In Looking Backward, what problems did Bellamy believe would be solved by the year 2000? And what solution to these problems did he imagine?

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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In this book, Bellamy imagined that all of the world’s problems would have been solved (at least in the United States) by the year 2000.  He believed that the problems would be solved by the introduction of socialism.

In the late 1800s, there were many people who were concerned with problems that they felt were caused by economic change.  The US economy was coming to be dominated by large companies.  There were some very rich “robber barons” and many workers who lived and worked in poor conditions.  Bellamy was one who thought that the country’s problems were caused by inequality and that a socialist system would be the way to cure these problems.

In Bellamy’s imagined utopia of 2000, the US is a socialist country.  The government owns all of the factories and other places where people work.  Everyone in the country is given a debit card to cover their expenses.  They can buy the things they need at stores that are run by the government.  In other words, the economy is completely under government control.

Bellamy believed that this would cure all social ills.  It would cause almost all crime to disappear.  It would put an end to pollution.  It would put an end to inequality.  Everyone would have good health care so disease would no longer be a problem.

In short, Bellamy believed that all of the problems of the US would be solved by socialism.

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