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City Life In The Machine Age (Late 1800s – Early 1900s)

AP US History Study Terms: urban life, mass transportation, industrialization, cable cars, electric-powered streetcars, urban industrial development, Mass production, new immigration, Woodrow Wilson, History of the American People, immigrant culture, boarding, Homosexuality, baseball, National League of Professional Baseball Clubs, American League, World Series, croquet, cycling, football, Circus, vaudeville, Florenz Ziegfeld, Birth of a Nation, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, NAACP, yellow journalism, Joseph Pulitzer, residential mobility, Chinese immigration, Bossism and Civic Reform, Settlement house, City Beautiful Movement

I.  What was the vitality and turmoil of urban life?

The nation’s urban population started to grow increasingly fast.  Urban growth joined with the development of natural resources and industrialization as an identifiable feature of American expansion in the later 19th and early 20th centuries.  Cities served as marketplaces and forums, bringing together the pple, resources, and ideas responsible for changing American society.  Pple loved the opportunities and excitement the cities held.  Corruption and political conflict were found in the cities.  Police and fire departments were expanded to provide for a safer society.  American cities were intensely diversified.  Optimists envisioned the US as a melting pot.  However, man ethnic groups and neighborhoods were formed.

II.  How did mass transportation and industrialization lead to the growth of cities?

Cities began to spread from the central core.  Walking distance no longer determined the size of a city.  Distinct neighborhoods divided the classes and races.  Mass transportation moved pple faster and further.  Cable cars to the electric powered streetcars to the electric railway helped to link cities.  Pple were able to live beyond the central crowded city and created the suburbs.  A commuting public was formed.  Urban and industrial growth transformed the national economy and feed the US from dependence on European capital and goods.

A.     How was mass transportation mechanized?

1.      Moved pple faster & farther

2.      1870s-mechanized mass transit

a.      1st power-driven cable cars, carriages (San Fran)

3.      1890s-electric-powered streetcars

a.      Electric trolley-raised above or underground traffic so not to interfere & to avoid delays

4.      Electric interurban railwayàlinked cities & convenient for riders

a.      Furthered urban development (suburbs)

b.      Ex:  Pacific Electric Railway in southern CA

B.     How did urbanization spread?

1.      Mass-transit lines created a commuting public

a.      Pple live beyond the crowded central city-real-estate

b.      Neighborhood shopping centers form

2.      Urban core became the work zone

C.    What was the urban industrial development?

1.      Capital accumulated by the cities’ mercantile enterprises fed industrial development

2.      Further industrialization-more opportunities for work/investment

3.      Product specialization in cities

a.      Mass production of clothing (NY), shoe (Philly), flour (Minneapolis) fish & lumber (Seattle) etc

4.      US freed from dependence on European goods & capital

III.  Who were the migrants and immigrants peopling the cities?

Between 1870 and 1920 people living in American cities exploded to 54 million.  Cities offered more hope, more opportunities and a thrill.  The migrants and immigrants reshaped American culture.  Many fled to the US from religious persecution or in search of a better way of life.  Americans feared the new immigrants.  Immigrants stayed and practiced their Old World customs.  They learned English since it was needed on the job.  The inflow of immigrants turned a Protestant nation into a mix of Protestants, Catholics and Jews.

A.     How did cities grow?

1.      Increase population in 3 ways:

a.      Extending its borders to annex land & pple

b.      Natural increase

c.      Net migration

2.      1860s-1900s many cities annexed territory

a.      Ex:  NYC merged w/Manhattan, Bronx, Brooklyn, Staten Island, and part of Queens

b.      Gave new land for city dwellers

c.      Enlarge physical size of city

3.      Death rates declined as did birth rates

4.      Migration/immigrationàurban growth

B.     When were the major waves of migration and immigration?

1.      Cities seemed to offer hope, more opportunities, the thrill

2.      26 million immigrated b/w 1870 and 1920, peaking around 1900 & 1910

a.      Reshaped American culture

3.      Increase in cities led to increased demand for agricultural goods-large-scale production (small farms less profitable)

4.      Religious persecution forced pple to flee to the US

5.      In search of better conditions, better way of life

C.    What was the new immigration?

1.      Many N & W Europeans came to the US since 1840s

2.      After 1880-many from S & E Europeans came

3.      2/3 of the newcomers were males and about 2/3 were b/w 15-39 yrs old

4.      Americans feared Catholics, Jews, illiteracy, poverty of new immigrants (less desirable than “old” immigrants whose customs were less alien

a.      Woodrow Wilson-History of the American People (1902) supported these beliefs

