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The Missionary Generation was the name given by sociologists to describe the generation of people born in the United States from 1860 to 1882. It is an identified cohort within the Strauss–Howe generational theory.
Members of the Missionary Generation have been described as the "home-and-hearth children of the post-Civil War era". They were an idealist generation and as young adults, their leaders were the first graduates of newly formed black and women's colleges.
Their defining characteristics were missionary and social crusades, "muckrake" journalism, prohibitionism, workers' rights, trade unionism and women's suffrage. In midlife, they developed Prohibition in the United States, immigration control, and organized vice squads.
Because the Lost Generation were so decimated by World War I, the leadership of the Missionary Generation lasted longer than previous generations and in the 1930s and 1940s, their elite became the "Wise Old Men" who enacted a "New Deal", Social Security, led the global war against fascism, and reaffirmed America's highest ideals during a transformative era in world history.
This generation is fully ancestral, with the last known member of the Missionary Generation, the American Sarah Knauss, having died on December 30, 1999 at 119 years of age.
The following list includes some of the notable persons who influenced this generation:
Stanley Baldwin, Neville Chamberlain, Winston Churchill, David Lloyd George, Ramsay MacDonald, Joseph Cook, Andrew Fisher, Billy Hughes, Joseph Lyons, Earle Page, James Scullin, Chris Watson, R. B. Bennett, William Lyon Mackenzie King, Arthur Meighen, Gordon Coates, George Forbes, Michael Joseph Savage, Franz von Papen, Vladimir Ilyich Lenin, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Mahatma Gandhi, Douglas MacArthur, Joseph Stalin, Warren Harding, Calvin Coolidge, Herbert Hoover, Charles Curtis, Charles G. Dawes, John Nance Garner, William Jennings Bryan, Konrad Adenauer, Leon Trotsky