Editorial by N.G. Gonzales, founder of The State, regarding cotton mills and "Harmful Factory Legislation," 26 January 1897

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Document Description:

N.G. (Narciso Gener) Gonzales and his brother Ambrose Elliott Gonzales, second generation Cuban immigrants, helped to found The State newspaper in Columbia, South Carolina, in 1891. The State would become the major newspaper in Columbia for the twentieth century. The editorial shown here displays Gonzales' thoughts on the Kibler Bill.

The Kibler Bill would order a commissioner in charge of cotton mills and as Gonzales puts it, give him "dictatorial powers" over them. Gonzales goes on to point out specific reasons why this legislature is harmful to the state and its future pertaining to cotton as a large source of economy and jobs. Gonzales ends his editorial with this plea: "We speak not for the owners of cotton mill stockbut for the whole people, not for the dividends of the present but for the industrial prosperity of the future when we urge the general assembly to negative emphatically these propositions."


Gonzales, N.G . "Harmful Factory Legislation." The State, 26 January 1897, 4. Newspapers on Microfilm.  Published Division, South Caroliniana Library, University of South Carolina, Columbia, South Carolina.

Correlating Social Studies Academic Standards:

Standard USHC-5: The student will demonstrate an understanding of major social, political, and economic developments that took place in the United States during the second half of the nineteenth century.

Indicator USHC-5.1 Summarize developments in business and industry, including the ascent of new industries, the rise of corporations through monopolies and corporate mergers, the role of industrial leaders such as John D. Rockefeller and Andrew Carnegie, the influence of business ideologies, and the increasing availability of consumer goods and the rising standard of living.

Indicator USHC-5.2 Summarize the factors that influenced the economic growth of the United States and its emergence as an industrial power, including the abundance of natural resources; government support and protection in the form of tariffs, labor policies, and subsidies; and the expansion of international markets associated with industrialization.

Indicator USHC-5.4 Analyze the rise of the labor movement, including the composition of the workforce of the country in terms of gender, race/ethnicity, and skills; working conditions for men, women, and children; and union protests and strikes and the government’s reactions to these forms of unrest.

Indicator USHC-5.6 Explain the influx of immigrants into the United States in the late nineteenth century in relation to the specific economic, political, and social changes that resulted, including the growth of cities and urban ethnic neighborhoods, the restrictions on immigration that were imposed, and the immigrants’ responses to the urban political machines.

Indicator USHC-5.7 Compare the accomplishments and limitations of the progressive movement in effecting social and political reforms in America, including the roles of Theodore Roosevelt, Jane Addams, W. E. B. DuBois, and Booker T. Washington.


Lessons Using This Document:
Trial at the Turn of the Century: A Window on a World

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