5.      New/old immigrants resembled each other

a.      Family focus

D.    What were immigrant cultures like?

1.      Immigrants stay with their culture

a.      Old World customs persisted

2.      Practiced religion as always, married in their group etc

3.      Diversity of Am cities forced immigrants to modify their attitudes/habits

4.      Old World culture mingled w/New World realities

a.      English taught in schools, needed on the job, cooked Am foods, used Am fabrics

E.     What was the influence on religion?

1.      Inflow of immigrants transformed the US from a Prot nation to a Prot, Cath, & Jewish nation

2.      Many Caths & Jews tried to accommodate their faiths to the new environment

3.      Newcomers sought to retain familiar practices

F.     Where did African-Americans migrate?

1.      Thousands of rural African-Ams moved northward/westward-sought better employment

a.      Fleeing crop liens, racial violence, political oppression

2.      Resembled foreign immigrants in their rural backgrounds & economic motivations

3.      Most found jobs in service sector (cleaning, cooking, driving) rather than in industry

a.  Most openings were for women

IV.  What were the living conditions in the inner city like?

Urban population pressured the public and private sectors. American cities seemed to harbor all the afflictions that plagued modern society: poverty, disease, and crime that occurred when so many live in close proximity to each other.  Housing problems aroused reform campaigns in several places.  Scientific and technological enabled city dwellers and the entire nation to live in greater comfort and safety.  Crime and disorder raised fears that urban growth threatened the nation.  By the early 1900s law enforcement had become complicated and controversial b/c various groups differed in their views of the law and how it should be enforced.

A.     What were some of the housing problems?

1.     Population growth outpaced housing supplies

2.     Working-class families b/c of low wages had to rent their living quarters

3.     As cities grew, landlords took advantage of shortages in low-cost rental housing by splitting up existing buildings to house more pple

a.      Crowding

b.      Conditions were harsh

B.     In what way was housing reformed?

1.     Housing problems aroused reform campaigns

2.     Model tenements required landlords to accept lower profits

a.  A sacrifice few were willing to make

3.     New housing codes & regulatory commissions strengthened the power of local govt to oversee construction

4.     Scientific/tech advances enabled city dwellers & the entire nation to live in greater comfort and safety

5.     Street paving, modern firefighting equipment, electric street lighting

C.    Urban poverty?

1.     As poverty increased, city govts discontinued direct grants of food, fuel, and clothing to needy families

2.     Cities provided relief in return for work on public projects

a.  Run almshouses, orphanages, homes for the blind, deaf, etc

3.     Charity Organization Societies–helped the poor

4.     Environments caused poverty

D.    What was the role of crime and violence in the cities?

1.     Crime/disorder raised fears that urban growth threatened the nation

2.     Quick to blame others of immigrant decent-Irish bank robbers, German pickpockets, Italian Black Hand murderers for urban disorder

3.     Riots

E.     What was the role of police?

1.     Police were often caught b/w pressures for swift and severe action & leniency

2.     Problems of city life seemed to demand greater govt action

3.     City govts passed more ordinances that regulated housing, provided poverty relief, expanded police power to protect health and safety

V.  What was family life like?

Although the overwhelming majority of Americans continued to live within families, this most basic of social institutions suffered strain during the era of urbanization and industrialization.  New institutions increasingly competed with the family to provide nurture, education, and security. Yet the family retained its fundamental role as a cushion in a hard, uncertain world.  Birth rates were lowering.  Family helped each other out in hard times and you could turn to them.

A.     What were family and household structures like?

1.     Householdàpple, un/related who share the same residence

2.     FamilyàRelated by kinship

3.     Many households consisted of nuclear families

4.     Immigrants tended to be young, US populationàyoung

5.     Migration separated many families

B.     Why were birth rates declining?

1.     Decline because:

a.      US was becoming an urban nation, birth rates are generally lower in cities than in rural areas

b.      Infant mortality fell as diet & medical care improved

c.      Awareness that smaller families meant an improved quality of life seemed to have stimulated decisions to limit family size

C.    What was boarding?

1.     Huge #s of young pple lived as boarders and lodgers

2.     For pple on the move, boarding was a transitional stage, providing them with a quasi-family environment until they set up their own households

D.    What was the importance of kinship?

1.     Familyàinstitution to which pple could turn in times of need

2.     Immigrant familiesàpressure on last-born to stay at home to care for parents

3.     Mostly young, single men/women constituted a separate subculture that helped support institutions like dance halls, saloons, cafes, & the YMCA and YWCA

4.     Homosexual population increased in cities

E.     What were the stages of life?

1.     Married couples had more children over a longer time span-active parenthood occupied most of their adult lives

2.     Longer life expectancy-a tendency by employers to force old workers to retire

3.     Work became more specialized & edu in schools more formalized

4.     Americans became more conscious of age and peers

5.     Schools were making education a community responsibility

6.     Employment agencies, personnel offices, labor unions, & legislatures were taking responsibility for employee recruitment & job security

VI.  What was the new leisure and mass culture?

Mechanization and assembly line production replaced skilled work and helped to cut the average work week in manufacturing. People began doing more leisure activities such as sports and plays since they had more time.  Baseball, cycling, football all became American pastimes.  Theater was also popular.  Movies told a story in an exciting new way of moving pictures.  Yellow journalism was a synonym for sensationalism.

