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Middle Class Life, 1780-1917

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Middle Class Life, 1780-1917

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History 101
4/8/2009
Middle Class Life, 1870-1917
Middle Class Life, 1870-1917
During the late eighteenth century and early twentieth century, The United States became an industrialized and urbanized nation. With the rapid growth of railroads, industries have expanded their businesses throughout the nation. During this time, the urban population increased tremendously, and more than half of the Americans lived in cities. The cost of life in cities was more expensive compared to rural areas. Therefore, families had to bring more income to the house. Most families strove to achieve the standard of middle class, which led many people to embrace an optimistic attitude and to focus on the acquisition of material possessions. The progress of manufacturers made it possible to produce new products that were economically affordable for the middle class. As a result, the middle class had the possibility to furnish their house in the same style as the wealthy. With the advances of the technology more new products were distributed and put within the reach of the poorest Americans. The differences of classes showed in their life style, and were based on what they had and things they were surrounded by such as clothes, automobile, and houses. Most companies used advertisements to increase their sales and make their products accessible to distinct areas throughout the nation. Source 12 from a 1912 advertisement shows different watch chains that classify a typical American man, with an elegant and superior style, compared to a poor hard working man who does not wear this kind of jewelry. This advertisement was more directed to the middle class who wanted to have a different looks from the poor people, and have more similarities to the wealthy people in the ways they look. The ad for the watch chains quotes “These are the watch chains now worn by men who set the styles.” This is a positive ad, because it would make other look at this person more sophisticated and more...