Rural and Urban Population in the United States 1860-1920 Rural and Urban Population in the United States 1860-1920 80% 20% 74% 1870 26% 72% 1880 28% 65% 1890 35% 60% 1900 40% 54% 1910 46% 49% 1920 51% 1860
New York 813,669 Philadelphia 565,529 Baltimore 212,418 Boston 177,840 New Orleans 168, 675 Cincinnati 161,044 New York 1,206,299 Philadelphia 847,170 Chicago 503,185 Boston 382,185 St. Louis 350,518 Baltimore 332,313 New York 3,437,202 Chicago 1,698,575 Philadelphia 1,293,697 St. Louis 575, 238 Boston 560,892 Baltimore 508,957 The Largest Cities in the United States 186018801900
In the mid-1860s, most people traveled by foot, on horseback, or with wagons. Pioneers with hand cart Horse drawn carriage Stagecoach
The omnibus was a long, horse- drawn vehicle; some had two decks making it possible to carry more people. By using a street car on rails, traffic was kept where it belonged and moved faster.
With the introduction of electricity, trolleys changed urban transportation even further. The use of the cable car began in San Francisco in 1873. The cables were laid in “tunnels”; the cars moved along the track as they were pulled by the cables.
Still looking for better ways to use scarce space, New Yorkers looked “up” with the introduction of the elevated railway--called “els”...
…while Bostonians looked “down” with the introduction of the first underground railroad-- the subway.
The Bessemer process of steel production allowed for the use of steel frameworks to support buildings. James Bogardus introduced cast iron to construction, allowing for taller buildings. The invention of the elevator--with a safety catch--by Elisha Otis encouraged architects to build even taller buildings. The first skyscraper, in 1895, was 10 stories high. Soon, however, they stood as sentinels across an urban landscape.
“Be a little careful, please! The hall is dark and you might stumble….Here where the hall turns and dives into utter darkness is…a flight of stairs. You can feel your way if you cannot see it. Close? Yes! What would you have? All the fresh air that enters these stairs comes from the hall-door that is forever slamming….The sinks are in the hallway, that all the tenants may have access--and all be poisoned by their summer stenches….Here is a door. Listen! That short, hacking cough, that tiny, helpless wail--what do they mean?…The child is dying of measles. With half a chance it might have lived; but it had none. That dark bedroom killed it. Jacob Riis How the Other Half Lives (1890) “Between the buildings that loomed like mountains, we struggled with our bundles….Up Broadway, under the bridge, and through the swarming streets of the ghetto [a segregated neighborhood]. I looked about the narrow streets of squeezed-in stores and houses, ragged clothes, dirty bedding oozing out of the windows, ashcans and garbage cans cluttering the sidewalk. A vague sadness pressed down on my heart--the first doubt of America.” Anzia Yezierska Hungry Hearts
“During the same winter three boys from a Hull House club were injured at one machine in a neighboring factory for lack of a guard which would have cost but a few dollars. When the injury of one of these boys resulted in his death, we felt quite sure that the owners of the factory would share our horror and remorse, and that they would do everything possible to prevent the recurrence of such a tragedy. To our surprise they did nothing whatever, and I made my first acquaintance then with those pathetic documents signed by the parents of working children, that they will make no claim for damages resulting from ‘carelessness’.” Jane Addams, Twenty Years at Hull House “I felt a strangling in my throat as I neared the sweatshop prison; all my nerves screwed together into iron hardness to endure the day’s torture. For an instant I hesitated as I faced the grated window of the old dilapidated building--dirt and decay cried out from every crumbling brick. In the maw of the shop, raging around me the roar and the clatter, the clatter and the roar, the merciless grind of the pounding machines. Half maddened [crazy], half deadened, I struggled to think, to feel, to remember--what I am--who am I--why was I here? I struggled in vain--bewildered and lost in a whirlpool of noise.” Anzia Yezierska, Hungry Hearts “I was only a little over thirteen and a greenhorn [beginner], so I received nine dollars a month and room and board, which I thought was doing well. Mother made nine dollars a week. Mother caught a bad cold and coughed and coughed. She tried to keep on working, but it was no use. She had not the strength. At last she died and I was left alone.” Sadie Frowne
Most communities, regardless of size had some form of law enforcement. The size of the police force did not grow at the same rate as the cities grew. This resulted in gangs, high crime rates, and police corruption. Crime has become synonymous with urbanization--the more people there are, the higher the crime rates. Consider these current crime rates for selected large cities (incidents per 100,000 people): Crime has become synonymous with urbanization--the more people there are, the higher the crime rates. Consider these current crime rates for selected large cities (incidents per 100,000 people): New York21.3814.51204.61300.7Chicago23.81440.91563.61427.9Pittsburgh17.4355.73409.71449.3Anchorage8.7602.8897.2863..7 Philadelphia436.2903.9162025.9 MurderAssaultBurglaryCar Theft