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In your composition book… 1. Describe the scene presented in this 1911 painting of New York City. What are the features of urban life that it emphasizes? 2. What does this work suggest about daily life in cities like New York?
I. The New Metropolis A. The Shape of the Industrial City 1. Mass Transit a) As cities grew larger, technology assisted residents and visitors with travel 1. electric trolley system -Richmond, VA (1887) 2. Chicago and New York City had elevated railroads 3. Boston had an underground line (1897) b) railroads contributed to the growth of the “suburb, ” areas on the outskirts of city where wealthy lived, known as “commuters” (URBAN SPRAWL) c) working class lived near city centers where they worked; telephone (1876) connected suburban people to the cities.
Alexander Graham Bell • March th, 10 1876
2. Skyscrapers a) Steel, glass, and elevators changed buildings in downtown areas b) skyscrapers were expensive but a good use of small amounts of land c) the ten-story Home Insurance Building (1885) in Chicago was the first skyscraper.
3. The Electric City a) Gas lamps were too dim to brighten city streets b) invention of the incandescent bulb in 1879 changed urban life, as night time was now illuminated c) urban life appeared safer and more appealing.
Thomas Edison "To all whom it may concern: Be it known that I, Thomas Alva Edison, of Menlo Park, in the State of New Jersey, United States of America, have invented an improvement on Electric Lamps, and in the method of manufacturing the same, (Case No. 186, ) of which the following is a specification. The object of this invention is to produce electric lamps giving light by incandescence, which lamps shall have high resistance, so as to allow of the practical subdivision of the electric light. " -Patent granted on Jan. 27 th, 1880
I. The New Metropolis B. Newcomers and Neighborhoods 1. Ethnic neighborhoods a) Immigrants generally lived among people of shared ethnicity: Irish in Boston, Swedes in Minneapolis, and Italians in northeastern and Mid-Atlantic cities b) settled in neighborhoods where churches, shops, and schools met their cultural needs. 2. African Americans a) At the turn of the century, 90 percent of black Americans lived in the South, but many were moving from rural to urban areas b) in northern cities, they faced discrimination and violence; race riots occurred in several northern cities (NY City, NY, 1900; Evansville, IN, 1903; and Springfield, IL, 1908).
3. Tenements a) Five- or six-story buildings that provided cheap housing for twenty or more families in cramped, airless apartments b) fostered rampant disease and horrific infant mortality c) New York’s Tenement House Law of 1901 required interior courts, indoor toilets, and fire safety measures for new buildings.
I. The New Metropolis C. City Cultures 1. Urban Amusements a) One enticing attraction was vaudeville theater, which arose in the 1880 s and 1890 s: patrons paid twenty-five cents to watch live entertainment b) appealed to all classes; paid a nickel for movies at the early movie theaters, or nickelodeons c) more spectacular were the amusement parks (ex: Coney Island, NY), where people rode the roller coasters, ate, and danced.
2. Ragtime and City Blues a) Ragtime music by African American artists with a “ragged rhythm” became extremely popular among audiences of all classes and races, drawn to the excitement of its infectious rhythms—a decisive break with Victorian hymns and parlor songs b) Scott Joplin was most famous performer c) New York had more than five hundred dance halls by 1910 d) The “blues” became popular in New York City, taken from African American folk music.
3. Sex and the City a) Amusement parks and theaters provided opportunities for dating that had not existed in previous generations b) was less parental supervision in the city c) for some, exchanging sexual favors for the date (so-called charity girls) d) gay subculture developed in urban areas with underground clubs; term queer was used by 1910.
I. The New Metropolis C. City Cultures (cont. ) 4. High Culture a) Art and natural history museums, libraries, and symphonies grew out of wealthy patrons’ interests and donations b) Andrew Carnegie spent more than $32. 7 million to establish over a thousand libraries nationwide.
5. Urban Journalism a) Interest increased in reading about current events, human-interest stories, sports, fashion, and high society b) the arrival of Sunday color comics featuring the “Yellow Kid” gave such publications the name yellow journalism, a derogatory term for mass-market newspapers c) sensationalism grew as owners competed for sales (Joseph Pulitzer and William Randolph Hearst) d) papers played an increasing role in investigating corruption in government e) “muckrakers”: negative term for those newspaper reporters accused of drawing too much attention to negative stories.
