AP US History – Lesson # 19

AP US History – Lesson # 18
The Age of The City
I. The Urbanization of America
A. The Lure of The City
1. city population increases 7 fold from 1865 – 1900
2. by 1920 majority of people live in cities (2,500 people or more)
3. NY goes from 1 mil to 3 mil from 1860 to 1900
4. Chicago goes from 100,000 to 1 mil from 1860 to 1900
B. Reasons for Migration to the City
1. Young rural women came for new opportunities
2. Southern African-Americans sought low paying industrial jobs
(over 30 cities had communities of over 10,000 or more by 1900)
3. 10 million immigrants came from 1860 – 1890
4. 18 million immigrants came from 1890 – 1920
 By 1890 87% of Chicagoans were immigrants
 By 1890 80% of New Yorkers were immigrants
 By 1890 84% of people in Milwaukee and Detroit
C. The Rise of Nativism
1. 1882 – Chinese Exclusion Act – restricts Chinese immigration
2. 1887 – Henry Bowers founded American Protective Association
(reached 500,000 by 1894)
3. 1897 – Congress passed a literacy requirement for immigrants
(vetoed by Pres. Cleveland)
II. The Changing Urban landscape
A. The Creation of Public Space
1. Frederick Law Olmstead created Central park in NYC.
2. Daniel Burnham began the “city beautiful” movement with “Great
White City” in 1893 Chicago’s Columbian Exposition
3. The Back Bay reclaimed marshy lands in Boston, Wash. and Chicago
B. Housing in the City
1. Created Fashionable Districts for Wealthy
 Fifth Ave. in NY
 Beacon Hill in Boston
 Lake Shore Drive in Chicago
2. Moderately well off moved to suburbs
3. Poor lived in tenements that were unlivable in many cases
C. The onset of the “Skyscraper”
1. allowed neighborhoods to extend up rather than out
2. resulted from the inventions of steel, the elevator and electricity
3. buildings could reach amazing heights because of skeleton structure
4. became the symbol of the new American wealth
D. Strains of Urban Life
1. Great fires (meaning large) in Chicago and Boston – 1871
2. San Francisco (1906)– Completely destroyed because of earthquake
3. proper disposal of human and industrial waste as a constant problem
4. By 1912 federal government created Public Heath Service to deal with
air pollution and create health standards for all cities
5. Crime rate rose from 25 murders per million in 1880 to 100 by 1900
6. Sister Carrie by Theodore Dreiser exposed the dangers for single
females in large cities
E. The rise of the political machine
1. The Boss rule became the way for immigrants to take care of their own
2. The Boss would win votes in exchange for occasional relief
3. Machines were ways for politicians to make money illegally
4. Tammany Hall became symbol of corruption with Boss Tweed in
1860’s and George Plunkitt of 1880’s and 1890’s
5. Did result in benefit for cities
 Took care of immigrants
 Modernized city infrastructures
 Stabilized the social climate
 Forced an expanded role of government
III. The Rise of The Consumer Society
A. Chain store and mail order catalogs increase buying power
1. 1879 - F.W. Woolworth opens first store and builds a national chain
2. 1872 – Montgomery Ward begins a catalog of consumer goods
3. 1887 – Sears roebuck creates its own catalog in urban and rural areas
B. Leisure becomes an accepted part of daily life
1. Mass entertainment becomes large part of social fabric
 Public parks like Coney Island and Steeplechase park
 Baseball, college football and horseracing become popular
 Vaudeville becomes popular in cities
 Movies become a popular medium (Birth of a Nation in 1915)
2. High culture
 Social Realism was theme in literature – Red Badge of Courage by
Stephen Crane
 Ashcan School – exploring of urban life in art – John Singer
 Growth of Anthropology and Psychology
 Growth of universal schooling