HIS 101 4-18-16 HW - Life in Industrial America Read The...

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Life in Industrial America Read The American Yawp, chapter 18 (yes, we are skipping chapter 17) 1. In what way did the rapid rise in technology (brought about by inventors like Thomas Edison) change people’s conception of the possible? Edison announced electric power and lighting. Electricity revolutionized the world. Factories could operate anywhere at any hour. Electric rail cars allowed for cities to build out and electric elevators allowed for them to build up. Industry boosted productivity, railroads connected the nation, more and more Americans labored for wages, new occupations created a vast “white collar” middle class, and unprecedented fortunes rewarded the owners of capital. Change gripped the lives of everyday Americans and fundamentally reshaped American culture. Two technologies pioneered by Edison—the phonograph and motion pictures—stood ready to revolutionize leisure and help create the mass entertainment culture of the twentieth century. The phonograph could create multiple copies of recordings, sparking a great expansion of the market for popular music. In so-called phonograph parlors, where customers could pay a nickel to hear a piece of music. By the turn of the century Americans were purchasing phonographs for home use. Entertainment became the phonograph’s major market. In 1889 Edison innovated the rolling film. The film industry was creating the modern culture of celebrity that would characterize twentieth-century mass entertainment. 2. In what ways did immigrants shape the cities in which they settled? By far the most important factor drawing immigrants was economics. Immigrants came to the United States looking for work. Immigrants often clustered together in ethnic neighborhoods. They formed organizations and societies , such as Italian workmen’s clubs, Eastern European Jewish mutual-aid societies , and Polish Catholic Churches , to ease the transition to their new American home. Immigrant communities published newspapers in dozens of languages and purchased spaces to maintain their arts, languages, and traditions alive . They facilitated even more immigration: they wrote home and encouraged others to follow them (“chain migration”).
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