Apush - Chapter 18: the Age of the Cityç

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Chapter 18: The Age of the City

1)The Urbanization of America
a)The Life of the City
i)Urban pop increased 7x in 50 yrs after Civil War, by 1920 majority of ppl lived in urban areas. Occurred partly b/c of natural growth, mostly b/c immigrants and rural ppl flocked b/c offered better paying jobs than rural areas, cultural experiences available, transportation to cities easier than ever b)Migrations

i)Late 19th century saw geographic mobility- Americans left declining Eastern agricultural regions for new farmlands in West and for cities of East ii)Women moved from farms where mechanization decreased their value; Southern blacks moved to cities to escape rural poverty, oppression, violence iii)Largest source of urban growth immigrants: until 1880s mainly educated N Europeans who were sometimes skilled laborers, businessmen or moved West to start farms. After 1880s largely S and E Europeans, lacked capital (like poor Irish immigrants before Civil War) so took mainly unskilled jobs c)The Ethnic City

i)Not only was amt of immigrants tremendous, but so was diversity of immigrant population (no single national group dominated) ii)Most immigrants were rural ppl so formed close-knit ethnic communities to ease transition-offered native newspapers, food, links to national past iii)Assimilation of ethnic groups into capitalist economy depended on values of community, but also prejudices among employers, individual skills and capital d)Assimilation

i)Most immigrants had desire to become true “Americans” and break with old national ways. Particular strain w/ women who in America shared more freedoms- adjust to more fluid life of American city ii)Assimilation encouraged by Natives thru public schools and employer requirement to learn English, religious leaders e)Exclusion

i)Immigrant arrival provoked many fears + resentments of some native-born ppl. Reacted out of prejudice, foreign willingness to accept lower wages ii)Political response to these resentments- American Protective Association founded by Henry Bowers 1887, Immigration Restriction League sought to screen/reduce immigrants.  1882 Congress passed Chinese Exclusion Act, also denied entry to all “undesirables” and placed small tax on immigrants iii)New laws kept only small amt out. Literacy requirement vetoed by president Grover Cleveland—anti-immigrant measures failed mainly b/c many natives welcomed it, provided growing economy w/ cheap and plentiful labor

2)The Urban Landscape
a)The Creation of Public Space
i)By mid-19th century reformers and planners began to call for ordered vision of city, resulted in creation of public spaces and public services ii)Urban parks solution to congestion, allowed escape from strain of urban life. 1850s Central Park famously planned by Frederick Olmsted and Calvert Vaux iii)Great public buildings (libraries, museums, theaters), spurred by wealthy residents who wanted amenities to match material and social aspirations iv)Urban leaders undertook massive city rebuilding projects- “City Beautiful Movement” inspired by architect Daniel Burnham- provide order and symmetry to disorderly life of city (faced opposition from private landowners) b)Housing the Well-to-Do

i)Availability of cheap labor + materials lowered cost of building in late 19th century. Most wealthy lived in mansions, but later moderately well-to-do and wealthy both began to build and commute from suburban communities nearby c)Housing Workers and the Poor

i)Most residentsforced to stay in city and rent- demand high and space scarce led to little bargaining power. Landlords tried to get most ppl in smallest space ii)“Tenements” came to refer to overcrowded slum dwellings. Poverty and rough tenement life showcased by reporter Jacob Riis in his 1890 How the Other Half Lives. Some immigrants also boarded in small family homes d)Urban Transportation

i)Old, narrow dirty streets insufficient to deal w/ urban growth and need for ppl to move everyday to difft parts of city-...
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