- -There was no income tax; there were no gun laws.
- - The frontier was disappearing, but it was still there.
- - If a man had nothing but a horse, saddle, and gun he could build an empire.
- -Government in this country was small.
- -There was no welfare or mandatory schooling; families decided these things.
- -People loved learning and knowledge.
- -Except for the most depraved, feminine virtue was praised. A man who outraged a woman more often than not paid a terrible price.
- -The Industrial Revolution was in full flower.
- -Steam railroads crossed the continent carrying passengers and freight - refrigerator cars carrying ice in the heat and charcoal stoves in the cold brought California oranges to New York bankers and fresh oysters from New York harbor to Colorado miners.
- -Prospects for the future had never been brighter; people knew that they were living in a very special time.
- -There were only fifty million people in this country in 1880; fewer people to piss you off.
The only thing I think is better today is modern medicine or anything else that can preserve life, e.g., modern fire extinguishers and band aids.
But other than that, the 1880's were undoubtedly the best time to live in human history.