Urbanization
Migration to the Cities
Learning Targets
• Describe how people moved from one place
to another in big cities in the late 1800s.
• Know what enabled the middle class to move
to “streetcar suburbs”.
• Know how political machines operated and
give an example.
• Be able to describe the problems of urban
living in the late 1800s and their causes.
Urbanization
• Post-Civil War (those living in towns of 2,500+)
– 1870: 10 million
– 1900: 30 million
• New York:
– 1860: 800,000 population
– 1900: 3,500,000 population (an increase of 77%)
• Chicago:
– 1860: 109,000
– 1900: 1,600,000 (an increase of 93%)
•Many, but not all, were immigrants.
A New City Environment
• Skyscrapers
• Mass Transit
A New City Environment
• Subways
– As city streets became more and more congested,
city planners looked for alternatives to moving
people from place to place
– Boston built the 1st subway systems, then New York
– Chicago built elevated trains
Class Development
• High Society
– The rich could build a feudal castle, English manor,
a French chateau, a Tuscan villa, Persian Pavillion
right in the middle of the city
• Middle Class
– Mass transit allowed the middle
class to move to the suburbs
• The Working Class
– tenements
Problems
• Crime, violence, fire, diseases, pollution
– 1880: Murder rate—25 per million people
– 1900: Murder rate—100 per million people
– 1997: Murder rate—57 per million people
Political Corruption
• Political Machines: informal political group
designed to gain and keep power
• Party Bosses: ran the political machines
• Fraud and Graft: getting money through
dishonest or questionable means
• Tammany Hall and William M. “Boss” Tweed
Review Questions
• How did people move from one place to
another in big cities in the late 1800s?
• What enabled the middle class to move to
“streetcar suburbs”?
• How did political machines operate? Give an
example.
Essay Question and Answer:
• Be able to describe the problems of urban living in
the late 1800s and their causes.
– Crime and violence, fire, disease, and pollution posed
threats to city dwellers. The rapid growth of cities made
these problems worse, Pickpockets, swindlers, and thieves
thrived in crowded urban living conditions. Major crimes
such as murder living conditions. Major crimes such as
murder increased as well. Alcohol contributed to violent
crime, both inside and outside the home. Improper
sewage disposal contaminated city drinking water and
triggered epidemics of typhoid fever and cholera. Pollution
resulted from horse waste that fell in the streets, smoke
belching from chimneys, and soot and ash from coal and
wood fires.