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During our last meeting, we managed to stray from our topic of Reconstruction (we don’t follow Robert’s Rules of Order) and we learned a lot from one another. Naturally, we had disagreements about the legacy of the Reconstruction, but our discussion was friendly and respectful.
When the time for brainstorming for our next meeting topic came, we toyed with the idea of leaving the American continent and jumping right into the Reformation in Europe – but after some discussion, we decided that we were not done with American history, yet. There are many more worthy items of discussion to be found in the country we live in, so our American cycle will continue. We will simply continue exploring American history in chronological order. Our era of Reconstruction focus will be followed by the era of the Gilded Age (1877 – 1900).
The term “The Gilded Age” comes from a Mark Twain novel set in post-Civil War times about “an era of serious social problems hidden by a thin layer of gold” (at least according to Wikipedia, which has always to be taken with a grain of salt – for example, they are wrong about the date the Gilded Age ended).
We can discuss (and respectfully debate) some interesting questions here. Was this the age of greed running amok? Was it the age of heroic businessmen making the country great and raising everybody’s standard of living? Or was it simply, like most periods in history, a mixture of the good and the bad?
Come and participate in the discussion. As always, you are asked to bring a snack or beverage to share with fellow intellectuals. To cover the cost of running the meetup, a donation of $2 is respectfully requested. See you on June 16th!