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Fueled primarily by the wave of immigrants from Europe and other parts of the world. A significant internal migration occurred during the late nineteenth century in America following the Civil War that was driven largely by men and women from rural areas and African Americans from the South who moved to cities on search of new economic

Immigrant Ghettos

Each ethnic group found themselves living in close proximity to each other, which created closed close-knit ethnic communities; this helped ease transition. Each group attempted to re-create many features of Old World into New; many things in that area were native to their culture.


As a response to the increased immigration in the 1840s, this philosophy reflected a fear that the US was being taken over by foreigners. It found a political expression in the American party (Know-Nothing party), which was founded in 1854 on a program of controlling immigration and requiring a longer naturalization period; the party was strongly anti-Catholic.

Urban Parks

Reflected the emergence of an "ordered vision" of urban growth led by the efforts of men like landscape designer Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux, who designed New York's Central Park in the 1850s.


Housing developments outside big cities, became huge in 1950's for their affordability and American Dream mentality.


Urban apartment buildings that served as housing for poor factory workers. Often poorly constructed and overcrowded.

Jacob Riis

A muckraker journalist who exposed the poverty of immigrants living in slums and tenements of the US. He was an immigrant who used photography and wrote a book "How the Other Half Lives" to shed light on the poverty that lurked under the Gilded Age.

Mass Transit

New York and other cities developed elevated railways starting in 1870. Electric trolley lines (1888) and subways (1897) soon followed.

Urban Machines

Political institutions that gained enormous influence. Owed its power to the chaotic growth of cities and the potential voting power of large immigrant communities. Lead by politicians known as a "boss." The boss's duty was to win votes and gain the support of his constituents, provided them with incentives such as resources and jobs. Machines made a large amount of money, very corrupt, but were very successful in modernizing cities.

Mass Merchandising

1890s A retailing strategy using moderate to low prices on large quantities of merchandise and lower levels of service to stimulate high turnover of products. Available to a broad market of people for the first time.

Department Stores

Best examples of the time were Macy's in NYC and Marshall Field's in Chicago - provided jobs and helped to bring on a new era of consumerism among the middle class.

Mail Order Catalogs

Catalogs from companies such as Montgomery Ward (1872) and Sears Roebuck (1886) brought retail merchandising to small towns and rural areas.


Growing prosperity caused many to come to see it as a necessary and beneficial part of life. Spending time in amusement parks, attending movies, and the growth of newspapers were results of this increase in free time.

Coney Island

Created as a way for working-class people to temporarily escape the hardships of working. It became an amusement park with rides and attractions that contrasted the grim realities many were living in. This amusement park shows how grim the lives of working class citizens were because they needed such an elaborate place to take their minds off their troubles.


A spectator sport that became popular when people had more time for leisurely activities.


A type of inexpensive variety show that first appeared in the 1870s, often consisting of comic sketches, song-and-dance routines, and magic acts.

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