Brinkley Ch. 18: THE AGE OF THE CITY

Report
Progressive Era:
THE AGE OF THE CITY
America begins life as an
agrarian society but rapidly
begins to urbanize.
Topics
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Urbanization
Population Growth
Immigration and Migrations
The Ethnic City
Urban Landscape
1) Public Space
2) Housing
Problems of Urban Life
Political Machines
Mass Consumption
Leisure
Culture in the City
The Lure of the City:
page 500
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“We cannot all live in cities. Yet nearly all
seemed determined to do so.”
Horace Greely
More and better- paying jobs
 Immigrants
 Better transportation
 Declining farm regions of east
West, cities of midwest and east
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Population Growth
Total Immigration
Sources of Immigration from
Europe 1860 - 1900
African-American Migration
The Ethnic City:
Milwaukee, WI 1850 - 1890
Immigrants in the City
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Benefits of ethnic neighborhoods
Those who arrived with a skill did
better than those who did not
Strength of ethnic ties vs. assimilation
African – Americans, Asians and
Mexicans suffered the most
discrimination
Changing Gender Patterns
The Urban Landscape:
A study in contrasts
The Urban Landscape:
Public Space
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Reformers, planners
and architects call
for more ordered
vision of the city
City Planning:
parks, libraries,
museums
Need for Urban Planning
becomes evident as well
The Urban Landscape 1850’s:
Central Park: Olmstead and Vaux
Housing the Well -to -do
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Due to cheap labor,
easy access to tools
more people are
able to buy homes
Beacon Hill, Nob
Hill, Society Hill,
Fifth Ave
Housing Workers and the Poor:
Tenements
How the Other Half Lives(1890):
Jacob Riis documents slum life
The Urban Landscape:
Urban Transportation
The Urban Landscape:
Population changes with transportation
The Urban Landscape:
Cities grow upward as well as outward
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Steel girder
construction
Louis Sullivan
Frank Lloyd Wright
will later apply
techniques to
shorter buildings
Problems of Urban Life
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Fires
Disease –typhoid, cholera due to poor
sanitation
Air pollution
Poverty
High crime rates
Great Chicago Fire 1871:
supposedly started by “Mrs. O’Leary’s
Cow”
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Whole midwest was
very dry
Streets were made
of wood which
helped fire spread
4 miles long area
burned
The Aftermath of the
Great Chicago Fire
The Legend
Disease
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Sanitation
standards were low
Raw sewage in the
streets
contaminated the
water
Sewer systems not
complete until into
the 20th century.
Urban Poverty
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Private and public
agencies offered
limited relief,
thinking it would
cause dependence
Salvation Army
Idea of selfimprovement
limited attention to
sources of poverty
Fear of the City/Crime
and Violence
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High crime rates
Alienating
Anonymous
Limited connection
with work
Sister Carrie
The Political Machine and
the Boss
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Became a source of
assistance for new
immigrants, those
who needed jobs
and those in trouble
with the law- often
in return for votes.
Would give
supporters
government jobs
Political Machines
The Rise of Mass Consumption
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Coincides with the rise
of the middle class =
demand for products
Chain stores, mail
order products
Woolworth
The A & P
Goods no longer being
made at home, but
instead purchased in
the consumer economy
Leisure: Thanks to the 8
hour workday
Leisure : Sports: Football:
originated in universities
Baseball: The American
National Game
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Baseball clubs
1903: First modern
World Series. Red
Sox beat the
Pittsburg Pirates
Working class game
Mass communication
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Newspapers become more important
American journalism becomes a
profession

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