Skyscrapers and Suburbs
Between 1870 and 1900, cities expanded upward and outward on a base of new technologies including metal-frame skyscrapers, electric elevators, streetcar systems, and outlying green suburbs. Cities were no longer "walking cities." As the middle class moved out, immigrants and working class came in, creating urban slums. The city produced what was an increasingly stratified and fragmented society
Tenements and Privies
Immigrants from abroad joined rural Americans in search of jobs in the nation's cities. These newcomers to the city were often forced to live in hastily constructed and overcrowded tenement houses such as the "dumbbell tenement". Privies also made the city smell bad.
Strangers in a New Land
The "new" immigrants, most from southern and eastern Europe, mostly poor, unskilled, non-Protestant laborers clung to their native languages, religions, and cultural traditions to endure the economic and social stresses of industrial capitalism. Much of mainstream society found these "new immigrants" troubling, resulting in a rise in anti-immigrant feeling and activity
Immigrants and the City
Immigrant families were mostly close-knit nuclear families, and they tended to marry within their own ethnic groups. They depended on immigrant associations for their social safety net, native language newspapers for their news and political views, and community-based churches and schools. The Deutsch-Amerikanischer Nationalbund was largest Immigrant Assocciation.
The House that Tweed Built
Political "machines" provided some needed services for these immigrants while also enriching themselves by exploiting the dependency of the cities' new residents. William "Boss" Tweed and his Tammany Hall in New York was the most infamous of the political machines. Tweed made the Tweed Ring which cost New York Millions of dollars.
Manners and More
Victorian morality, epitomized by strict rules of dress, manners, and sexual behavior, set the tone for the era, but often declined in the face of social change brought on by industrialization and urbanization. There were vast differences in the manners and mores in each class. These differences often caused social tension as the former tried to control the behavior of the latter.
Leisure and Entertainment
This period saw the rise of organized spectator sports, which supplemented traditional leisure activities such as concerts, fairs, the circus, and even croquet(First sport allowed for both sexes). Technology brought a variety of new forms of leisure and entertainment, and the use of gas and electric street lights ensured that fewer people stayed home at night
Changes in Family Life
Economic changes also produced new roles for women and the family. Working-class families rarely toiled together, but did maintain the strong ties needed to survive the urban industrial struggle. Middle-class women and children became more isolated, and homemakers attempted to construct a sphere of domesticity as a haven from rampaging materialism. Families, especially White families, became smaller as the birthrate fell dramatically.
Changing Views: A growing Assertiveness Among Women
Americans also began to change their views about women, demonstrating a limited but growing acceptance of the "new woman." Important changes included a rise in working and career women, more liberalized divorce laws, an increasingly frank discussion of sexuality, and a growing women's rights movement.
Educating the Masses
With the development of childhood as a distinct time of life, Americans placed greater emphasis on education as the means by which individuals were prepared for life and work in an industrial world. Schools instituted a structured curriculum, a longer school day, and new educational techniques that varied according to the gender of the student. The South lagged behind in such educational changes primarily because of its Jim Crow laws.
Colleges grew in number, expanded in size, broadened their curriculum, developed the first American graduate schools, and provided more educational opportunities for women. They provided few prospects for African Americans and other minorities, however, forcing men like W.E.B. Du Bois and Booker T. Washington, who differed in their methods, to develop independent schools to train Black students.
Progress and Poverty
Henry George launched critical studies of the new urban America with his book. While his reforms were not adopted, many began to ask the same questions and recognize, as George did, the need for reform.
New Currents in Social Thought
Social thinkers challenged the tenets of "Social Darwinism," arguing the importance of environmental influences on people's behavior, the exploitation of labor by a "predatory" business class that was allowed by laissez-faire economic policies, and the societal value of cooperation over competition. Churches established missions in the inner-cities and began to preach the "Social Gospel" to encourage those with means to help those in need.
The Settlement Houses
These were community centers located in poor urban districts of major cities. Single, young, college-educated women usually ran them. They tried to Americanize immigrant families and provided social services and a political voice for their neighborhoods.
A Crisis in Social Welfare
In responding to the depression of 1893, professional social workers introduced new methods of providing assistance that would also allow them to study the poor in order to alleviate their condition. Such efforts approached poverty as a social problem rather than an individual shortcoming.
This women made the most famous settlement houses, Hull House, in Chicago providing social services and practical education to those they served, most of whom were poor immigrants.
American Protective Association
American nativists, who disliked Catholics and minority groups, organized this Association in 1887 trying to limit immigration and block the upward mobility of newly arrived "new" immigrants.
He wrote the utopian novel "Looking Backward" in 1887. The book envisioned America in the future as a completely socialized society where all were equal.
new class of professional social workers who emerged in the late nineteenth century. They were dedicated to studying and alleviating the conditions of the poor.
1873, prohibited the mailing or transporting of "obscene, lewd, or lascivious" articles. It was interpreted to apply to information on birth control, and birth control advocate Margaret Sanger was arrested for violating it.
W.E.B. Du Bois
more militant spokesman for blacks at the turn of the twentieth century. He was a founder of the NAACP and editor of its journal, "The Crisis."
He wrote "Progress and Poverty" in 1879. It was an attack on the maldistribution of wealth in the United States. He advocated a single tax on land as the solution to the growing gap between rich and poor.
was the most influential preacher of the Social Gospel. Though he was not a socialist, he nevertheless called for government regulation of industry and other economic and social reforms.
Dwight L Moody
a lay evangelist who urged slum dwellers to cast aside their sinful ways. He preached that faith in God would enable the poor to transcend the material difficulties of life.
These Americans were strongly against the flood of the new immigrants, denouncing minority groups.
This group of people in the late nineteenth century came predominantly from southern and eastern Europe. They came in unprecedented numbers and were usually poor, non-Protestant peasants.
loose-knit neighborhood organizations headed by antireform and often corrupt politicians. They often provided useful services for their constituents, usually immigrants ignorant of democratic processes, in return for political support.
wrote "How the Other Half Lives" to expose the unhealthy conditions of tenement life in New York City.
The "fittest" business or individual would succeed if left unrestricted. Adopted from Charles Darwins theory of evolution to businesses.
preached by many urban Protestant ministers, focused on improving living conditions for the urban poor and save their souls. They advocated civil-service reform, child-labor laws, government regulation of big business, and a graduated income tax.
leading architect of skyscrapers in the late nineteenth century, stressed the need for building designs that followed function. His works combined beauty, modest cost, and efficient use of space.
William Graham Sumner
academic advocate of social Darwinism in the United States. He contended that government action or reform efforts to aid the poor or weak tampered with the laws of nature, interfered in evolution, and sapped the species.
William M Tweed
a New York City commissioner, headed Tammany Hall, the city's powerful Democratic party machine. He was eventually tried, convicted, and jailed for fraud.
a late-nineteenth-century economist, accused big business and government of corrupting higher education by stressing practical over humanistic values, and using universities for business and political purposes
Booker T Washington
a former slave who founded Tuskegee Institute in Alabama in 1881. He believed blacks could advance by their own efforts and white help, and by accommodating white prejudice. Whites considered him a "reasonable" spokesman of black interests in America.