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APUSH: Ch 19 - "Civilization's Inferno": The Rise and Reform of Industrial Cities, 1880-1917

Chapter 19: "Civilization's Inferno": The Rise and Reform of Industrial Cities, 1880-1917

Harry Jarcho

on 5 February 2017

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Transcript of APUSH: Ch 19 - "Civilization's Inferno": The Rise and Reform of Industrial Cities, 1880-1917

Industry’s demand for an
educated workforce
led states to expand and improve public education at all levels
As training needs developed, more and more cities built high schools, technical schools, and state colleges/universities, though
opportunities for women, blacks, and other minorities were initially quite limited
Troubles in the Cities

1880s – reformers began to push successfully for building codes establishing minimum standards for buildings
Garbage collection, zoning laws, fire departments, and police departments were also upgraded.
Public transportation began, reducing filth of horse drawn transportation.
Municipal sewer systems and water supplies also improved health.
The poor struggled in overcrowded, dirty, firetrap tenements in city slums – disease spread rapidly, health and safety conditions were poor.
Life in a Tenement
Conditions in Tenements
Jane Addams, Hull House,
& the Settlement House Movement

settlement house
is a community center that offers services to the poor.
Jane Addams
of Chicago, founder of
Hull House
, trained/ mentored hundreds of women, who lived in the slums and offered educational, health, medical, daycare, and legal assistance to the poor.
They also launched investigations into social and economic conditions, serving as a model for the muckraker movement.
By 1900 about 100 settlement houses had organized in cities throughout the U.S.
Settlement houses played a key role in reform legislation such as child labor laws, and other living/working conditions of the poor, as well as women’s suffrage
Public Education as the Great Assimilater
What was the main
economic reason
for the explosive growth in public schooling between 1865 and 1914?
What was the main
social reason
for the explosive growth in public schooling between 1865 and 1914?
Why did some immigrants resist and resent the public schools?
Catholics, fearing the emphasis on Protestant teachings, opened up their own parochial school systems.
Public schools also served as an
assimilating/ acculturating
They taught immigrants how to read and speak English and "main stream" American customs and culture
How did reformers try to address the problems of urbanization?
Hull House
Video: Jacob Riis: Photographer of Immigrant Life
Some women fused the belief in women as a moral, civilizing force with a call to wider political action
Frances Willard resigned as Dean of Women at Northwestern University to devote herself to the cause of temperance
Other women became involved in reform movements such as tenement reform
Be prepared to link this trend to women's involvement and leadership in the larger Progressive Movement

Women also began to challenge definitions of femininity and women’s rights in marriage and divorce
These beginnings were more widespread among educated women, than among working-class women.

From Victorian Lady to New Woman
The Transformation of Higher Education
In 1900 higher education was almost exclusively dominated by the upper classes.
More than 150 colleges and universities were founded between 1880 and 1900, and enrollments more than doubled – many were also publicly funded or funded by religious groups while some were endowed by wealthy members of the upper class.
New research universities, like Cornell University, started offering new, improved courses like chemistry.
Opportunities for women in colleges, and to develop so-called masculine leadership skills, expanded rapidly in the 19th century.

Chapter 19: "Civilization's Inferno": The Rise and Reform of Industrial Cities, 1880-1917
The new American style also often offered a critique of contemporary America and the excesses of unrestrained capitalism and consumerism

The Genteel Tradition and its Critics
Upper class, educated writers tried to foster a national artistic culture, with strict criteria for writing, music, art, and design - the Genteel Tradition

Other authors, e.g., Mark Twain and Theodore Dreiser, rejected what they saw as the elitism of the Genteel Tradition

Cultures in Conflict
Battling Poverty and Social Reform Efforts
The Cult of Domesticity
The home was considered “the woman’s sphere,” which, along with being the field of work for women, was meant to be a center of “culture.”
Housework and family were more highly valued than other accomplishments.

Victorian Morality and the Cult of Domesticity
Victorian morality
placed obsessive emphasis on self-control and self-discipline. It represented the upper and middle classes asserting the superiority of their morality and values of those of the emerging urban, immigrant, working class.
Proponents believed that progress and success came through strenuous effort.
Highly moralistic (and judgmental)
The emphasis on morals, manners, and proper behavior often became a preoccupation with social rituals, and a way to separate from the “lower,” “less refined” classes.

Ghettos resulted when laws, prejudice and community pressure prevented tenement dwellers from renting elsewhere.

