commentary on proposals then being considered in Congress to sharply curtail immigration.

The editors, The Literary digest. v.62 (1919), page 28. HathiTrust

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What the U.S. Steel Corporation Really Is, and How it Works

Similar to the previous reporting on the Standard Oil Company in the same magazine, this article reveals the shady practices of U.S. Steel in dominating the steel industry.

Ray Stannard Baker, McClure’s magazine. v.18 (1901-02), page 3. HathiTrust

Why New York State Should Establish a Minimum Wage for Women and Minors

Resolution on the Legal Minimum Wage adopted by the Brooklyn Central Labor Union, Jan 3, 1909

Selected Articles on Minimum Wage 1909
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