The Gilded Age

The Rise of Urban America

The Growth of Cities
In 1860, only 16 cities had populations over 50,000 By 1890:
11 cities had populations over 250,000 Chicago and Philadelphia were over 1,000,000 New York approaching 3,500,000 One in three Americans lived in a city

Emergence of Cities - 1880

Emergence of Cities - 1920

Patterns of Urban Growth
Traditional – New York
Mixed use neighborhoods – all classes present
Industry Commercial Residential

Dictated by limited/expensive intercity transport

Ring and Center – Chicago
Industrial, commercial, residential areas segregated
Industry & commerce on spokes Residential filled in between the spokes

Residential filled three distinct rings
Inner ring, truly poor Middle ring, working class Outer ring, middle class

Rich carved out their own enclaves (Nob Hill in Boston; Highland Park in Dallas)

Street Scenes

New York – 1914

Chicago - 1906

Factors Driving Immigration
Discontent with situation in Europe
Political, economic, social

Encouragement by U.S. interests
Railroads & industry States & Territories

The “American Dream”
2nd Industrial revolution was strongest draw Promise of opportunity

Three Distinct Waves of Immigration
Wave 1 (1815-1860)
5,000,000 Britain & Ireland

Wave 2 (1860-1890)
10,000,000 Germany, Scandinavia, Switzerland, Holland

Wave 3 (1890-1914)
15,000,000 Italy, Greece, Austria-Hungary, Russia, Rumania, Turkey

Immigrants Arriving in New York 1906

Problems of Urban Growth
Overcrowding Disease Backlash, social unrest Class conflict Pressure on city/government services

The “Teeming Masses”
1890 population density (New York)
NYC - 60.08/acre Manhattan - 114.53/acre 10th ward - 522.0/acre

1890 population density (New York)
NYC - 38,451/sq.mile Manhattan - 73,299/aq. mile 10th ward - 334,080/sq. mile

Number of persons per dwelling
NYC (1880) 16.37 London (1881) 7.9 Boston (1880) 8.26

Anti-immigration sentiments are typically justified with one or more of the following arguments, claiming that immigrants:
Language: Isolate themselves in their own communities and refuse to learn the local language. Employment: “Steal” jobs from native citizens. Nationalism: Damage a sense of community and nationality. Consumption: Increase the consumption of scarce resources. Welfare: Make heavy use of social welfare systems. Overpopulation: May sometimes overpopulate countries Ethnicity: Can swamp a native population and replace its culture with their own.

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