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Chapter 25 - America Moves to the City 1865-1900




The Urban Frontier

  • Cities grew massively in and out-->skycraper and transit lines; different districts for business, industry, and residential neighborhoods-->segregation by race, ethnicity, and social class
  • Industrial jobs drew people off their farms and into factory centers; Other Attractions=glitter of city lights, electricity, indoor plumbing, telephones, engineering marvels(skyscraper, Brooklyn Bridge)
  • Department stores attracted urban middle-class shoppers and provided urban working-class jobs, many for women, heralded consumerism and widened class divisions
  • Move to the city introduced Americans to new ways of living
  • Crimnals flourished, sanitary facilities could not keep up with explosion of population, impure water, uncollected garbage, unwashed bodies, droppings from draft animals caused nasty stench
  • Cities monuments of contradictions-->full of constrasting styles
  • Slums worst of all-->really crowded, filthy, rat-infested(esp after perfection of "dumbell" tenement), several families sardined together

Southern Europe Uprooted

  • The population of Europe nearly doubled in the century after 1800 due to abundant supplies of fish and grain from America and the widespread cultivation of Europe.
  • Many Europeans left Europe because the population was vastly increasing and there was basically no room left.
  • They did this because American was seen as a land of great opportunity.
  • This was beneficial to profit-seeking Americans because they wanted low-wage labor, passengers in the steamboats, and states wanted more population.
  • Europeans also seeked religious freedom.

Reactions to the New Immigration

  • Trading jobs and services for votes, a powerful boss might claim the loyalty of thousands of followers.
  • One woman who was deeply dedicated to uplifting the urban masses was Jane Addams, who was one of the first generation of college-educated women. She established Hull House, the most prominent American settlement.
  • The women of Hull House successfully lobbied in 1893 for an Illinois antisweatshop law that protected women workers and prohibited child labor.

Narrowing the Welcome Mat

  • The new immigrants have came for mostly the same reasons as the old, to seek new opportunity, escape poverty and squalor of Europe. Nativists viewed these new waves of europian immagrants as a horde and often gave them a rude reception. The new wave came as a surprise as the birthrate increased and many became upset.
  • Native Americans voiced additional fears. they blamed the immigrants for the degradation of urban government. trade unionists assailed the alien arrivals for their willingness to work for starvation. wages that seemed to them like princely sums and for importing their intellectual baggage such dangerious doctrines as socialism. communism and anarchism.
  • Many business leaders, who had welcomed the flood of cheat manual labor began to fear that they had embraed a frankeinstiens monster.
  • Many unions were created and many argued that if business recieved rights, so should its workers because after all, they are people. people protected by the constitution.

Churches Confront the Urban Challenge

  • Protestant churches suffered significantly from the population move to the cities, where many of their traditional doctrines and pastoral approaches seemed irrelevant.
  • Many churches suffered heavily from the switch to cities, where their preachings seemed irrelevant.
  • Larger houses of worship became mere forms of entertainment with their stained glass windows and pipe organs.
  • A new generation of urban revivalists stepped into this spreading moral vacuum. Dwight Lyman Moody, a Protestant evangelist, proclaimed a gospel of kindness and forgiveness. He contributed to adapting the old-time religion to the facts of city life. The Moody Bible Institute was founded in Chicago in 1889 to carry out his work.
  • Roman Catholic and Jewish faiths were gaining enormous strength from the New Immigration.
  • By 1890, there were over 150 religious denominations in the United States. (YMCA-Young Men’s Christian Associations and YWCA- Young Women’s Christian Association)
  • The, Church of Christ Scientist was founded in 1879 by Mary Baker Eddy who preached that the true practice of Christianity heals sickness.

Darwin Disrupts the Churches

  • Charles Darwins theory on evolution created many rifts in the church. Old clergymen being thrown out of office and biology teachers being fired for teaching evolution.