A.     How did pple increase in leisure time?

1.     Late 1800s–technological developmentàtimesaving

2.     Mechanization and assembly-line production replaced skilled work and helped to cut the avg work week in manufacturing

3.     Shorter workdays and free weekends

4.     An expansion in the production of games, toys, musical instruments

B.     What was the deal with baseball?

1.     Most popular organized sport

2.     By 1860 at least 50 baseball clubs existed

3.     The National League of Professional Baseball Clubs, founded in 1876, gave the sport a stable, businesslike structure

4.     1903, the National League & American League began a World Series

a.      Boston Red Socks beat the Pittsburgh Pirates

C.    What was the deal with croquet and cycling?

1.     Croquet attracted males and females

2.     By 1900 Americans owned over 10 million bicycles

3.     Professional bicycle races

D.    What was the deal with football?

1.     American football began as a sport for pple of high social rank

2.     College football

3.     Criticsàfootball-worst features of American society

4.     Presidential conference founded the Intercollegiate Athletic Association to police college sports

E.     Why were circuses popular?

1.     American show business also became a mode of leisure created by and for common pple

2.     Circuses had existed since the 1820s

3.     Circuses-two main attractions: freaks & temptation & conquest of death

F.     Why were drama and musical comedy popular?

1.     Plots were simple, the heroes and villains recognizable

2.     Musical comedies raised audiences’ spirits w/song, humor, dance

3.     Comic opera became popular

G.    What is vaudeville?

1.     Most popular entertainment in early 20th century America

2.     Became a big business

3.     Famous promoter, Florenz Ziegfeld brilliantly packaged shows in a stylish format and gave the nation a new model of feminity

4.     Show business provided new economic opportunities for women, African-Ams, & immigrants, but it also encouraged stereotyping & exploitation

H.     What was the role of African-Americans and Immigrants in Vaudeville?

1.     Composers and performers of both raced ridiculed blacks

2.     American mass entertainment arose from its ethnic flavor

3.     Skits/songs reinforced ethnic stereotypes-made fun of ethnic group

I.         What was the role of movies?

1.     Producers discovered that a film could tell a story in exciting ways

2.     Griffith’s Birth of a Nation–epic film about the Civil War & Reconstruction, fanned racial prejudice by depicting African-Ams as a threat to white moral values

a.      The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People led an organized protest against it

3.     The still camera enabled ordinary pple to make their own photographic images

J.      What is yellow journalism?

1.     Joseph Pulitzer pioneered journalism as a branch of mass culture

a.      Filled the world w/stories of disasters, crimes, and scandals

b.      Popularized the comics, and yellow ink they were printedàyellow journalism synonym for sensationalism

c.      Emphasize sports and women’s news

K.     What was the role of magazines for the mass market?

1.     Mass-circulation magazines made possible by the steam-driven high speed printing press were overshadowing the expensive elitist journals of earlier eras

2.     Pple became more literate

VII.  What were the promises of mobility?

Many manual workers sought security rather than mobility, preferring a steady wage to the risks of ownership. A person could achieve social mobility by acquiring property. A general rise in wage rates enabled many families to amass savings, which they could use as down payments on property. Millions of families each year packed up and moved elsewhere. Most white immigrant families lived in ethnically mixed neighborhoods rather than in ghettos. Whites used raical distinctions to characterize nonwhites with derogatory stereotypes and to make them victims of discrimination.

A.     What was occupational mobility?

1.     Thousands of new businesses were needed to supply goods & services to growing urban populations

2.     Many manual workers sought security rather than mobility, preferring a steady wage to the risks of ownership

B.     What was the acquisition of property?

1.     A person could achieve social mobility by acquiring property

2.     A general rise in wage rates enabled many families to accumulate savings, which they could use as down payments on property

C.    What was residential mobility?

1.     Many who migrated, particularly unskilled workers, did not improve their status; they simply floated from one low-paying job to another

