Immigrants and Urban Life

What were the causes
and effects of the rapid
growth of cities
Cities Grow and Change
Many people moved from farms to the cities. This move and was
called urbanization. As industrialization continued cities grew
more rapidly.
By 1860 one out of every five Americans lived in a city. Jobs drew
people to the city. People worked in steel mills, meatpacking
plants, and garment factories.
African Americans moved to the cities to improve
their lives. Most African Americans lived in the rural
south. When hard times hit or prejudice lead to
violence, some African Americans headed to
northern cities.
By the 1890’s, the south side of Chicago has a thriving
African-American community. Detroit, New York,
Philadelphia, and other northern cities also had growing
African American neighborhoods.
City Life
Many poor families crowded into the cities oldest sections. Middleclass people lived father out in row houses or new apartment
buildings. Beyond them, the rich built fine homes with green
lawns and trees.
Poor families struggled to survive in slums. The streets were
jammed with people, horses, pushcarts, and garbage. Living
space was very limited so builders devised a new kind of house
to hold more people. They put up buildings six or seven stories
high. The divided the buildings into small apartments, call
tenements. Many tenements had no windows, heat, or indoor
bathrooms. Typhoid and cholera and raged for the tenants.
Tuberculosis, a long disease was the biggest killer.
In the1880’s
reformers asked
for changes.
Building codes
were established
that provided
standards of
safety. Fire escapes
were added to
Just beyond the slums stood the homes of the new middle
class people. These people were the doctors, lawyers, and
business managers, skilled machinists, and office
workers. These people lived in rows of neat houses lined
with three shaded streets. Here diseases broke out less
Many religious organizations helped the poor. The
Protestant ministers began preaching Social Gospel.
They called upon their church members to do what is
needed to help the poor.
In 1865 William Booth, a
minister, established the
Salvation Army in London to
help the poor. He later expanded
it to the United States.
Settlement Houses, or community
centers, were also started to help
the poor. Jane Addams became
famous in organizing settlement
houses in America. A settlement
house was a center to help the
urban poor.
Addams opened a
settlement house called the
Hull House 1n 1869. In the
Hull house teachers taught
the English language and
classes on American
The Excitement of City Life
A building boom changed the face of
American cities in the late eighteen
hundreds. Cities like New York ran out of
space in their downtown areas. Resourceful
city planners and architects decided to build
up instead of out. Using new technology, the
designed tall buildings with many floors
called skyscrapers.
Newly invented elevators carried people
two upper floors. As more people moved
into the cities, traffic jams developed.
Downtown streets were choked with horse
drawn buses, carriages and carts.
Because of the traffic many people moved to
the outskirts of the city called suburbs.
Electricity offered a new solution to many of the cities
problems. Electric’s street cars were used on the
streets. Trolleys are also used. Many cities such as New
York built steam driven passenger trains on tracks. In
1897, Boston led the way in building the first American
subway, or underground electric railway.
Shopping areas that a new look. In the late
1800’s, department stores sprang up. A
department store sold all kinds of items in
different sections or departments. In 1902, R.H.
Macy opened a nine story department store in
New York. Soon other cities have department
By the late 1800’s, American
cities supported a wide variety
of cultural activities. Many
contributions were made to the
world of music and theater by
immigrants. Music and other
kinds of entertainment brought
Americans together.
Many vaudeville houses
opened in the cities.
Vaudeville was a variety
show that included
comedians, song and dance
routines and acrobats.
Songwriters produced
many popular tunes
such as Shine On, and
Harvest Moon. Ragtime
was a new kind of music
with lively, rhythmic
sounds. Scott Joplin, an
African American
composer helped make
ragtime music popular.
His Maple Leaf Rag was
a nationwide hit.
John Philip Sousa wrote
more than 100 marches. He
wrote The Stars And Stripes
Forever. His Marches
became favorites at Fourth
of July celebrations.
Baseball became the most popular sport in the nation.
The game was first played in New York in the 1840’s
during the Civil War. By the 1870’s there was many
professional baseball teams.
In the 1880’s, African Americans were barred from
professional baseball. In 1885, Frank Thompson
organized a group of waiters in one of the first AfricanAmerican professional teams, the Cuban Giants of
Long Island
Football also
became popular.
In colonial
times, players
did not wear
helmets and are
often hurt. Some
colleges banned
the sport or
drew up stricter
rules to play the
1891, James Naismith invented a new sport called
basketball. Naismith was the teaching physical education
class at the YMCA. He wanted to find a sport that could be
played indoors in winter. He had two bushel baskets
nailed to the gym walls. Players tried to throw a soccer ball
into the baskets. Basketball caught on quickly. It spread to
other schools and colleges around the country.
The New Immigrants
Between 1866 and 1915, more than 25 million immigrants
poured into the United States. Both push factors and pull factors
played a part in the vast global migration. Push factors are
conditions that attract people from their homes pull factors are
conditions that attract immigrants to new areas.
Political and religious persecution pushed many people to leave
their homes. Persecution was the mistreatment of a group of
people because of their religious beliefs. In the late eighteen
hundreds, the Russian government supported programs,
organized attacks on Jewish villages. Millions of Jews fled
Russia and Eastern Europe to settle in American cities.
Starting a New Life
Leaving their homes required great courage. The voyage across the
Atlantic and Pacific was often miserable. Most immigrants could
afford only the cheapest seats on boats traveling to the Americas.
Ship owners jammed up to 2000 people in steerage compartments in
crowded spots on their ships.
