Early in the 20th century, the Wobblies, or Industrial Workers of the World (IWW), fought for the rights of workers-common laborers, migrants, immigrants, black workers-unprotected by the craft unions. In the face of beatings, kidnappings, and lynchings by vigilantes, company detectives, and hired guns, the Wobblies organized in mining and lumber camps, the wheat fields, on docksides and in textile factories.
Sincere religious reflection was a hallmark of soldiers in both armies in the Civil War, and it was generally an authentic religiosity rather than a battlefield conversion to spirituality. This is not surprising, as these characteristics had been common in the general population since the founding of the United States. Americans, despite their politics and prejudices, had always been and continued to be a strongly religious and highly moral people throughout the Antebellum Period (c. 1820-1860). Although there may have been a large number of battlefield conversions, in the average community, a person's attitude toward devotion was strongly shaped by the dominant religious beliefs of his neighbors or the local population as a whole.