Presentation on theme: "Chapter 18 – Age of the City, 1870-1900 America accomplished heavy industrialization in the post–Civil War era. Spurred by the transcontinental rail network,"— Presentation transcript:
Chapter 18 – Age of the City, 1870-1900 America accomplished heavy industrialization in the post–Civil War era. Spurred by the transcontinental rail network, business grew and consolidated into giant corporate trusts, as epitomized by the oil and steel industries. Industrialization radically transformed the practices of labor and the condition of the American working people. But despite efforts of unions, workers failed to develop effective labor organizations to match the power of corporations. With the concentration of capital in the hands of a few, a “survival of the fittest” theory emerged. Another theory known as the “Gospel of Wealth” argued that well-to-do societies had to prove themselves morally responsible.
Age of the City – Tenement Living The word “tenement” had originally referred simply to a multiple-family rental building, but by the late 19th century it was being used to describe slum dwellings only.
Men's Lodging Room in the West 47th Street Station c. 1892 Age of the City – Tenement Living
Mass Transit ■ 1870, NY opened first elevated railway with noisy, filthy steam-powered trains ■ Chicago, San Francisco: cable cars ■ 1883: Brooklyn Bridge opened in NY City ■ 1897, Boston: 1 st subway system
“Skyscraper” ■ 1850s: elevators ■ 1870s: cast irons & steel beam construction Video: Growth of American cities
Strains of Urban Life: Fire ■ 1871: Chicago & Boston “great fires” ■ 1906: SF earthquake
The Boss & Machine Politics ■ Newly arrived immigrants: Could not speak English Needed help adjusting to American life (laws & customs) ■ Urban political machine was the principal source of assistance. ■ Urban machine: America’s most distinctive political institution of Gilded Age.
Theme #3—Political Machines ■ The Gilded Age saw the rise of political machines—well-organized groups that controlled a political party in a city Machines offered services to voters & businesses in exchange for political votes Were very influential with immigrants Helped with jobs, housing, & naturalization
Theme #3—Political Machines ■ Machines were led by city bosses who used a network of ward bosses & precinct captains to: Control access to city jobs, business licenses, courts Arrange building projects & community services
Theme #3—Political Machines ■ Machine politicians were often corrupt: Use fraud to win elections Graft—Using their political influence for personal gain Took kickbacks & bribes ■ The most notorious machine boss was Boss Tweed of New York’s Tammany Hall who defrauded the city of millions of dollars
Political machines influenced immigrant voters by creating parks near slums, barbeques, giving away Christmas presents to children
Boss Tweed “Tweed Courthouse”—NY County Courthouse was supposed to cost $250,000 but cost $13 million.
Theme #4—Political Scandals ■ During the Gilded Age, attempts were made to reform government: Many gov’t positions, such as tax collectors or post office officials, were appointed by patronage— a reward for political loyalty Calls for civil service (government administration) reform began Pendleton Act In 1883, Congress passed the Pendleton Act, creating merit-based exams for most civil service jobs