The American Nation
Chapter 21
A New Urban Culture,
1865–1914
Copyright © 2003 by Pearson Education, Inc., publishing as Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle River, NJ. All rights reserved.
The American Nation
Chapter 21: A New Urban Culture, 1865–1914
Section 1:
New Immigrants in a Promised Land
Section 2:
An Age of Cities
Section 3:
Life in the Changing Cities
Section 4:
Public Education and American
Culture
Copyright © 2003 by Pearson Education, Inc., publishing as Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle River, NJ. All rights reserved.
New Immigrants in a Promised Land
Chapter 21, Section 1
• Why did millions of immigrants decide to make
the difficult journey to the United States?
• What problems did the “new immigrants” face in
adapting to American life?
• Why were some Americans opposed to increased
immigration?
Why Immigrants Came
Chapter 21, Section 1
Push factors
• In Europe, farm land was
becoming scarce. Farm families
could barely support themselves.
• Political or religious persecution
drove people from their homes. In
Russia, there were pogroms, or
organized attacks on Jewish
villages. Armenian Christians in
the Ottoman Empire were also
persecuted.
• Political unrest drove people
from their homes. For example, a
revolution in Mexico caused
thousands of Mexicans to flee.
Pull factors
• Industrial jobs were the chief pull
factor. Factory owners sent
agents to Europe and Asia to hire
workers. Steamship companies
offered special fares. Railroads
advertised cheap land.
• Once a family member settled in
the United States, he would send
for others to join him.
• Many were attracted by the
promise of freedom guaranteed
in the Bill of Rights—freedom
from arrest without a cause and
freedom of religion.
Push factors are conditions that drive people from their homes.
Pull factors are conditions that attract immigrants to a new area.
Why Immigrants Came
Chapter 21, Section 1
Push Factors
• Scarce land
• Farm jobs lost to new
machines
• Political and religious
persecution
• Revolution
• Poverty and hard lives
Pull Factors
• Promise of freedom
• Family or friends already
settled in the United States
• Factory jobs available
The New Immigrants
Chapter 21, Section 1
Problems the New Immigrants Faced
Chapter 21, Section 1
•
•
•
•
•
The voyage across the ocean was often miserable. Shipowners
jammed up to 2,000 people in steerage, the airless rooms below
deck. For most European immigrants, the voyage ended in New
York City, where they were greeted by the Statue of Liberty, a
symbol of hope and freedom.
First, immigrants had to go through a receiving station. After 1892,
the receiving station in New York was on Ellis Island. Here they
had a medical inspection. The few who appeared unhealthy were
sent home.
Often, if American officials had trouble spelling immigrants’
names, they simply changed them.
After 1910, many Asian immigrants entered through Angel Island
in San Francisco Bay. To discourage Asian immigration, new
arrivals were often delayed on the island for a long time.
Immigrants faced a new land whose language and customs they
did not know.
Problems the New Immigrants Faced
Chapter 21, Section 1
• Many immigrants had unrealistic expectations
about what they would find in the United States.
They had to adjust to reality.
• In large American cities, immigrants packed into
city slums. The immigrants tended to settle in
their own neighborhoods, where people spoke
their own language and carried on their own
customs.
• Newcomers were faced with learning American
ways. They struggled with acculturation, the
process of holding on to older traditions while
adapting to the ways of a new culture.
Why Some People Opposed Immigration
Chapter 21, Section 1
•
•
•
•
•
Even before the Civil War, nativists tried to limit immigration and
preserve the country for native-born white Protestants.
Nativitists argued that immigrants would not fit into American
culture. Many workers resented the immigrants for working for
low pay. Other people feared them because they were different.
Nativists targeted Jews and Italians in the Northeast, Mexicans in
the Southwest, and Asians on the Pacific Coast.
In the West, as the Chinese population grew, so did prejudice and
violence against them. Congress passed the Chinese Exclusion
Act, which barred Chinese laborers from entering the country. It
was the first law to exclude a specific national group from
immigrating. It was repealed in 1943.
