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Transcript of Growing Cities
The Industrial Revolution changed how and where people worked. During this time more and more people moved to the cities to find jobs. Industries were drawn to cities because they offered good transportation and a lot of workers. The growth of cities that resulted from the arrival of industries and people is called
Many of the people who moved to cities were immigrants, former farmers, and even some who didn't have many skills.
As cities grew, overcrowding became a problem. People and buildings were packed closely together, which increased the danger of disasters. Poverty and disease threatened their lives.
Not all families could afford to buy a house. These families usually lived in run-down and overcrowded rented apartments, known as
. Old buildings, landlord neglect, poor design, and little government control led to dangerous living conditions.
Many of these apartments had no running water and had the sewage overflow threatened disease. These neighborhoods that were overcrowded and had dangerous housing were called the
Many Americans were disgusted by poverty and slums. As a result, a group of people known as reformers tried to solve these problems. The most important concerns were labor reforms, such as abolishing child labor. Some reformers opened
, which offered services such as daycare, education, and health care. They helped the poor and immigrants improve their lives.
With your group research Jane Addams and what her contribution was to the urban problems.
Another organization created to help relieve some of the problems of the cities was the
. This is an organization that influences enough votes to control a local government. Political machines gained support by trading favors for votes. For example, machine bosses got votes from the people they helped. Many political machines were corrupt. They often broke rules to win elections.
The most famous political machine was Tammany Hall in New York City, which was led by William Marcy Tweed. Along with his friends, "Boss" Tweed stole enormous amounts of money from the city.
Despite such corruption, these groups did do good things for cities as well. They built parks, sewers, schools, roads, and helped immigrants get settled.
Technology Changes City Life
New technology helped cities grow and made modern city life possible. New technologies made possible the construction of skyscrapers.
The elevator was a key invention for constructing tall buildings that could hold greater numbers of people. In 1889, the Otis Elevator Company installed the first electric elevator.
The use of steel also helped increase the height of buildings. In 1885, the Home Insurance Building in Chicago boasted an iron and steel skeleton that could hold the immense weight of the skyscraper's floors and walls.
Disasters and Slums
The Streetcar City
As electricity helped change the way people traveled inside buildings, it also changed how people traveled around cities. Before industrialization, people walked or used horse-drawn vehicles to travel over land. By 1900, electric streetcars in cities were carrying more than 5 billion passengers a year.
Richmond, Virignia was the first city to have a transportation system powered by electricity. Other cities soon installed their own electric streetcars.
The ability to live farther away from work helped new suburbs to develop around cities.
Garcia, Jesus. "Cities Grow and Change." Creating America: A History of the United States. Evanston, IL: McDougal Littell, 2005. 609-13. Print.