header by Emerson Taymor, 2005

1. The Colonial Era: 1607-1763

2. The Revolutionary Era: 1763-1789

3. The Early National Period: 1789-1824

4. Jacksonian America: 1824-1848

5. Antebellum America: 1848-1860

6. The Civil War Era: 1861-1877

7. The Gilded Age: 1877-1901

8. Progressivism: 1901-1920

9. The Twenties

10. Depression and New Deal: 1929-1939

11. World War II: 1939-1945

12. Early Cold War: 1945-1963

13. Social Ferment: 1945-1960

14. The Sixties

15. The Seventies and After




Eugene Debs, opening campaign speech, August 10, 1912

Parties but express in political terms the economic interests of those who compose them. This is the rule. The Republican Party represents the capitalist class, the Democratic Party the middle class, and the Socialist Party the working class….There is no fundamental difference between the republican and democratic parties. Their principles are identical. They are both capitalist parties and both stand for the capitalist system, and such differences as there are between them involve no principle but are the outgrowth of the conflicting interests of large and small capitalists….There is one infallible test that fixes the status of a political party and its candidates. Who finances them?

Taft and Roosevelt, and the Republican party, of which they are the candidates, are all financed by the trusts, and is it necessary to add that the trusts also consist of practical men and that they do not finance a candidate or a party they do not control?...In contrast with these important, corrupt, and senile capitalist parties, without principles and without ideals, stands the virile young working class party, the international Socialist party of the world….The Socialist party is the only party which honestly represents the working class in this campaign and the only party that has a moral right to appeal to the allegiance and support of the workers and producers of the nation….The Socialist party, being the political expression of the rising working class, stands for the absolute overthrow of the existing capitalist system and for the reorganization of society into an industrial and social democracy. This will mean an end to the private ownership of the means of life; it will mean an end to wage-slavery; it will mean an end to the army of the unemployed; it will mean an end to the poverty of the masses, the prostitution of womanhood, and the murder of childhood. It will mean the beginning of a new era of civilization; the dawn of a happier day for the children of men. It will mean that this earth is for those who inhabit it and wealth for those who produce it. It will mean society organized upon a cooperative basis, collectively owning the sources of wealth and the means of production, and producing wealth to satisfy human wants and not to gorge a privileged few. It will mean that there shall be work for the workers and that all shall be workers, and it will also mean that there shall be leisure for the workers and that all shall enjoy it. It will mean that women shall be the comrades and equals of men, sharing with them on equal terms the opportunities as well as the responsibilities and the benefits as well as the burdens of civilized life…