In 1887, nativists formed the American Protective Association to
work for restricted immigration. Congress responded by passing a
bill that denied entry to people who could not read their own
language.
Section 1 Assessment
Chapter 21, Section 1
The strongest pull factor attracting immigrants to the United States was
a) industrial jobs.
b) ethnic neighborhoods.
c) the voyage across the ocean.
d) the opportunity to mix with people from many countries.
One reason nativists opposed immigration was because they
a) did not want the immigrants to suffer disappointment when things did
not turn out the way they expected.
b) did not want to bother with learning new languages.
c) feared people who were different.
d) felt that immigrant workers were too highly paid.
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Section 1 Assessment
Chapter 21, Section 1
The strongest pull factor attracting immigrants to the United States was
a) industrial jobs.
b) ethnic neighborhoods.
c) the voyage across the ocean.
d) the opportunity to mix with people from many countries.
One reason nativists opposed immigration was because they
a) did not want the immigrants to suffer disappointment when things did
not turn out the way they expected.
b) did not want to bother with learning new languages.
c) feared people who were different.
d) felt that immigrant workers were too highly paid.
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An Age of Cities
Chapter 21, Section 2
• 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?
An Urban Population Explosion
Chapter 21, Section 2
An Urban Population Explosion
Chapter 21, Section 2
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.
Immigrants
The flood of immigrants swelled city populations.
In-migrants
Fewer Americans went west to homestead. Instead, people moved from
the farm to the city in hopes of finding a better life.
African
Americans
When hard times hit or prejudice led to violence in the South, many
African Americans went north hoping for a better life in northern cities.
An Urban Population Explosion
Chapter 21, Section 2
City Settlement Patterns
Chapter 21, Section 2
Cities grew outward from their old downtown sections.
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.
Urban
middle
class
• Beyond the slums stood the homes of the new middle class.
Rows of neat houses lined tree-shaded streets.
• Middle-class people joined clubs, societies, bowling leagues,
and charitable organizations.
Rich
• On the outskirts of the city, behind walls, lay the mansions of
the very rich.
• Rich Americans tried to live like European royalty.
Working to Solve City Problems
Chapter 21, Section 2
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 helped.
• 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 well-to-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.
Working to Solve City Problems
Chapter 21, Section 2
Religious organizations helped.
• 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. They provided day care for working mothers
and recreational activities for young people.
• By 1900, about 100 such centers 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.
Section 2 Assessment
Chapter 21, Section 2
The main reason people moved to cities in the late 1800s was because they
were seeking
a) police protection.
b) jobs in industry.
c) good garbage service.
d) gymnasiums and other recreational activities.
Jane Addams established a settlement house in order to
a) set standards for construction.
b) give the middle-class a sense of community.
c) keep factories out of the neighborhoods.
d) offer services to the poor and help immigrants acculturate.
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Section 2 Assessment
Chapter 21, Section 2
The main reason people moved to cities in the late 1800s was because they
were seeking
a) police protection.
b) jobs in industry.
c) good garbage service.
d) gymnasiums and other recreational activities.
Jane Addams established a settlement house in order to
a) set standards for construction.
b) give the middle-class a sense of community.
c) keep factories out of the neighborhoods.
d) offer services to the poor and help immigrants acculturate.
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Life in the Changing Cities
Chapter 21, Section 3
• How did the building boom affect city life?
• Why were sports so popular?
• What forms of entertainment did city dwellers
enjoy?
A Building Boom
Chapter 21, Section 3
A building boom changed American cities.
Skyscrapers
• Using new technology, builders designed skyscrapers—tall
buildings with many floors supported by a lightweight steel
frame.
• The new electric elevators carried people to the upper floors.
Traffic
• Skyscrapers crowded more people into the downtown.
