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Urbanization. During the three decades after the Civil War, the urban population of the United States, those living in towns with a population of 2,500 or more, grew from around 10 million in 1870 to over 30 million in 1900.

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slide2

During the three decades after the Civil War, the urban population of the United States, those living in towns with a population of 2,500 or more, grew from around 10 million in 1870 to over 30 million in 1900.

  • New York City grew from 800,000 people in 1860 to 3.5 million by 1900. Chicago during the same time period grew from 109,000 to 1.6 million.
  • In 1840 the U.S. had only 131 cities by 1900 there were 1,700.
slide3

Many immigrants did not have money to buy large plots of land, so they settled in cities and worked low paying jobs in America’s rapidly expanding factories.

  • Many Americans in rural areas also began to move to cities. Cities offered much more opportunity and other attractions like bright lights, running water, modern plumbing-plus lots to do and see: theaters, museums and libraries.
skyscrapers
Skyscrapers
  • As cities grew the price of land did also-this encouraged builders to grow up, not out
  • Soon many skyscrapers began to be built in big cities.
  • New York built more than anyone else. (Why do you think this happened?)
  • The most important designers of these buildings was Louis Sullivan. (teacher of Frank Lloyd Wright!)
mass transit
Mass Transit
  • Various forms of mass transit developed in the late 1800’s to move thousands of people around big cities.
  • The earliest form was the horse car-a train car moved by horses.
  • San Francisco developed cable cars; Virginia electric trolley cars.
  • Because of congestion some cities wanted to move mass transit off the streets-Chicago elevated railroad-Boston and New York developed the first subway systems.
separation by class
Separation By Class
  • In these growing cities the wealthy and poor lived in different areas-these division were easy to see and still exist today
  • Wealthy families established fashionable districts in large cities (upper east side, Beverly Hills) There houses came in many different styles (pg. 471)
  • Industrialization helped create a middle class fro the first time in American History. These people included doctors, lawyers, engineers, managers, social workers, teachers and architects.
slide8

Many of these people moved out of the crowded cities into “streetcar suburbs”

  • Middle Class salaries were about twice that of the average factory worker.
  • In New York 3 out of 4 residents squeezed into tenements-dark and crowded multi-family apartments. The $445 dollars made annually by most families required them to send their children to work and rent out space to boarders.
urban problems
Urban Problems
  • City living posed threats such as crime, violence, fire, disease, and pollution, especially for the working poor. The rapid growth of cities made these problems worse.
  • Minor criminals thrived in cities-pickpockets, swindlers, thieves etc.
  • The murder rate increased by 75 % from 1880 to 1900-The murder rate in 1999 was 50%lower than in 1900
slide11

Native born Americans blamed immigrants for the increase in crime and violence. In reality the crime rates were close to the same for the two groups.

  • Alcohol did contribute to violent crime, both inside and outside of the home.
  • Jacob Riis book about slum life “How The Other Half Lives” accused saloons of breeding poverty, corrupting politics, bringing suffering to the wives and children of drunkards and corrupting children.
slide12

Pollution and disease posed even bigger threats. Improper sewage disposal contaminated water supplies and epidemics of typhoid fever and cholera were common.

  • Streets were often covered in horse manure, with smoking chimneys as well as soot and ash from coal fires.
urban politics
Urban Politics
  • The political machine, an informal political group designed to gain and keep power, came about partly because cities had grown much faster than their governments.
  • New city residents needed jobs, housing, food, police protection and other basic services. In exchange for votes party bosses provided these things. George Plunkitt an Irish immigrant, became a powerful political figure thanks to the overwhelming votes of immigrants.
slide14

Many of these bosses became wealthy because of fraud and graft-dishonest way of raising money. Men like Plunkitt believed that graft could be done honestly. (ex pg. 473)

  • Outright fraud occurred at other times when bosses accepted bribes from contractors, who were supposed to compete fairly for contracts. Corrupt bosses also sold permits to their friends to operate public utilities-such as railroads, waterworks etc.
tammany hall
Tammany Hall
  • Tammany Hall was a political machine in New York. William M. “Boss” Tweed was its leader in the 1860’s and 70’s. His corruption lead him to jail in 1874.
  • These machines controlled city services-like the police-some even arrogantly would openly ask people at voting booths to vote multiple times.
  • These machines faced great opposition from newspapers and other groups-however some saw these groups as necessary to deal with the conditions in the rapidly expanding cities.