In these close quarters, disease is spread rapidly. Diseases such as
the measles infected many immigrants.
For most European immigrants, the voyage ended
in New York City. There, after 1886, they saw the
giant Statue of Liberty in the harbor. The statue of
liberty became a symbol of a hope and freedom
offered by the United States.
After 1892, ships entering New York harbor stopped at the
new receiving station on Ellis Island. Here, immigrants faced
a last hurdle, the dreaded medical inspection.
Doctors examined eyes, ears and throats. The sick had to
stay on Ellis Island until I got well. With hundreds of
immigrants to process each day, officials had only minutes
to check each new arrival. To save time they often
changed names that they found difficult to spell.
Ellis Island
In the late 1800’s, the patterns of
immigration changed. Large
numbers of people arrived from the
Southern Eastern Europe.
Millions of Italians, Polish, Greeks, Russians, and
Greeks and landed in the Eastern United States.
Stopped at Ellis Island before arriving in New York
Many immigrants have heard
stories that the streets of the
United States were paved with
Once in the United States, the
newcomers had to adjust their
dreams to reality. They
immediately set out to find
work. Through friends,
relatives, labor contractors, and
employment agencies they found
Immigrants adjusted to their new lives by settling in
neighborhoods with their own ethnic group. An ethnic group is
a group of people who share a common culture. Within these
ethnic neighborhoods, newcomers spoke of their own language
and celebrated special holidays with food prepared as in the old
Religion stood at the center
of immigrant family life.
Houses of worship sprang
up in most neighborhoods.
They brought at the groups
In their effort to adapt, many immigrants
sometimes blended their native tongues with
English. They became part of a new culture.
The process of becoming part of another
culture is called assimilation.
Many Americans opposed the increase in
immigration. They felt the newcomers were too
different. They wanted to limit immigration
and preserve the country for native born white
Protestants. These people were called nativists.
Many nativists resented the new immigrants
because they took jobs for low pay away from
working Americans.
One of the cultures that the nativists targeted
was the Chinese. The Chinese immigrants
helped build the railroads. Most Chinese
people lived in cities in an area called
Chinatown. Most Americans didn’t
understand why the Chinese would learn
American ways. As the numbers of Chinese
moved into the United States. Prejudice and
violence against them began to increase.
Congress responded to the violence aimed
at the Chinese by passing the Chinese
Exclusion Act of 1882. Under it, no
Chinese laborer could enter the United
States. In addition, no Chinese living in the
United States could return once they left of
the country.
What were the
causes and effects
of an expanded
educational system?
5. Education and Culture
Before 1870, fewer than half of the American children went to
school. Many who did attend went to one room schoolhouses with
only one teacher. Oftentimes, several students shared a single
As industry grew after the Civil War, the nation needed an
educated work force. As a result, state’s improve public schools at
all levels. By 1900, they were 4,000 programs serving children
between the ages of three and seven across the nation.
In the North, most states have laws that require
children to attend school, usually through the sixth
grade. In the south, the Freedman’s Bureau built
grade schools for both African Americans and white
students. However, most schools in the south were
segregated, or separate.
The typical school day lesson from 8:00 AM to
4:00 PM. Students learn the three R’s which
were reading writing and arithmetic.
Schools emphasized obedience to and discipline. After
1870, many cities and towns build public high schools. The
1900, the United States had 6,000 high schools. Higher
education also expanded.
Both men and women and went to school. Many states
built universities that offered free and low cost
education. However, for women, African Americans
and others, opportunity for college of education will
often limited.
George Lewis Ruffin
1st African American to
graduate Harvard Law School
As many more Americans learn to read in the late 1880’s eighties,
they read not only newspapers but books and magazines.
Magazines such as the Ladies Home Journal appealed to the
middle class women articles about famous people in stores are
well known authors.
Paperback books became popular in the
1800’s. Best-selling novels were often
called Dime Novels.
Horatio Alger, a popular writer, produced
more than 100 dime novels for children.
Most told the story of a poor boy who
becomes rich and respected through hard
work, look, and honesty.
These low price paperbacks offered the related ensure
stories. These novels offered Hope that even the poorest
person could become rich as successful in the United States.
As cities grew, the numbers of newspapers grew
dramatically. People were very much interested in
reading newspapers. The newspapers reported the
major events of the day. If reported government,
business, fashion, and sports.
Joseph Pulitzer and William Randolph Hearst were the
most famous two writers of this period of time. They
wrote for a newspaper called The World.
Hearst presented scandals, crime
stories, and gossip. People coined
the phrase the term yellow
journalism for the sensational
reporting style of The World .
Joseph Pulitzer and
William Hearst
Women also became
journalists. Nellie Bly
pretended to be insane in
order to find out about
treatment of the
mentally ill. Her articles
about cruelty in mental
hospitals lead to changes
or reforms in these
The most famous and popular author of this
period was Samuel Clemens, better known by his
pen name, Mark Twain. Like many other
American writers, Mark Twain used to local
color to make his store is more realistic. Local
color refers to the speech and habits of a
particular region.
Twain wrote novels like The Adventures of Tom
Sawyer and the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.
Twain filled his novel with humor and adventure to
entertain his readers.
At the same time, he made a series point. In the
beginning of the novel, Huck Finn except slavery.
During this novel, Huck comes to respect him and
then decides that their friendship is more important
than in the unjust laws that enslaved Jim. Tom
Sawyer was a realist. A realist was a writer that
wanted to show the harsh side of life as it was.
This is
the end!