2.     Cities frustrated the hopes of some-offered opportunities to others

D.    What were the ethnic neighborhoods and ghettos like?

1.     Most white immigrant families lived in ethnically mixed neighborhoods rather than in ghettos

2.     Area’s institutions & enterprises identified a district as an ethnic neighborhood

3.     Institutions gave the district an ethnic identity

4.     In 1882, Congress appeased West Coast natives by prohibiting Chinese immigration for 10 years

a.      1902-new federal law excluded the Chinese indefinitely; not until 1943 was the ban lifted

E.     What was the role of race and discrimination in cities?

1.     Whites used racial distinctions to characterize nonwhites with derogatory stereotypes and to make them victims of discrimination

2.     Asians & Mexicans encountered discrimination as did African-Ams & limited their housing opportunities

3.     Virtually all white Ams believed nonwhite races were inferior

4.     Americans always seeking better conditions

VIII.  What were the politics of Bossism and Civic Reform?

Machine politicians routinely used bribery and graft to further their ends. Machines were coalitions of smaller organizations that derived power directly from inner-city neighborhoods inhabited by native & immigrant working classes. To finance their activities and campaigns, bosses exchanged favors for votes or money.  Bosses held power b/c they tended to problems of everyday life. To impose sound business principles on govt, civic reformers supported structural changes such as the city-manager and commission forms of govt and nonpartisan citywide election of officials.  Reformers believed they could cleanse party politics and undermine bosses’ power bases in the neighborhoods.

A.     What were the political machines?

1.     Machine politicians used bribery and graft to further their ends

2.     Machines bred political bosses (leaders who could smooth the way so that special-interest groups could attain their goals & meet the needs of urban working classes)

3.     Machines made politics a full-time profession

4.     The system rested on a popular base that was held together by loyalty and service

5.     Machines were coalitions of smaller organizations that derived power directly from inner-city neighborhoods inhabited by native and immigrant working classes

B.     What were the techniques of bossism?

1.     Bosses were public ppleàeach boss had his own style

2.     To finance their activities & campaigns, bosses exchanged favors for votes or $

3.     Recipients of city business & jobs were expected to repay the machine w/a portion of their profits/salaries and to cast supporting votes on election day

a.      Critics called it graft; bosses called it gratitude

4.     Cities financed their expansion w/loans from the public in the form of municipal bonds

5.     Bosses held power b/c they tended to problems of everyday life

6.     While bosses were consolidating their power, others were attempting to destroy them

a.      Civic reformers organized to install more responsible leaders at the head of urban administrations

b.      Decided that they must reduce city budgets, make public employees work more efficiently, cut taxes

C.    What were the structural reforms in government?

1.     To impose business principles on govt, civic reformers supported structural changes such as the city-manager & commission forms of govt & nonpartisan citywide election of officials

2.     Reformers believed they could cleanse party politics and undermine bosses’ power bases in the neighborhoods

IX.  What were the urban professionals: social workers and engineers?

Driven by an urge to improve society, social reformers embarked on campaigns to identify and solve urban problems.  Middle-class young pple went to the settlement house to live and work in order to bridge the gulf b/w social classes. A contrast developed b/w white female reformers & black female reformers. A group of male reformers began the City Beautiful Movt to improve cities’ attractiveness. Technical and professional creativity was required to address sanitation, street lighting, bridge and street construction.  To solve their problems, cities increasingly depended on engineers. Central heat & artificial light made it possible to enjoy a steady, comfortable temperature & turn night into day, while indoor plumbing removed the unpleasant experiences of the outhouse.

A.     What was the social reform?

1.     Driven by an urge to improve society, social reformers embarked on campaigns to identify and solve urban problems

2.     Educational reformers saw public schools as a means of preparing immigrant children for citizenship by teaching them American values and English

3.     Settlement house

a.      Run mostly by women

b.      Middle-class young pple went to the settlement house to live & work in order to bridge the gulf b/w social classes

c.      Although working-class & immigrant neighborhood residents sometimes mistrusted them as outsiders, settlement workers attracted support w/activities ranging from childcare & ethnic pageants

d.      Settlement workers became reform leaders in cities and US

B.     What was the beautification of campaigns?

1.     A group of male reformers began the City Beautiful Movt to improve cities’ attractiveness.

2.     Chicago’s South Side–architects and city planners worked to redesign the urban landscape

3.     Believed they could improve urban life by restoring cooperation among all citizens

4.     Urban reform merged idealism with gullibility and insensitivity

C.    What were the engineering reforms?

1.     Technical and professional creativity was required to address sanitation, street lighting, bridge and street construction, and other such needs

2.     To solve their problems, cities increasingly depended on engineers

D.    What did Engineers do for the home?

1.     Engineers and their technology brought changes in home life

2.      Central heat and artificial light made it possible to enjoy a steady, comfortable temperature and turn night into day, while indoor plumbing removed the unpleasant experiences of the outhouse

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