Presentation on theme: "Urbanization Cities grew rapidly in the late 1800’s for two reasons. Cities offered jobs for unskilled workers and the cost of living was low. Cheap and."— Presentation transcript:
Urbanization Cities grew rapidly in the late 1800’s for two reasons. Cities offered jobs for unskilled workers and the cost of living was low. Cheap and convenient. By 1890 there were more Irish living in New York City than there were in Dublin. By 1910 50% of the total population in 18 major U.S. cities were immigrants. Mechanization in farming had led many to leave rural areas in search of jobs.
Innovations like steel and elevators allowed cities to maximize real estate by building taller buildings to house people and businesses. This lead to the age of the skyscraper. The Flat Iron building in New York is considered to be one of the first skyscrapers in the United States. New York and Chicago (the second city) engaged in a competition to see who could build the most, tallest skyscrapers.
Steel cable allowed for the construction of massive suspension bridges which allowed cities like New York to expand across rivers. These early bridges were often build by groups of investors for profit and then sold or turned over to the city.
Water Cities began to construct water works to bring fresh water in to supply city residents. Treatment plants were built to filter and add chlorine to further purify the water.
Sanitation More people means more trash and sewage. There is a need for: Street Sweepers Garbage Collectors Buried Sewer Lines Dead Horse Removal
Crime More people means more crime. Cities began to hire full time police forces. The 1909 New York City police force is pictured here. They were called coppers or cops because of the shiny copper buttons on their uniforms.
Fire Great Chicago Fire San Francisco Earthquake/Fire
Reactions to the Plight of the Poor City governments did not have programs designed to provide assistance to the poor that lived there. Reformers, such as Jane Addams, opened Settlement Houses. They were community centers that provided educational, health and housing services to the poor. These reformers were driven by the social gospel movement that preached that it was Christian duty to serve the poor and underprivileged.
City Government As city governments began to provide more services (police, fire, public works) they grew in power. More tax revenue was collected to pay for services. Local politicians began to see their power and influence grow. This leads to corruption. Political Machines began to emerge in major cities, including New York City’s Democratic Party machine otherwise known as Tammany Hall.
Political Machines Political machines were organized groups of both elected officials and unelected power brokers that controlled the activities of a political party in a city or state. The machine was headed by a “Boss” such as William Marcy Tweed of Tammany Hall. The boss controlled decisions as to who would run for various offices in city government, who would get jobs working for the city (police, fire, public works) and what companies would get contracts to build roads, parks and buildings for the city.
Political Machines and Immigrants Political machines maintained their power by manipulating elections and “buying” the votes of immigrants. Voter fraud was widespread. Individuals would vote in multiple polling places on election day. Ballot boxes would be “stuffed” with multiple votes per voter. Immigrant votes were bought by machine officials providing assistance to immigrants in the form of jobs, housing and aid after a disaster like a fire. Graft was widespread. Graft is the illegal use of political influence for personal monetary gain.
The Tweed Ring and Graft Tweed used his control of elected officials in New York to see that the contract to build the new court house was awarded to his friend. The project cost $3 million. Tweed’s friend charged the city $13 million. The extra $10 million went into the pockets of Tweed and his “ring” of followers.
Thomas Nast vs. Boss Tweed The cartoons of Thomas Nast helped to raise awareness about the corruption of the Tweed Ring and led to Tweed’s eventual arrest, trial and imprisonment.
Corruption in National Government The major problem in national government was that of patronage. Patronage is the act of rewarding people who help a candidate win election with government jobs. Andrew Jackson had used this as part of his “spoils system”. It led to corruption and incompetence in government and many began to call for reforms of this system in the late 1800’s. The Republican party, which dominated during the late 1800’s was torn by this issue. Stalwarts were opposed to reform and Mugwumps were in favor of reform.
Patronage James A. Garfield is elected president in 1881. He had close ties to reformers. Charles Guiteau, who was turned down for a job by Garfield, shot and killed him over the issue. This prompted the new president Chester A. Arthur, a Stalwart, to call for reforms to patronage.
Pendleton Civil Service Act Passed in 1883 this law created a bipartisan Civil Service Commission that made appointments to federal jobs. The new system was merit based. In other words applicants for federal jobs had to prove they were qualified for the job based on their performance on an exam. Most government workers fall under the “classified” category meaning they are hired based on merit. Some government officials such as cabinet secretaries and agency directors are still appointed by the president and confirmed by the Senate.