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US History II Week 3 Notes

by: Jonesy

US History II Week 3 Notes Hist 2020

Marketplace > Middle Tennessee State University > History > Hist 2020 > US History II Week 3 Notes
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These notes cover Chapter 20 in the textbook and our professor's lecture on Thursday, Feb 11th. It covers political machines, tenement housing, immigrant city life, family economics, and more.
Survey of United States History II
J. Nelson
Class Notes
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This 6 page Class Notes was uploaded by Jonesy on Sunday February 14, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to Hist 2020 at Middle Tennessee State University taught by J. Nelson in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 12 views. For similar materials see Survey of United States History II in History at Middle Tennessee State University.


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Date Created: 02/14/16
The Growth of an Urban Order  Following the Civil War, there was an explosion in city growth and population (the city’s population sprang up from 32 million to 92 million) o Cities’ growth also shaped the environment (usually for worse) as they took many of the land’s resources and transformed them into buildings, transportation products, and consumer products  The idea of factory work brought in many young Americans looking to make money o With the growth of the city also came the growth of innovation in electricity, plumbing, and transportation/communication  These often led to more comfortable living conditions, though those living in poverty rarely ever lived in “comfortable” conditions  The city’s layout was based around a ringed layout, with the wealthy living near the city’s outskirts and the poor living in the middle of the city, near all the businesses and factories  Mass Transit o Many city leaders realized that with the growing size of cities, they needed to re-invent transportation or the city would simply fall  Horse-drawn carriages were popular before this, but horses required maintenance and would litter the streets with their feces, making for very dirty living conditions  1888, Frank Julian invented the first electric trolley in Richmond, VA  Skyscrapers and Tenements o The Bessemer process allowed for steel to be used to construct bridges and buildings that were not possible to build with iron. This led to many cities building “upward” (i.e. skyscrapers) o The steel was also used to build tenements, which were living spaces about 5-6 stories tall for poor families that usually worked in the city’s factories  These tenements inevitably overcrowded and became slums  Disease and Toilets o These slum dwellers lived in crowded spaces and had poor diets, leaving them more susceptible to diseases like typhoid, yellow fever, etc.  In the 1870’s, Memphis experienced a yellow fever outbreak that killed tens of thousands o Furthermore, a lack of modern plumbing, combined with the fact that many factories and cities would simply dump their waste into nearby rivers, led to contamination of drinking and bathing water  Sewer systems and water purification plants would help with cleanliness, but the modern toilet would not appear until the end of the century  The Political Machine o The many leaders of the city (mayor, city councils, legislators, etc.) were often disagreeable and change was slow. This gave rise to the “Political Boss”, who was head of a “Political Machine” that ran the city  A political machine is an organization that controlled the activities of the city, and was often controlled by a political party  The political boss ran the political machine almost like a business; in fact, many political bosses were very wealthy  Boss William Tweed was one such wealthy political boss; however, he was involved in scandal. He appropriated roughly a mass of funds from New York City’s courthouse project for him and his cronies, raising the courthouse’s construction budget from $250,000 to $13 million  The political machine doled out many goods and services to the poorer citizens, such as Christmas turkeys, jobs, English classes, glee clubs, barbeques, etc. In return, the political boss hoped for the citizens’ vote so that he could be reinstated  There were many cons to the political machine though, such as inflated taxes and unchecked crime  Settlement Houses and Church Missions o Those living in destitution often inspired action, both in the political sphere and the religious sphere  Many churches built settlement houses, which served as a “neighborhood center”  Run mainly by middle-class women, these settlement workers helped poor immigrants, lobbied for social legislation, and encouraged the citizens to celebrate their heritage while also trying to integrate into an American lifestyle  Jane Addams o A noteworthy social worker and Nobel Peace Prize winner, she founded the Hull House in Chicago.  She and her settlement house laid the groundwork for the next century of social work through their ethics and values  Immigrant Settlers and Family Dynamics o Many immigrants would simply settle in the cities that they arrived in, mainly because they were tired and already poor from their voyage to America  These ethnic communities offered solace from the drastically different American lifestyle o Religion was often the center of immigrant life. At a time when their own lives were undergoing such dramatic change, religion was a stabling factor  Protestantism, Judaism, and Catholicism were the three main immigrant religions o Immigrant families often functioned differently from native-born American families  Immigrants had more children and often married later in their life  Many immigrants valued financial stability over education; as a result, many children were expected to bring home a wage just like the adults o Different immigrant groups often took on specific jobs.  The Chinese would often be launderers  Russians and Italians often became tailors and seamstresses  Slavs often worked in mines  Chinese Immigrants o The Chinese were a special case. Many of them were single men looking for work before returning home  In the 1880’s, a law was passed barring these Chinese men from bringing their families with them into America while also barring those Chinese men already in America from marrying white women  This contributed to a very high rate of prostitution among Chinese communities  Consumer Culture o By the 1980’s many brand names that we are familiar with today became household names, such as: Campbell’s, Jell-O, Pillsbury, Cracker Jacks, etc. o Some modern appliances were also making their first appearances. The first self-worked washer appeared, but was not altogether very effective o As the century neared its close, Saturday became more of a “Family day” as opposed to a work day  Victorianism o Victorianism was a social code, started by Queen Victoria in England, that celebrated disciplined moralism  According to Victorianism, women were “pure vessels” that had to control their husband’s lower natures  It encouraged conformity; if someone failed to abide by Victorianism, reformers were expected to try and guide them back to it o Victorianism also gave rise to the Temperance movement, which aimed to prohibit the sale of alcohol  Francis Willard o In 1879, she founded the Women’s Christian Temperance Union (WCTU) as a way to take action against alcohol and its sale o Besides temperance, she also advocated for sexual purity and many other Victorian virtues o The WCTU also promoted women’s suffrage  Anthony Comstock and the Comstock Laws o Similar to Willard, Comstock would take a personal crusade against what he deemed as “moral impurities,” such as gambling, pornography, and nude photography o 1872, President Grant signed Comstock Laws, banning all pornographic materials and nude photography from the mail system  Urban Culture and Higher Education o 1870-1900, public education boomed as a reaction to many businesses requiring workers to be able to read, write, and perform simple arithmetic  School attendance more than doubled  “Normal Schools” began to pop up to provide teachers with professional training  Colleges further served society by pumping out civil leaders, politicians, business managers, etc. o Women began attending colleges more, breaking gender myths of the day  Many believed that women were weaker intellectually and physically; to combat this, women studied hard and many universities offered physical exercise courses  Leisure, Arts, and Entertainment o With the rise of machinery came shorter work shifts, allowing many Americans to take up leisure activities in their free time  Sports was a major leisure activity, with wealthier people playing polo, golf, and tennis, and poorer people playing croquet and bicycling  Many wealthy families would attend symphonies, theatre dramas, and operas, while poorer citizens preferred the vaudeville show and phonograph recordings (an early precursor to vinyl and turntables)


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