Cities expanded to sizes never seen before, masses of workers swarmed the streets, skyscrapers reached to the sky and electric lights banished the darkness, newly wealthy entrepreneurs built spectacular mansions… A gilded age might appear to sparkle but beneath the surface lay corruption, poverty, crime, and great disparities in wealth between rich and poor.
Rapid Industrialization and Urbanization • caused immigrant neighborhoods and • tenements to become overcrowded
Reason for increased immigration choices
Challenges faced by cities • Tenements and Ghettos • Political corruption (political machines)
Urban Problems • City living posed threats • crime • violence • fire • disease • pollution • murder rates went up • Contaminated city water came from improper disposal of sewage. • -Typhoid fever • -Cholera Pickpockets thrived in urban cities
Urban Politics • New political systems developed to meet urban problems. • The Political Machine and the Party Boss • New city dwellers needed: • Jobs • Housing • Food • Heat • Police Protection In exchange for votes political machines and party bosses provided these necessities.
Fraud • Party bosses controlled the city’s finances. • Political Machines: Politicians grew rich as a result of corruption. • Tammany Hall * NY democratic political machine • William M. “Boss” Tweed: party boss * Tammany Hall’s corrupt leader during the 1850s and 1860’s
The Nation Transformed As millions continued to pour into the cities, engineers and architects developed new approaches at housing and transporting people
Skyscrapers • Land prices went up giving owners incentive to grow up rather than out. • Chicago’s ten-story Home Insurance Building (1885) was the first skyscraper. • New York’s Manhattan Island had more skyscrapers than any other city in the world.
Mass Transit • Various kinds of methods developed: • Electric Trolley (Frank J. Sprague 1887; Richmond, VA first to install) • Elevated Railroads (Chicago) • Subway (New York City and Boston)