An Age of Cities Chapter 21, Section 2 An Age of Cities • Why did cities experience a population explosion? • How did city settlement patterns change? • How did settlement-house workers and other reformers work to solve city problems? Urbanization, the movement of population from farms to cities, began slowly in the early 1800s. In 1860, one in five Americans lived in a city. By 1890, one in three did. What drew people to the cities? Jobs As industry grew, so did the need for workers—in steel mills, garment factories, and so forth. Others were needed to serve the growing population, for example, by working in stores, restaurants, and banks. What drew people to cities? Immigration The flood of immigrants swelled city populations. What drew people to cities? In-migrants Fewer Americans went west to homestead. People moved from the farm to the city in hopes of finding a better life. Same reasons as many immigrants African Americans moved to the cities to improve their lives. Most African Americans lived in the rural south. When hard times hit or prejudice lead to violence, some African Americans headed to northern cities. By the 1890’s, the south side of Chicago has a thriving AfricanAmerican community. Detroit, New York, Philadelphia, and other northern cities also had growing African American neighborhoods Cities grew outward from their old downtown sections Jacob A. Riis, Bandit's Roost, 1888 Bandit’s Roost in an alley off of Mulberry Street in what is now New York’s Chinatown district), Riis argued that the alley, like the tenement, was a breeding ground for disorder and criminal behavior. Jacob A. Riis (Richard Hoe Lawrence), A Growler Gang in Session (Robbing a Lush), 1887 Jacob A. Riis, Street Arabs in Sleeping Quarters, c. 1880s Urban Poor Poor families crowded into the city’s center, the oldest section of the city. Builders put up buildings several stories high. They divided the buildings into small apartments, called tenements. Many tenements had no windows, heat, or indoor bathrooms. Diseases, and sometimes fires, raged through the tenements. Typical Tenement Building video clip City Life Urban Poor Jacob Riis “How the Other Half Lives” Urban middle class Beyond the slums stood the homes of the new middle class. Rows of neat houses lined treeshaded streets. Middle-class people joined clubs, societies, bowling leagues, and charitable organizations. The Wealthy On the outskirts of the city, behind walls, lay the mansions of the very rich. Rich Americans tried to live like European royalty. By the 1880s, reformers pressed city governments for change. Building codes set standards for construction and safety. They called for fire escapes and decent plumbing. Cities hired workers to collect garbage and sweep streets. Factories were prohibited in neighborhoods where people lived. Cities set up fire companies and police forces. Street lighting made streets less dangerous at night. Cities hired engineers and architects to design new water systems. Religious Organizations • The Catholic Church helped Irish, Polish, and Italian immigrants. A nun, Mother Cabrini, helped found dozens of hospitals. • Protestant ministers began preaching a new Social Gospel, which called on wellto-do members to do their duty as Christians by helping the poor. • The Salvation Army, begun by an English minister, expanded to the United States. It spread Christian teachings and offered food and shelter to the poor. • The Young Men’s Hebrew Association provided social activities, encouraged citizenship, and helped Jewish families preserve their culture The settlement house movement • By the late 1800s, individuals began to organize settlement houses, community centers that offered services to the poor. • The leading figure of the movement was Jane Addams. In 1889 in Chicago, she opened the first settlement house—Hull House. • Hull House volunteers taught classes in government, the English language, and health care. • Provided day care for working mothers and recreational activities for young people. • By 1900, about 100 settlement houses had opened in cities across the United States. • Settlement house workers such as Alice Hamilton, Florence Kelley, and Jane Addams, pressed for reforms—better health laws, a ban on child labor, and women’s suffrage.