Though baseball came to embody the American spirit in the mid-20th century, it was not always that way. As America emerged from the Civil War, its citizens watched the relatively new sport of baseball with ambivalence. There were a few on-field changes from 1870 to 1900, but overall the game then was remarkably similar to the game today. Labor disputes often dominated discussions of the game, and owners and players each accused the other of being greedy and trying to destroy the sport. No team better exemplified baseball in the 19th century than the New York Giants. The pre-John McGraw Giants were occasionally very good and frequently very fashionable, but they had not yet become the trademark team of the National League that they would become in the early 20th century. The Giants were, however, one of the league's premier teams simply because they played in the country's premier city. New York and its Giants epitomized the rise of industrialized America and the need for organized spectator diversions; they helped propel baseball into being the national pastime.