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The Age of the City

The Age of the City

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The Age of the City

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  1. The Age of the City Chapter 18

  2. Characteristics of Urbanization During the Gilded Age • Megalopolis • Mass Transit • Economic & Social Opportunities • Pronounced Class Distinctions • New Opportunities for Women • Squalid living conditions for many • Political machines • Ethnic Neighborhoods

  3. The Age of the City A Nation of Immigrants

  4. Reason for Immigration During the Gilded Age • Poverty of displaced farm workers driven from the land by the mechanization of farm work • Overcrowding and joblessness in European cities • Religious persecution of Jews in Russia • Introduction of large steamships and relatively inexpensive one-way passage

  5. Old Immigrants: Came from northern and western Europe Most Protestant Mostly English-speaking High level of literacy and occupational skills New Immigrants: Came from southern and eastern Europe Many poor and illiterate peasants Largely Roman Catholic, Greek Orthodox, Russian Orthodox, and Jewish Crowded into ethnic neighborhoods in NYC & Chicago “Old” Immigrants and “New Immigrants”

  6. Ellis Island • Opened in 1892 to handle the large numbers of people arriving in the country • Located on a small island near the Statue of Liberty in New York • Diversity at the island inspired the phrase “melting pot” to describe the American population • Cultural pluralism – presence of many different cultures within one society

  7. Restricting Immigration • Feelings of nativism grew -> foreign immigrants often victims of violence and discrimination • US government attempted to pass legislation restricting immigration • Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 • Immigrants had to pass rigorous medical and document examinations and pay an entry tax

  8. Support of Immigration Restrictions • Labor unions -> immigrants used to depress wages and break strikes • Nativist societies • Social Darwinists -> viewed new immigrants as biologically inferior to English and Germanic stocks

  9. The Age of the City Urbanization

  10. Urbanization • Urbanization and industrialization developed simultaneously • Cities provided central supply of labor for factories & market for factory-made goods • By 1900, 40% of Americans lived in towns and cities • Millions of young Americans from rural areas joined immigrants seeking new economic opportunities in cities

  11. Streetcar cities • Improvements in urban transportation led to growth of cities • Allowed people to live in residences many miles from their jobs • Massive steel suspension bridges such as the Brooklyn Bridge made possible longer commutes • Result-> segregated urban workers by income; Upper & Middle classes moved to streetcar suburbs to escape pollution, poverty, and crime

  12. Brooklyn Bridge (1883)

  13. Skyscrapers • Cities expanded both outward and upward • Rising land values in central business districts dictated the construction of taller and taller buildings • 1885 -> William Le Baron Jenny built the 10 story Home Insurance Company Building in Chicago – the first true skyscraper with a steel skeleton • Structure made possible by such inventions as the Otis elevator and central-steam heating system

  14. Ethnic Neighborhoods • As more affluent citizens moved to suburbs, poor moved in • To increase profits, landlords divided up inner-city houses into small, windowless rooms known as tenaments • Different immigrants created distinct ethnic neighborhoods where each group could maintain its own language, culture, church or temple, and social club

  15. Tenement Conditions • Landlords crammed up to 4,000 people into one city block • Overcrowding and filth promoted the spread of deadly diseases such as cholera, typhoid, and tuberculosis

  16. Labor Laws and Living Conditions • Jacob Riis exposed living conditions of poor, urban laborers in How the Other Half Lives - Revealed the danger and filth of inner-city tenements

  17. Factors that Promoted Suburban Growth • Abundant land available at low cost • Inexpensive transportation by rail • Low-cost construction methods • Ethnic and racial prejudice • American fondness for grass, privacy, and detached individual houses

  18. Strains of Urban Life • Fire • Disease • Inadequate Sanitation • Air Pollution

  19. “City Beautiful Movement”Frederick Law Olmstead Frederick Law Olmstead teamed with Calvert Vaux in the 1850’s to design New York City’s Central Park

  20. Boss and Machine Politics • Political parties in major cities came under control of tightly organized group of politicians, known as political machines • Each machine had a boss (ex. Boss Tweed in New York City) • Included Tammany Hall in New York City • Positive -> helped find jobs and apartments for recently arrived immigrants • Negative -> graft and fraud

  21. The Age of the City Awakening of Reform

  22. Books of social criticism • Henry George published Progress and Poverty in 1879 -> proposed placing a single tax on land as the solution to poverty • Succeeded in calling attention to the alarming inequalities of wealth caused by industrialization • Encouraged a shift in American public opinion away from pure laissez-faire and toward greater government regulation

  23. Settlement houses • Jane Addams opened Hull House, a settlement house to aid the poor - served as launching pad for investigations into city conditions - Helped fight for and win new child labor laws

  24. Social Gospel • Importance of applying Christian principles to social problems • Leading the movement was New York minister Walter Rauschenbusch • Linked Christianity with Progressive reform and encouraged many middle-class Protestants to attack urban problems • Salvation Army (1879)

  25. The Age of the City Intellectual and Cultural Movements

  26. Public Schools • Schools continued to teach the 3 R’s – reading, writing, arithmetic • Compulsory School Attendance laws dramatically increased number of children enrolled in public schools • Practice of sending children to Kindergarten (concept borrowed from Germany) became popular • Growing support for tax-supported public high schools

  27. Reasons for Increase in Higher Education • Land grant colleges established under the Morrill Act of 1862 • Universities founded by wealthy philanthropists –> ex. Vanderbilt University • Founding of new colleges for women, such as Smith and Bryn Mawr

  28. Literature and the Arts • American writers and artists responded in diverse ways to industrialization and urban problems

  29. Realism in American Literature • Revealed the greed, violence, and racism in American society • Mark Twain (pen name for Samuel L. Clemens) became the first great realist author -> The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1884)

  30. Naturalism in American Literature • Described how emotions and experience shaped human experience • Stephen Crane -> Red Badge of Courage (1893) • Jack London -> Call of the Wild (1903) • Theodore Dreiser -> Sister Carrie (1900)

  31. Painting • Group of social realists known as the “Ashcan School” painted scenes of everyday life in poor and urban neighborhoods • Other painters, like Winslow Homer, continued to cater to the popular taste for romantic subjects

  32. Music • Every city or town had a symphony orchestra, an opera, or an outdoor bandstand -> played popular marches by John Philip Sousa • Jazz -> originated in New Orleans and combined African rhythms with western-style instruments • Blues -> originated in South and expressed the pain of the black experience

  33. The Age of the City Leisure in the Consumer Society

  34. The Rise of Mass Consumption • Rising Income • New Merchandising Techniques - ready-made clothing - canned foods • Chain Stores & Mail-Order Houses - F.W. Woolworths - Montgomery Ward - Sears Roebuck • Department Stores - Marshall Field - Macy’s - Filene’s

  35. Reasons for the Growth of Leisure Activities • Gradual reduction in the hours people worked • Improved transportation • Promotional billboards and advertising • Decline of restrictive Puritan and Victorian values that discouraged “wasting” time on play

  36. Amusements • Drinking and talking at the corner saloon • Vaudeville • Barnum & Bailey’s Circus – the “Greatest Show on Earth • “Buffalo Bill” Cody’s Wild West Show featuring Sitting Bull and Annie Oakley

  37. Growth of Spectator Sports & Gambling • Boxing, Baseball, Basketball, Football • From the beginning spectator sports closely associated with gambling • “Throwing” of 1919 World Series by the Chicago White Sox • Boxing troubled by efforts to “fix” fights • Major spectator sports of era were open almost exclusively to men