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Chapter 20: The Rise of the Urban Order

by: Jenise Jackson-Myers

Chapter 20: The Rise of the Urban Order HIST 1379

Marketplace > University of Houston > History > HIST 1379 > Chapter 20 The Rise of the Urban Order
Jenise Jackson-Myers

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About this Document

These are notes from Chapter 20 and its corresponding Learnsmart activity from U.S.: A Narrative History, Vol. 2: since 1865, 7th ed. (McGraw Hill, 2012)
The United States Since 1877
James Schafer
Class Notes
HIST 1379, LearnSmart, Chapter 20, The Rise of the Urban Order
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This 8 page Class Notes was uploaded by Jenise Jackson-Myers on Thursday February 4, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to HIST 1379 at University of Houston taught by James Schafer in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 87 views. For similar materials see The United States Since 1877 in History at University of Houston.


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Date Created: 02/04/16
The Rise of the Urban Order  In the new urban society, a woman was judged by the state of her home o The typical homemaker prepared elaborate meals, cleaned, laundered, and sewed o Perhaps 25% of urban households had live-in servants to help with work; they were on call about 100 hours a week and were off but one evening and part of Sunday ($2 to $5 a week in salary on average) o “A clean, fresh, and well-ordered house exercises over its inmates a moral, no less than physical influence, and has a direct tendency to make members of the family sober, peaceable, and considerate of the feelings and happiness of each other.”  Urban forms of entertainment such as operas, symphonies, and the theater that were most closely associated with the upper and middle classes were referred to as highbrow  “Chain stores” spread the culture of consumption without frills o Catered to the working class who could not afford department stores o Operated on a cash-and-carry basis o Owners kept costs down by buying in volume to fill the small stores in growing neighborhood chains o Great Atlantic and Pacific Tea Company (1859; later A&P supermarkets) was the first of chain stores  The Comstock Law prohibited the delivery of pornography (materials “designed” to incite lust”) by the U.S. Post Office o Signed by President Ulysses S. Grant in 1873 o Anthony Comstock and others like him were not simply missionaries of a stuffy morality, they were apostles of a middle-class creed of social control responding to increasing incidence of alcoholism, venereal disease, gambling debts, prostitution, and unwanted pregnancies  As architects developed ways to make better use of increasingly scarce but highly valuable urban real estate, they eventually turned to steel, which proved capable of supporting tall structures, commonly known as “cloudscrapers” o Steel, with greater flexibility and strength than iron, turned cloudscrapers into skyscrapers  50% of the nation lived in cities large and small by 1910  After they were barred in the 1880s, black baseball players in New York created a team called the Cuban Giants, which identified their racial separateness as a culture difference rather than a division based on black and white o Organized spectator sports attracted crowds from every walk of life, baseball overshadowed all others though ; offered the chance to join thousands of others for an exciting outdoor spectacle o First professional teams appeared in 1869; teams from eight cities formed the National League of Professional Baseball Clubs in 1876, followed by the American League in 1901 o Before they were barred, teams featured black players but league players were distinctly working class  Political bosses such as George Washington Plunkitt regarded democracy primarily as petty business, as much a “business as the grocery or dry-goods or the drug business” o Buying votes and selling favors were the reason  New York’s political machine was known as Tammany Hall o Machines dated back to the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries o They began as fraternal and charitable organizations; over the years they became centers of political power  A Christmas turkey, a load of coal for the winter, jobs for the unemployed, English- language classes for recent immigrants, and sponsored sports teams, glee clubs, balls, and barbeques were all given by political bosses in order to get their votes from citizens at the ballot box  The majority of new immigrants to the US at the turn of the twentieth century were young (between 15-40), spoke few English or had few skills and education, and were mainly Catholic, Greek, or Russian Orthodox churches and Jewish synagogues  Public education, museums, libraries, and physical improvements in downtown settings were all a part of “city beautiful” movement that attempted to refine that behavior of citizens  By 1900 just over one-third of urban middle-class residents were homeowners  Three primary ways in which political bosses changed the cities o Guided immigrants into American life and helped some of the underprivileged up from poverty o Changed the urban landscape with a massive construction program o They modernized city government by uniting it and making it perform along with choosing city leaders  Victorian beliefs held that women should be seen as “pure vessels” with chaste sexual mores, in complete opposition to Victorian men, who possessed uncontrollable lust  In the late nineteenth century, the growing middle class in cities accounted for one- third of the country’s population and owned about one-half of its wealth, demonstrating the powerful role of the middle class in changing America’s overall economic development  One organization that evangelists helped establish in the United States to help the urban poor was the Salvation Army  In the 1880s the Montgomery Ward mail-order catalog listed about 10,000 items  James E. Ware’s tenement model was originally hailed as an innovation  With the increased need for managerial, technical, and