Order and Disorder in New York City in the 1800s

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In 1825 there were just over 100,000 people living in New York City. Life for New Yorkers had been a steady, regular flow of every day life but the period between 1825 and 1860 was a time of truly unprecedented growth but a new era of modern lifestyle was about to emerge and take New York’s citizens by surprise. What used to be a very traditional way of life started becoming more modernised and by the end of the 1960s, the New York population had reason to that of one million people.

There were many contributing factors as to why this period of the 19th century was a time of order and disorder. Revolutionary innovations such as transportation brought an immense order to the city of New York. Transportation included the steamboat, the Grid system as well as the railroad. All types of transportation were a huge beneficial aspect of the city’s economy.

The railroads in the 1820s brought a new safe-feel to transportation and allowed passengers to travel to Chicago from New York without an effort of any sort. This was something that was widely recognized as a clear sign of technological progress. Economy flourished and this new way of transportation allowed for many to have jobs. The railroads might have been considered a form of disorder because of the destructive activity that took place in order to set the tracks and also because it wasn’t a ‘traditional’ way of life and old-fashioned New Yorkers were worried about losing traditional values. Because of this new era, demand for steel was off the charts and it allowed for order in the City. One huge factor of disorder related to the railroads was the fact that because of this new for of transportation, trading flourished with large trading companies and industries making hundreds of New Yorkers jobless. Traditional « mom and pop » stores dissapeared because no one thought to buy supplies from their stores anymore. These new factories started spreading throughout the city and the working conditions were very...
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