The Modern American City Paper 1

The Modern American City Paper 1 - The "Old...

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The “Old World” Culture vs. the American Mind: The “Fight” of the Century By Jesse Morris “The Modern American City” HSS 2458 02 Professor Schmitz Paper 1
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Modern America knows Chicago as the “windy city” not due to its inclement weather, but for another asset of its personality. This legendary nickname was derived because Chicago’s politicians were known to be full of nothing but “hot air” (long-winded, and good at making promises they wouldn’t keep). The geography, time zone, nature, and resources were all major contributing factors to Chicago’s identity, but the people who inhabited it gave the city its distinctive characteristics. In order to truly see how Chicago had built themselves into a world renowned city, historians and students alike analyzed the demographics of Chicago’s earliest immigrants to make conclusions about the current state of their society. Upton Sinclair’s 1906 novel The Jungle can be used as a tool to demonstrate how early life in America destroyed the immigrant culture forever. Corruption, greed, and disease found in the Chicago meatpacking industry served as major determinants for the radical changes that enveloped in the lives of many immigrants. These dehumanizing and thought provoking factors of life were nothing but an essential asset to wealthy business owners of the time. The destruction of immigrant cultures throughout the industrial revolution was the food that fed the fire in the wallets of the money hungry dictators that controlled the industry in America’s major cities. Books such as The Jungle specifically focus on the aspect of Chicago’s corruption, but it also conveys a message to the entire country about inflicting change. A city that began as a small trading post in the late 18 th century became the second biggest city in the United States by 1890. Chicago was known as the gateway between the east and west and it currently inhabits almost 3 million people, earning itself the honor of being the third largest city in the United States behind Los Angeles and New York. Unlike older and more historical centered cities like Boston, Chicago was focused around the factory system where mass production was as common as inhaling its dirty air. The factory system spread about a 2
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competitive nature that engulfed the city’s wealthy elite. In turn, “factory life” became the only
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The Modern American City Paper 1 - The "Old...

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