Throughout the history of America, urban cities have grown throughout the country and have influenced virtually every economic, social, and cultural movement between the Civil War and WWI. During the Gilded Age and the Progressive Era, which, combined, lasted from the 1880s to the 1920s, there was a large influx of immigration and urbanization which drastically changed the country. However, there are certain factors that caused this monumental growth in our country. This rapid growth was fueled by advancements in technology, industrialization, rural to urban migration, and European immigration to America. However, there were many challenges included with the rising populations of cities and urbanization of America, which were responded to by introducing new political, social, and economical innovations.
Immensities in technology, such as the electric light, indoor plumbing, and telephones also lured people to the city. The electric light was a highly sought innovation, seen as a “…flood tide of beautiful white light…emitted from the handsome black lamps” (Document B). However advanced the cities may have been in their technology, they had deplorable conditions. Problems in the city included overcrowding, crime, disease, poverty, exploitation, little sanitation, and pollution. “These narrow alley-like streets were one mass of litter. The air was laden with soot and dirt. Ill odors arose from every direction.” (Document H). The perfection of tenants and apartments attempted to alleviate overcrowding by putting as many people as possible into small buildings.
Industrialization brought many positive effects to the growth of cities. Jobs were created with the emergence of factories, which raised the economy with employment. However, these factories introduced many negative aspects. The government doesn’t protect its workers at first, and workers must compete with each other for low-skill jobs. These jobs were highly dangerous and the workers faced