The Devil in the White City Notes

Topics: Robber baron, Gilded Age, Working class Pages: 3 (1281 words) Published: July 25, 2014
Although the Chicago World's fair of 1893 only lasted 6 months, I had an enormous impact on the city of Chicago, its people, and indeed the entire country. Up until that point in its history, the US had done nothing on the scale of the world's fair, and was regarded as a country of barbarians and cowboys by much of the world, especially Old Europe. The fair was a perfect way for the US to disprove this. In building the fair, they would be placed in direct competition with France, who had built a magnificent fair only a few years before. If Chicago could at least build a fair on par with the Paris fair, it would prove to the world that the US was a cultural, military and political force to be reckoned with. Because of the fair's gigantic scale, it became a microcosm of the conflicts and the tenor of the times. In effect, the fair was the turning point between the old Victorian days and the modern era, technologically, culturally, politically, and in the hearts of the people of the US and the world. The United States of the Gilded Age was not the superpower is it today. At best, it was considered a powerful manufacturing and industrial country, but little more. Culturally and politically, it was an upstart to the relatively old and established European powers of the day. At this point in history, much of the American West was still frontier country, relatively undeveloped. The North east, especially New York, was the only part of the US considered by the world to be somewhat civilized and cultured. Even what we think of as east today, most notably Chicago, was thought of as uncivilized Getting the World's Fair in Chicago was their chance to prove otherwise. It was also a chance for the whole country to prove its cultural power. With the Fair's success came new respect from the world, particularly Europe. The US was no longer viewed as much as a second rate power with no culture of its own and no global influence. The fair would set the stage for the US to have the...
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