II. Governing the Great City A. Urban Machines 1. Tammany Hall a) Well-organized political party organizations were referred to as “political machines”; viewed as corrupt b) New York’s infamous Tammany Society—known by the name of its meeting place, Tammany Hall—was led by George Washington Plunkitt, who made deals for city contracts and services c) he favored what he called the “honest graft” —the profits that came to savvy insiders who knew where and when to buy land d) middle-class Americans were critical of immigrants’ support for political machines, but immigrants needed the jobs and aid that they provided in exchange for their political support.
2. Successes and failures a) Machine-style governments achieved some notable successes b) built and/or improved public parks and markets, paved streets, brought clean water and gaslight, and removed garbage c) led to better organized municipal agencies d) achieved massive public projects such as aqueducts, sewage systems, bridges, and spacious parks; however, machines were limited in what the “boss” could do to stop widespread poverty e) could help the individual, but not the bigger causes of the problems.
According to this cartoonist, how do “cities invite the cholera”?
II. Governing the Great City B. The Limits of Machine Government 1. The Depression of the 1890 s a) Cities struggled to deal with the extreme growth in population b) during 1890 s, unemployment reached 25 percent in some urban areas c) homelessness and hunger increased; middle-class reformers encouraged private charity rather than public assistance d) urban voters became radicalized by the poverty, forcing politicians to make changes to their programs (ex: Cleveland’s mayoral race).
2. Programs a) Some American mayors began to model programs after European successes a) b) c) d) e) f) g) public baths Gyms swimming pools Playgrounds free public concerts lowering fares for street car travel efforts to reduce crime and increase municipal ownership of gas and electricity.
III. Crucibles of Progressive Reform A. Fighting Dirt and Vice 1. Cleaning Up Urban Environments a) Late nineteenth-century Europeans began to understand how to prevent disease, even if they could not yet cure b) understood germs and bacteria; began major initiative for clean water in urban areas of Massachusetts c) were able to decrease the number of deaths from cholera, typhoid, and yellow fever d) hygiene reformers made efforts to teach hand-washing to urban residents to fight tuberculosis e) public health movement also worked to clean up pollution, passing smoke-abatement laws f) “City Beautiful” movement advocated more and better urban park spaces, gardens, skating rinks, playgrounds, etc.
2. Closing Red Light Districts a) Concerns about the threat of white slavery (allegations that white women were being kidnapped into sex industry) were overstated but led to reform efforts b) investigations found a complex reality: women entered prostitution as a result of many factors, including lowwage jobs, economic desperation, abandonment, and often sexual and domestic abuse c) efforts made to reduce the demand for prostitutes (by arresting and punishing men) were unpopular d) Mann Act (1910) prohibited the transport of prostitutes across state lines e) the crusade against prostitution closed brothels, but in the long term it worsened conditions for women who continued to work in the sex industry.
III. Crucibles of Progressive Reform B. The Movement for Social Settlements 1. Hull House a) Settlement houses were viewed as one of the most successful reforms of the Progressive Era b) most famous settlement was in Chicago, started by Jane Addams and Ellen Gates Starr (1889), modeled after a London settlement, Toynbee Hall c) provided a community center to aid immigrants in gaining the resources they needed to survive in the city; helped give the community a voice d) offered a bathhouse, playground, kindergarten, and day care center; in some cities, settlements were linked to or worked with colleges/universities to offer education.
2. Resources and influence a) Opened libraries, gymnasiums, savings banks, and cooperative kitchens b) provided assistance in employment and investigations of problems in local communities (ex: helped establish juvenile court in Chicago) c) settlements were the foundation of social work in urban areas.
III. Crucibles of Progressive Reform C. Cities and National Politics 1. Triangle Shirtwaist fire a) On March 25, 1911, in New York City, fire spread quickly through the Triangle Shirtwaist textile factory b) panicked workers discovered that employers had locked the emergency doors to prevent theft (in violation of city fire laws) c) dozens of workers, mostly young immigrant women, were trapped in flames; the average of the 146 people who died was just nineteen. 2. Resulting reforms a) New York State appointed a factory commission that created fifty-six laws dealing with such issues as fire hazards, unsafe machinery, and wages and working hours for women and children; the labor code that resulted was the most advanced in the United States.