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Social and economic structures
How was society structured In 1895? Most North Americans lived and worked on farms, and most received at best an elementary school education but that was all just beginning to change. If you were a college student at that time that meant you had ambitions and the privilege to be part of a small but growing elite; you were almost certainly white and male. You were probably more familiar with life on the farm where people rose at dawn and did physical labor all day, telling time by the place of the sun in the sky. But you might have wanted to discover a new, emerging world of big cities where people of many different types came together, read daily newspapers, and explored strange new worlds like science or fine art. You might have wanted to be modern, but felt most people around you were not. Also, in 1895 women did not have the right to vote and were prohibited from pursuing most careers, like being a doctor or a lawyer; if there were any women in your college, they would have felt enormous pressure to get married as a matter of economic survival. And there would be few if any Jewish, African American, Native American students, and not many Catholics, at your college: Jim Crow was in its early stages in the U.S., and many Americans took overt racism for granted. As a young man, you might have wondered about those injustices, but you were not being taught to think about them.