Streetcars, or trolleys, moved people around town quickly and
cleanly. Trolley lines could carry people from the city to its
outskirts, which contributed to the creation of the suburbs. A
suburb is a residential area on or near the outskirts of a city.
• Some cities built steam-driven passenger trains on elevated
tracks. Boston built the first American subway.
• Some cities needed ways to move people across rivers or
bays. James B. Eads built a three-arched bridge across the
Mississippi River at St. Louis. The Brooklyn Bridge linked
Manhattan Island and Brooklyn.
A Building Boom
Chapter 21, Section 3
Parks
Some city planners believed that open land would calm busy city
dwellers. Frederick Law Olmsted planned Central Park in New
York City. Other cities followed and set aside land for parks and
zoos.
Shopping
In the past, people had bought different items in different stores.
The new department stores sold all kinds of goods in different
departments of the same store. R. H. Macy opened a nine-story
department store in New York in 1902.
Sports Became Popular
Chapter 21, Section 3
Factory work offered little chance to socialize on the job. Sports provided an
escape from the pressures of work.
Baseball
• Baseball was the most popular sport. By the 1870s, several cities had
professional baseball teams and the first professional league was
organized.
• At first, African Americans played professional baseball. In time, the
major leagues barred black players. In 1885, Frank Thompson organized
one of the first African American professional teams, the Cuban Giants of
Long Island.
Football
• Football grew out of European soccer, which Americans had played since
colonial times.
Basketball James Naismith invented basketball in 1891. He taught physical education
at a Young Men’s Christian Association in Massachusetts. He wanted a sport
that could be played indoors in the winter.
Entertainment in the City
Chapter 21, Section 3
Music and other kinds of entertainment brought Americans together.
Music and variety shows
• Many cities organized symphony orchestras and opera
companies.
• Many people enjoyed vaudeville, a variety show that included
comedians, song-and-dance routines, and acrobats.
• Many of America’s best-loved entertainers performed in
vaudeville—George M. Cohan, the Marx Brothers, and Will Rogers.
Popular music
• Thomas Edison’s phonograph sparked a new industry.
• Ragtime was a new kind of music with a lively, rhythmic sound.
Pianist and composer Scott Joplin helped make ragtime popular.
• Marching bands were popular. They played the military music of
John Philip Sousa, who composed “The Stars and Stripes
Forever.”
Section 3 Assessment
Chapter 21, Section 3
The electric streetcar, or trolley, helped bring about the creation of
a) skyscrapers.
b) suburbs.
c) department stores.
d) public parks.
Many city dwellers enjoyed going to a vaudeville house, where they saw
a) a basketball game.
b) a symphony.
c) a variety show with comedians and acrobats.
d) an opera.
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Section 3 Assessment
Chapter 21, Section 3
The electric streetcar, or trolley, helped bring about the creation of
a) skyscrapers.
b) suburbs.
c) department stores.
d) public parks.
Many city dwellers enjoyed going to a vaudeville house, where they saw
a) a basketball game.
b) a symphony.
c) a variety show with comedians and acrobats.
d) an opera.
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Public Education and American Culture
Chapter 21, Section 4
• How did public education grow after the Civil
War?
• How did newspapers, magazines, and dime
novels reflect changes in reading habits?
• Why did writers and painters turn to everyday life
for subjects?
The Growth of Public Education
Chapter 21, Section 4
Public education
• As industry grew, the nation needed a more educated work force.
• States improved public schools.
• Most states passed compulsory education laws that required
children to attend school, usually through sixth grade.
• In large cities, public schools taught English to young immigrants.
• In the 1880s, Catholics opened their own parochial, or churchsponsored, schools.
The school day
• The school day usually lasted from 8:00 A.M. to 4:00 P.M.
• Students studied reading, writing, and arithmetic.
• Schools emphasized discipline and obedience.
The Growth of Public Education
Chapter 21, Section 4
Higher learning
• Many cities and towns built public high schools.
• New private colleges for women and men opened.
