Memo - readings for Sept. 6-8



All three of these readings concern ideas and attitudes about wealth, commerce, and personal luxuries in the United States in the 19th century.


For our purposes, the most important aspect of these readings is the overall impression they create of about wealth and spending in nineteenth-century America. The specifics are less important (especially with Thoreau) than the ideas and attitudes you find here. You might consider:
    What do these readings suggest about the accumulation of wealth in the nineteenth century? How did people feel about the buying of luxury goods for oneself?
    Compared to today, were people more or less materialistic? What makes you draw this conclusion?
    What personal values do you think were most highly prized? Why?