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Jacob Riis

police reporter exposed problems of slums

reasons for urbanization

technological advances lead to less workers needed on farms
farm disasters

why immigrants moved to cities

cheapest & most convenient
mill & factory jobs for unskilled laborers

Americanization World

assimilate into dominant culture
by gov. & citizens
taught English & American history & gov., cooking, social etiquette

why moved from country to city

-inventions like reaper
-farms more effective but less workers needed
-workers moved to cities
-200,000 Southern blacks moved to cities- racism :violence & political oppression, economic hardship


o tenements- overcrowded & unsanitary
center of city
o outskirts
single family side to side houses
o 1879- NYC laws for minimum plumbing & ventilation standards
o vermin because threw trash through airshafts & nailed windows shut

mass transit

street cars- SF 1873
electric subways- Boston 1897


o public water works
o no indoor plumbing- water from street faucets
o filtration- 1870
o chlorination- 1908


o 1844- NYC salaried police force
o pickpockets & theives


o 1853 Cincinnati 1st paid fire dept.
o seldom water, kerosene lamps, candles, wooden buildings, firefighters volunteers
o replaced wood with bricks stone concrete
o automatic fire sprinkler
- great Chicago Fire
- SF 1906 Quake

Great Chicago Fire

over 24 hrs, 300 deaths, 100000 homeless, 3 sq mi, 200 million, 17500 buildings

SF Quake

4 days, 1000 deaths, 200000 homeless, 5 mi sq, 500 million, 28000 buildings

Social Gospel Movement

preached salvation through service to poor

settlement houses

founded by Charles Stover & Stanton Coit
community centers to assist in slums: education, culture, social services, sanitation, health, ESL,
ran by middle class educated women
Jane Addams- influential member
Locust Street Social Settlement- 1890 Janie Porter Barrett- 1st for blacks- Hampton, VA
spread middle class American values

immigrants to cities

African Americans
people from rural US

Gilded Age City Problems

• dirty cities- sanitation
• smell
• drinking water
• housing
• crime
• disease
• fires
lack of infrastructure
no sewers or gas lines

political machine

group controlling political party activity in city
benefits to voters and businesses for political and financial support

o cities had wards (3-4 blocks)
ward captains took care of people in their ward: jobs, food, coal
o groups of wards- had boss
voted for whoever boss says to- get whiskey
o business contract of businessmen with the political machine/boss, who controls politician

political boss

controls: municipal job, business licenses
built parks, sewers, hospitals, schools, orphanages
were immigrants who understood immigrant needs, not very educated


illegal use of political influence for personal gain

civil service

govt. administration


govt. jobs to supporters of elected

Rutherford B. Hayes

wanted reform, fired officials from NYC customhouse

James A. Garfield

independent presidential candidate- reformer

Chester A. Arthur

vice to Garfield- Stalwart turned reformer

Pendleton Civil Service Act

civil service position tests
more honest public administration but politicians turn to other sources for donations

Cleveland & Harrison

C for lower tarrifs
H for higher tariffs, won electoral vote

technology & change

skyscrapers, electric transit, bridges, parks, printing revolution, photography, planes,consumerism, farming technology, phones, steel eye beam, plumbing clay pipes, cash register, bikes, practical curriculum, light bulb & electricity


elevators & internal steel skeletons
o Louis Sullivan
designed Wainwright building, St. Louis, 1890-91
o Daniel Burnham
1285 ft tower 1902 NYC

printing revolution

o 1890- 90% literate
o mills- cheap paper from wood pulp
o could print on both sides simultaneously
o machine cut folded counted pages while printing on paper roll
o cheaper newspapers- news spread


o Orville & Wilbur Wright- bike manufacturers
o 1st successful flight- 1903 - 12 seconds, 120 ft
o extended to 24 miles
o 1920- US transcontinental air mail service

engineering & urban planning

o steel cable suspension bridges- Brooklyn bridge
walk along bridge- inspired urban planning
o Frederick Law Olmstead- landscape architect
1857 Greensward/ central park nyc- tennis, zoo biking trails
drew Boston park plans- Emerald Necklace


o mail order catalog- sears
o rural free delivery- RFD
o department & chain stores
o advertising
• shopping centers

electricity & lightbulb

o able to work more & nightlife
o many of the technological devices


disease spread control

education expansion

• settlement houses
• literacy for information
• wanted to assimilate immigrants
• laws- have to attend school, 16 weeks a year for 6 weeks
• more jobs required education
• expansion in management
o more jobs required education
• German research universities brought to US (with previously religious)
o makes for practical studies in universities


o theater: vaudeville
o amusement parks
o biking
o baseball, boxing

Booker T Washington

everyone economic buildup- make $ sharecropping
improving black economic skills

W.E.B. Du Bois

let top 20% of blacks lead the way
wanted immediate black rights

honest graft

inside knowledge of development plans
knows railroad route- buys cheap land near it
sells to CA for triple price

dishonest graft

$484 toilet seat
gov. contractors- $280 hammer

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