At the fin de siècle the Industrial Revolution created egregious physical, emotional and spiritual conditions for American society and especially for the worker but who would come forward to alleviate those conditions? Protestants implemented their Social Gospel Movement as a proposed cure to these problems. Secular Progressives engaged in a more activist role both materially and through legislation. Both of these groups had limited successes with disappointing outcomes. America’s Catholics, more accustomed to living and working in industrialized neighborhoods, eventually developed their own programs and agenda to address social and labor concerns. However some scholars believed that Catholic efforts merely replicated what others had achieved. It was the actions of America’s Catholics in answer to these issues that propelled them onto the national scene with a sense of purpose, inclusion and equality. This paper examines each group to ascertain their programs, relevant accomplishments and demonstrate how resolutions to solve social and labor problems proceeded yet stagnated for some. For America’s Catholics their agenda for social reconstruction empowered them to assert themselves as equals with a long lasting viable program of future corrective action.
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Lubienecki, PhD, P. (2021). Social Reconstruction: American Catholics Radical Response to the Social Gospel Movement and Progressives.. Journal of Catholic Education, 24 (1). http://dx.doi.org/10.15365/joce.2401052021