Slums developed when landlords subdivided old tenements and packed in too many residents – to provide cheap housing within walking distance of industrial/manufacturing districts.
Slums and Ghettos
11 million immigrants, as well as migration from farms, fueled dramatic growth in cities in the late 19th century
Urban growth generated new economic opportunities
Ethnic groups competed for jobs at local factories.
Rapid growth strained city services, housing, sanitation, and accentuated class differences
The New American City
Middle-class educators sought to expand the public schools, seeing them as the means to socialize and assimilate the lower working class
Reformers saw schools as providing the skills for modern, industrial society – they taught, order, self-discipline, punctuality, and civic loyalty – and urged that more years be mandatory.
In 1870, fewer than 72,000 students were attending school
By 1900 the number of students jumped to over half a million.

Public Education – An Arena of Class Conflict
McSorley’s Bar, John Sloan, 1912
Local saloons were widespread, building community and reinforcing ethnic identity.
Rejecting middle-class skepticism that recreation was “idleness,” the working class developed numerous modes of entertainment to unwind from the grinding monotony of industrial labor. Entertainment was becoming BIG BUSINESS.
Working-Class Leisure in the Immigrant City
Cornell University, 1919
Efforts to combat poverty often took the form of “moral improvement” campaigns, such as temperance, and efforts to “Americanize” immigrants in the Victorian model. Such efforts included:
Formation of the YMCA and YWCA
Salvation Army
The Moral-Purity Campaign

Efforts toward Social Reform included:
The Social Gospel
Jane Addams and the Settlement House Movement

Hull House, Chicago
The First YMCA
Click on Video to Play:
Jane Addams and Hull House
Taking on Corruption
Powerful bosses, (often unelected, but powerful, party leaders) used favors, bribery, corruption, and patronage (control of government jobs) to control cities
controlled large contract jobs like sewer construction, building, garbage collection, road construction
Bosses were powerful and popular with the poor, immigrants, because they could provide jobs, emergency housing, money, etc. – in exchange for votes

Boss Tweed of NYC,
lampooned as a vulture by political cartoonist
Thomas Nast,
skimmed (stole) an estimated $100 million from NYC through kickbacks for contracts he awarded

Tammany Hall
, the Democratic machine headed by
William “Boss” Tweed
, dominated NYC politics from the 1830s to the 1930s

Political machine
- an unofficial political organization designed to keep a particular political party in office and in power.
Headed by the “boss”
Political machines gained control of many city governments by providing jobs and services to the poor and to party loyalists and by organizing (and falsifying) voting
Political Bosses and Machine Politics
Tweedledee and Sweedledum: “Let’s blind them with this, and take some more.”
Tammany controlled police and fire services, utilities, contracts on most building, and much business within NYC, passing out jobs and favors to the party faithful
Tammany both served and exploited the poor - corruption raised the prices of city services, and stood in the way of reform.
Voting Fraud and the City Machines
"As long as I count the Votes, what are you going to do about it?"
Spectator Sports Grow in Popularity
Major League Baseball
formed, with teams in most major cities and, in 1903, the first World Series
College football
became wildly popular in the 1890s
Basketball was invented in the 1890s and quickly grew in popularity.

Sports played an important role in
and unifying the nation, since all nationalities could enjoy the game, and the ability to speak English was not necessary to understanding the rules.
The Growth of Spectator Sports
Mass Entertainment – Vaudeville and Movies
Most large cities had theaters where plays and vaudeville were very popular

shows featured dancing, singing, comedy, and magic acts, and, like sports, helped unite the nation because they brought working people together across ethnic and national lines.
Mass Entertainment
Click for Abbott & Costello's classic vaudeville act, "Who's On First?"
The Marx Brothers - A Famous Vaudeville Act

What factors led to urbanization?
, the movement of population from farms to cities, accelerated as the
Industrial Revolution
increased the
demand for factory labor –
which was met by
and by
internal migration
By the 1890s most western land had been divided into farms and ranches, reducing opportunities for poor immigrants
Farm mechanization
also reduced the demand for farm labor, so rural workers migrated to cities looking for factory jobs.
Racial prejudice and segregation laws in the South led to northern migration of blacks
, a process that accelerated as WWI opened up job opportunities in the North
The Rise of Cities – In 1870 only 25% of Americans lived in a community of 2500 or more. By 1910 nearly half lived in an
urban area.
The expansion of
(the ability to read) and advances in printing technology made books, magazines and newspapers available at low cost, and reading exploded

Realist School
of writing and art
In the 1880s a school of American writers and artists called
wrote gritty stories and produced art describing the harsh side of city, industrial, and factory life created by the Industrial Revolution
A Nation of Readers
In contrast to the Realists,
Horatio Alger
wrote a series of dime novels featuring rags-to-riches, pluck and luck stories bolstering the American dream

Dime novels, cheap paperbacks featuring romance and adventure, became wildly popular
Rags to Riches - The American Dream
Horatio Alger

