History Notes: October 22, 2007
THE NEW AGE
All have in common that they are reactions to society that came with industrial
society. People moving from the country to the city. Reformers emerge b/c they
1820: 3% to 1860: 20% in cities
Immigrants needed to work for us. Have to have workers to be successful.
Most immigrants come from Ireland (b/c of Potato famine; most go to seaports)
and Germany (interior cities: TX, OH, etc.); most go to NY and Boston and don’t
speak English and b/c of Catholic religion doesn’t go over well with Protestants
and some won’t hire
: Germans and Irish set up these (positive) area in a city where large
#’s of ethnic peoples live and provides arrival point for new immigrant so that
they have a familiar point in language, food, culture, etc.
Life in cities hard, few municipal water supplies, drink water from wells and go
to bathroom in the streets (causes them to get sick), diseases contaminated in
NYC: develop water supply system that brings water from about 300 miles away.
Garbage: cities rely on roaming pigs to eat it or pray for rain to wash it away.
B/c of this, cities have problems with diseases that spread rapidly (cholera,
Wealthy can pay for sewer systems that are developed,
: areas where poor live that have no city services, breeding grounds for
crime and starvation
Build catholic churches, send to private schools, clubs for men and women for
Irish and Germans do similar.
New cultural focus is the bar. Men gather to drink, fight, politics, religion,
Gang wars true among fire companies (young males expected to volunteer)
Entertainment: entrepreneurs build theaters (plays targeted to make fun of
: people read these and were highly sensationalized (with pictures)
that were meant to grab person and only cost a penny of events in local
neighborhoods-shocking people becomes more important than telling the truth
America’s famous writers get their start in penny papers
: wrote about heart and soul of American psyches. Very high levels
of detail of daily lives of these people-lived with them. 1855: leaves of Grass
published and considered scandalous
Edgar Allen Poe
: Baltimore, inspiration in urban culture (from crime and bottle)
drowned in puddle b/c passed out drunk; fascinated with grotesque murders and
didn’t feel bad about embellishing stories
Free blacks in N. cities competing for space; face pervasive discrimination
based on skin color. People could discriminate b/c of color (even new immigrants
who do so to raise themselves up). Blacks see what immigrants are doing with
religion, groups, etc. to unite them and community.