• Most public schools had programs to prepare students for jobs in
business and industry.
Family learning
• In 1874, a Methodist minister opened a summer camp at Lake
Chautauqua in New York. People gathered each summer for
spiritual guidance and lectures on art, politics, and other subjects.
• By the early 1900s, the Chautauqua Society was sending out
traveling companies to 10,000 American towns every year.
Changes in American Reading Habits
Chapter 21, Section 4
As education spread, people read more, especially
newspapers.
• The number of newspapers grew dramatically.
• Many immigrants learned to read English by reading the
newspaper.
• Joseph Pulitzer created the first modern, mass-circulation
newspaper—the New York World.
• William Randolph Hearst challenged Pulitzer with his paper,
the New York Journal.
• Critics coined the term yellow journalism for the
sensational reporting style of the World and the Journal.
• Newspapers published special sections for women readers.
A few women worked as reporters. Nellie Bly wrote about
cruelty in mental hospitals.
Changes in American Reading Habits
Chapter 21, Section 4
Americans also read more books and magazines.
• Each magazine, such as The Ladies’ Home Journal and
Harper’s Monthly, had its special audience.
• Low-priced paperbacks, known as dime novels, offered
thrilling adventure stories. Many told about the “Wild
West.” Horatio Alger wrote more than 100 dime novels
about poor boys who became rich.
American Writers
Chapter 21, Section 4
Realists
A group of writers who tried to show the harsh side of life as
it was. They wanted to make people aware of the costs of
urbanization and industrial growth.
Stephen Crane
Best known for a Civil War novel, The Red Badge of
Courage. He also wrote Maggie: A Girl of the Streets, about
young city slum dwellers.
Jack London
Wrote about miners and sailors on the West Coast.
Kate Chopin
Wrote short stories about women breaking out of traditional
roles.
Paul Laurence
Dunbar
Was the first African American to make a living as a writer.
He wrote poems, such as “We Wear the Mask.”
Mark Twain
The most famous and popular author of this period. He used
local color to make his stories more realistic. Local color
refers to the speech and habits of a particular region. Twain
used homespun characters to poke fun at serious issues. He
wrote Huckleberry Finn.
American Painters
Chapter 21, Section 4
Realists
Like writers, many artists sought to capture local color and
the rough side of modern life.
Winslow
Homer
During the Civil War, Homer drew scenes of battles for
magazines. Later, he painted realistic images of the New
England coast.
Thomas
Eakins
Learned anatomy and dissected dead bodies to learn to
portray the human form accurately. He painted sports
scenes and medical operations.
Henry Tanner
Won fame for pictures of black sharecroppers.
James
Whistler
His use of color and light influenced European artists.
Mary Cassatt
Especially known for her bright, colorful scenes of mothers
with their children.
Section 4 Assessment
Chapter 21, Section 4
One reason states improved and expanded the public school system was
because
a) they wanted to keep immigrants from hanging around on street
corners.
b) some churches worried that young people were not learning enough
about religion.
c) newspapers needed more readers.
d) the nation needed an educated work force.
Many American writers and artists turned to realism in order to
a) show that American life was superior to life in Europe.
b) make people aware of the costs of urbanization and industrial growth.
c) offer the hope that even the poorest person could succeed.
d) disguise the truth about crimes and political scandals.
Want to connect to the American History link for this section? Click here.
Section 4 Assessment
Chapter 21, Section 4
One reason states improved and expanded the public school system was
because
a) they wanted to keep immigrants from hanging around on street
corners.
b) some churches worried that young people were not learning enough
about religion.
c) newspapers needed more readers.
d) the nation needed an educated work force.
Many American writers and artists turned to realism in order to
a) show that American life was superior to life in Europe.
b) make people aware of the costs of urbanization and industrial growth.
c) offer the hope that even the poorest person could succeed.
d) disguise the truth about crimes and political scandals.
Want to connect to the American History link for this section? Click here.
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