The Social And Industrial Situation -- By: Washington Gladden

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 049:195 (Jul 1892)
Article: The Social And Industrial Situation
Author: Washington Gladden

The Social And Industrial Situation

Rev. Washington Gladden

[The following article is a report of a Committee appointed by the Congregational Association of Ohio, in 1891, to investigate the social and industrial situation, and read at its meeting in Oberlin, on May II, 1892. The preparation of the report fell upon Dr. Gladden, but it is signed and approved by the other members of the Committee, the Rev. Sydney Strong, of Mt. Vernon, and General R. Brinkerhoff, of Mansfield. As the merits of the Report are so great and it is not to be published elsewhere, it is thought best to make no changes in its literary form.—Eds.]

At the last meeting of this Association, in Springfield, the undersigned were appointed a Committee “to investigate the social and industrial situation,” and report the results of their studies to this meeting. In obedience to this request we have held two conferences,—one in Columbus, on January 18th, and one in Toledo, on March 15th. At the first of these conferences all the members of the Committee were present; General Brinkerhoff was unable to attend the second on account of imperative duties to the Commonwealth, which he was unexpectedly summoned to perform in another place.

Each of these meetings was in the nature of an open hearing, announced in the newspapers, and by printed circulars addressed to a large number of representative employers and working-men. At each meeting there were two sessions, of two hours and a half each—one in the afternoon, and one in the evening. The Committee is greatly indebted to the pastors of the First Congregational Church, Toledo, the Rev. Dr. Williams and the Rev. Mr. Fisk, for the use

of their social rooms, and for their very efficient services in arranging for the meeting in that city.

The circular sent out by the Committee outlined the nature of its inquiry in the following questions: —

“Do you think that the present relations of employers and laborers are satisfactory?

“If not, can they be improved, and if so, in what manner?

“Are the laboring-classes suffering under any burdens or disabilities which can be removed by the action of government, or of a sound public opinion?

“Do you think that any changes in the organization of industry are feasible—such, for example, as take the direction of industrial partnership?

“Do you think that the nationalization of industry is practicable?

“Do laboring-men, as a class, complain of the churches; if so, what are their complaints?”

Quite a ...

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