Joseph Pulitzer
(NY World) created the 1st modern mass-circulation newspaper, cutting prices and adding popular attractions like comics, bold headlines, and pictures focusing on crime, gossip, and scandal.
William Randolph Hearst
(NY Journal) set out to beat Pulitzer by out-sensationalizing him.
Yellow journalism
is the term for the sensational reporting style pioneered by Pulitzer and Hearst in their competition for circulation
Some historians argue that Pulitzer and Hearst caused the Spanish-American War by exaggerating stories and inflaming the public against Spain in a quarrel over Cuba (a topic we will cover in a future chapter.)
Cartoon where the term "yellow journalism" came from
The Growth of Newspapers
The Ashcan School of American Art
Art - American Realism
Winslow Homer
, who began his career drawing scenes of the brutality of the Civil War, painted realistic scenes of the New England coast
Henry Tanner
tried to shatter racial stereotypes, painting black sharecroppers
George Bellows, "Cliff Dwellers"
John Sloan
George Bellows, "Dempsey and Firpo"
The Development of American Musical Forms
Jelly Roll Morton
America's First Jazz Great
Scott Joplin
American Ragtime Musician
Double Click on the small images to listen to Jazz and Ragtime
The Birth of Jazz and Ragtime
Social Darwinism
Charles Darwin
published his book,
On the Origin of Species
in 1859
The book offered his theory of
natural selection
- that successful species adapt to environmental conditions - the theory of
"survival of the fittest"
British philosopher
Herbert Spencer
adapted Darwin's theory to explain how individuals in a society, and cultures themselves, either rise or fall
According to
"Social Darwinism,"
the fit survive – become wealthy and powerful – because they have the right characteristics. In contrast, the poor and powerless are so because they lack the "right stuff" - it's basically their fault
Domestically, Social Darwinism becomes a justification for the harshness and income inequality of industrial capitalism, which exemplifies survival of the fittest
Similarly, western civilization has gained ascendency over "primitive" cultures, because it is superior
In terms for foreign policy, Social Darwinism thus becomes a justification for western imperialism, the White Man's Burden
Taking on the Machine
Lincoln Steffens
was an early muckraker, who took on the city machines in a series of articles in
McClure's Magazine
, later collected into a book,
The Shame of the Cities
"If a family is burned out I don't ask whether they are Republicans or Democrats, and I don't refer them to the Charity Organization Society, which would investigate their case for a month or two and decide if they were worthy of help about the time they are dead from starvation. I just get quarters for them, buy clothes for them if their clothes were burned up, and fix them up til they get things runnin' again.
It's philanthropy, but it's politics, too -- mighty good politics. Who can tell how many votes one of these fires brings me? The poor are the most grateful people in the world, and, let me tell you, they have more friends in their neighborhoods than the rich."
George Washington Plunkitt
George Washington Plunkitt:
Tammany Boss at the turn of the Century
On "Honest Graft" and how the machine worked
What were the goals of Jane Addams
and the Settlement House movement?
Photographers and artists of the
Ashcan School
portrayed the squalid conditions of city and tenement life
“Eviction” - Everett Shinn, 1904
“Fire on 24th Street”, Everett Shinn, 1907
Link to
Competing Against the Party Machine
JANE ADDAMS, Why the Ward Boss Rules (1898)
Amusement parks, such as Coney Island were popular respites from the grind of industrial work.
Traditional Americans worried that unsupervised young working people, especially women, would be corrupted.
Pendleton Civil Service Act
(1883) created a merit-based (exam-based) competition for federal government jobs and banned the practice of requiring political appointees to contribute to political campaigns
Civil Service Reform
Widespread government corruption led to increasing demands for an end to the patronage system (the “spoils system”) of filling government appointments
The Pendleton Civil Service Act (1893)
Pres. Chester Arthur prosecuted corrupt politicians and with Congress passed the
Pendleton Act
, which created the
Civil Service Commission
to award government jobs on the basis of a competitive exam
= government jobs given out to friends for their loyalty, rather than hiring the most qualified person for the job
Patronage led to corruption and loyalty to the officeholder rather than to the public good
Taming the Spoils System

A broad-based response to industrialization, immigration, urbanization, growing corporate power, and widening class divisions.
As opposed to populism, it was city-based, not agricultural.
Most progressives were
, not radicals. They sought to make the new urban-industrial societies
more humane
, not to overthrow the system.
What is Progressivism?
Stricter regulation of big business (both local and national trusts)
Protection of workers and the urban poor
Reform of government, especially local machine politics
Immigration restriction
Social control of urban dwellers’ behavior (e.g., temperance, socialization

Progressives believed that science and technology could be applied to social problems to create a better world

What were the Progressives’ Goals?
White, middle-class Protestants from the rapidly growing industrial white-collar sector
Urban immigrants, journalists, and workers took the lead in workplace reform and addressing the problems of urban slums

Who were the Progressives?
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