other skills in American urban society, and many colleges and universities were set up as the result of the Morrill Act passed in 1862  Immigrant families sometimes made decisions that drew on their class and ethnic backgrounds in a way that took the family’s collective interest into account, rather than just that of the individual. Such decisions were part of the family economies  Bicycling craze of the late nineteenth century o Bike riding freed women from having to wear corsets o Bikes were expensive, some costing as much as $100 o The craze was fueled by the availability of new “safety” bikes with equal- sized wheels  Between 1870 and 1900, as the demand for training beyond college degree grew, the number of law schools and medical schools more than doubled nationwide  During the era of boss rule, graveyard votes was a notorious and unfair method used by political machines to win closely contested elections o Drew tombstone names to pad lists of registered voters  The “new” migration of the 1880s refers to immigration originating from southern and eastern Europe  With the help of technological and industrial advancements, garments that typically required hours to create by hand at home became available for purchase “ready- made”  The motivation behind most settlement workers’ decisions to leave comfortable homes and jobs to work among poor and needy immigrants in the city was a desire to improve the lives of their fellow human beings  One observer of the growing culture of mass consumption in America found that any person could walk into a department store and, with the right amount of money, purchase any product. This created a form of “democratized luxury”, because all goods were made equally available to all consumers with the necessary money  Loose sexual practices upset Victorian moralists because they did not conform to Victorian notions of female chastity  Temperance societies were initially created for the purpose of outlawing alcohol consumption  Before the modern flush toilet came into use after the turn of the century, water closets and communal privies were used, sometimes serving up to 800 people  Cities allowed people interested in same-sex relationships opportunities to meet others like themselves due to the anonymity afforded by large urban populations  The movement supporting public education in the United States began during the Jacksonian era but did not gain much support until after the Civil War  Frank Julian Sprague installed the first electric trolley line in Richmond, Virginia, in 1888, leading to a breakthrough in urban transit  Circuses radiated outward from major cities to other regions of the country and eventually around the world  As cities grew and multiplied throughout the US, cities began to specialize in the production they produced  An important way immigrants strengthened ethnic communities was through publishing newspapers in their own language  By 1880 some 7,500 Chinese men in San Francisco worked in laundries, which were typically shunned by men from other ethnic groups  The 1906 San Francisco earthquake provided an opportunity for resourceful Chinese immigrants to forge birth certificates and create “paper” sons and daughters, who were born in China but were made American citizens though the falsification of documents  Educational reforms in the 1880s created normal schools, which were designed to provide teachers with additional professional training so that they could teach vocational skills that would create a better-educated workforce  Between 1870 and 1900 the illiteracy rate in the US fell by half  Corsets came into fashion, mirroring class-based Victorian ideals, because they symbolized the elegant style of dress associated with middle and upper class living o Emphasized the ability to bear children  The relative popularity of the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union helped the organization grow to about 150,000 by the 1890s o Motto = “Do Everything”  The ability of some children of immigrants to speak English like natives, marry with greater freedom, and leave their ethnic neighborhoods allowed them to undergo the process of assimilation more smoothly than their parents  The doctrine of “separate but equal,” upheld by the Supreme Court in Plessy v. Ferguson in 1896, reinforced legal segregation, forcing many black students to attend poorly funded and ill-equipped schools  The growth of female colleges provided women with more opportunities to develop themselves o The notion of “new women” developed as college-educated women shed Victorian ideals and began to act more independently  Public welfare = the benefits that community members might receive under boss rule, including forms of entertainment, assistance with law enforcement and city government, and temporary economic support  The rapid development of urban centers at the turn of the twentieth century gave rise to political bosses who came to dominate city politics and rule over urban development o City governments became paralyzed under decentralized political bureaucracies, and a vacuum in effective leadership developed  Theodore Roosevelt in adulthood would warn against the danger of the US becoming a nation of “weaklings” trembling “on the brink of doom” due to him being a frail and sickly as a boy himself  75% of US women said they enjoyed sex during the twentieth century  The development of settlement houses, such as Jane Addams’s Hull House in Chicago, developed as a result of the need of community centers that provided for the urban poor, foreign-born, and destitute  The cramped and dirty living conditions of slums that spread diseases easily among the poor gave rise to the grim statistic that one-quarter of city-born children never reached their first birthday  Between 1870 and 1910, the number of women enrolled in US colleges doubled  Late-nineteenth century steel-framed buildings o Examples: Home Life Insurance Building, Reliance Building, Flatiron Building  In 1872, Victoria Woodhull ran for president of the United Sates on the Equal Rights ticket


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