Eugene V. Debs Essay

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Eugene V. Debs Citizen and Socialist

Nick Salvatore's book Eugene V. Debs Citizen and Socialist provides a very detailed account of the life and times and Eugene Debs. Debs was born in Terre Haute Indiana and Salvatore emphasizes the important role that this played in Debs upbringing. Terre Haute was ripe with religious fundamentalism from its founding. Religion permeated everyday life throughout Terre Haute. Salvatore writes that, "In newspaper editorials, political speeches, civic dedications and Sunday sermons they assured the kingdom of God had already arrived and that their town was destined to become the center of the Kingdoms Midwest development." It is striking how the ideals of the Terre Haute community based in religious
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To Debs' this act was a clear example of the alliance of the government with the oppressive capitalists. Debs was later jailed for interrupting federal mail service and was released in 1895. To this point Debs held lofty ideals regarding the U.S. government. He firmly believed in ideals set forth in the declaration of independence and Constitution and the role of the government in protecting the freedom and well being of Americans. The Pullman strike shattered this lofty vision he held for America. He entered prison a progressive labor leader and during his term he read Marx's works and left as he states himself a, "radicalized citizen and hardened socialist"
It is after this time that Debs began his association with the Socialist party. He was already a national figure due to his involvement with the national labor movement and quickly became very popular in the Socialist Party. He became so popular due to his idea that Christianity was intrinsically linked to Socialist values. He believed capitalism encouraged villainous and morally bereft men to prosper and only a true socialist society would liberate and encourage morally upstanding citizens. Debs said himself, "to call such persons (capitalists) men is to obliterate from the face of the earth those standards by which Christ measured men. A MAN will not rob directly or indirectly through capitalist means. A MAN