The Lust for Learning

  • public education continued its upward climb. the ideal of tax-supported elementary schools, adopted on a nationwide basis before the civil war, was still gathering strength. Americans were accepting the truism that a free government cannot function sucessfully if the people are shackled by ignorance.
  • 1870, more and more states were making at least a grade school education compulsory and this gain helped check the frightful abuses of child labor.
  • 1880's and 1890's the spread of high schools developed. before the civil war, it was common to have private schools and tax supported schools were rare. now a grade school education was the birthright of every citizen.
  • Free textbooks being provided by taxpayers, teacher-training schools expanded, kindergartens gained support, New Immigration brought vast new strength to private Catholic parochial schools
  • public schools however excluded millions of adults-->partially remedied by the Chautauqua movement:organizers achieved success through nationwide public lectures, extensive courses of home study
  • Crowded cities provided better educational facilities
  • illiteracy rate fell from 20% to 10.7%

Booker T. Washington and Education for Black People

  • The South lagged far behind other regions in public education, and African-Americans suffered the most.
  • The leading champion of black education was ex-slave Booker T. Washington. He taught in 1881 at the black normal and industrial school at Tuskegee, Alabama. His self-help approach to solving the nation's racial problems was labeled "accommodationist” because it stopped short of directly challenging white supremacy. Washington avoided the issue of social equality instead he grudgingly acquiesced in segregation in return for the right to develop the economic and educational resources of the black community.
  • George Washington Carver taught and researched at Tuskegee Institute in 1896. He became an internationally famous agricultural chemist.
  • Black leaders, including Dr. W.E.B. Du Bois, attacked Booker T. Washington because Washington condemned the black race to manual labor and perpetual inferiority. Du Bois helped to form the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) in 1910.

The Hallowed Halls of ivy

  • After the Civil War many new colleges sprung up and more women and blacks went to college
  • The Morril Act of 1862 was much to blame. it provided grants.
  • Hatch Act of 1887 extended this, providing federal funds for establishments of agricultural experiment stations.
  • philanthropy richly supplemented federal grants to higher education.
  • there was an increase in professional and tech schools

The March of the Mind

  • Demand for "practical" courses and specialized training in the sciences
  • Elective system(students choose more courses in cafeteria fashion) gaining popularity
  • Medical schools and medical science prospered-->improved public health
  • New health-promoting precautions led to life expectancy at birth to increase
  • William James-->many writings, made deep mark on many fields(religion, psychology, pragmatism, history of philosophy)​​

Apostles of Reform

  • Magazines partially satisfied the public appetite for good reading.
  • Possibly the most influential journal of all was the New York Nation. Started in 1865 by Edwin L. Godkin, it ccalled for civil-service reform, honesty in government, and a moderate tariff.
  • Henry George, another journalistic author, wrote the book Progress and Poverty in 1879.

Literary Landmarks

  • more writers began relating their literary work to some of the realism of an industrial society. such as mark twain, stephen crane, bret harte, william dean howells and chopin

Families and Women in the City

  • The stress of urban life on families led to the "divorce revolution"
  • In the city more kids meant more mouths to feed so the average family size decreased rapidly and the birthrate went down.
  • Charlotte Perkins Gilman called for woman to leave there roles of dependency and to go out and become an active part of the economy.
  • Women had been fighting for womens suffrage since before the Civil War, in their newest fight they said that women needed to be able to vote because they ran the household and who better to know what was needed for the people when they took care of the people.
  • The womens suffrage movement however excluded black females because they were afraid it would compromise there efforts if blacks were to join.
  • Black women created their own womens movement.

Prohibition of Alcohol and Social Progress

  • temperance reformers doubled and many blamed alcohol for society's wrongdoings and believed it should be banned. liquor consumption had increased during the nerve racking days of the civil war and immigrant groups acccustomed to alcohol in the old country, were hostile to restraints on it. whisky loving foreigners in boston would rudely hiss temperance lecturers.
  • The national prohibition party organized in 1869, polled a sprinkling of votes in some of the ensuing presidential elections. among the favorite songs of these sober souls were "ill marry no man if he drinks", "vote down the vile traffic", and "the drunkard's doom"
  • Woman's Christian Temperance Union organized in 1874 by Frances E. Willard, Carrie A. Nation=deranged, carried a hatchet smashing saloon bottles and bars
  • AntiSaloon League formed in 1893
  • statewide prohibition temporary triumph in 1919 by 18th amendment
  • The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals was created in 1866; American Red Cross launched in 1881

Artistic Triumphs

  • Music and portrait painting was gaining popularity. The phonograph, invented by Thomas Edison, enabled the reproduction of music by mechanical means

The Business of Amusement

  • The circus, coming from the American demand for fun, emerged in the 1880s. 
  • Baseball was also emerging as the national pastime, and in the 1870s a professional league was formed.
  • Basketball was invented in 1891 by James Naismith.
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