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New York City ca. 1890

New York City ca. 1890 - Sarah Bart Development of the US...

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Sarah Bart Development of the US II Isenberg February 28 2008 Leisure Time in the 19 th Century When Horatio Alger wrote Ragged Dick in the 1860s , civilized life in Manhattan barely extended to Central Park . Brooklyn was still fairly undeveloped , as the Brooklyn Bridge would not be built for approximately another two decades . The schism between the lives of the privileged and the working class was far greater than what one sees in Kasson s Amusing the Million , which is focused on the same caliber of people as in Ragged Dick , but thirty years later . Those thirty years of mass industrialization after the Civil War provided an increase in job security among the working class and thus more leisure time . Each of the places in Ragged Dick that were mentioned as social locales (the Bowery , the corners where Dick worked as a bootblack , the trolley cars) are obviously intertwined with his work , which was a priority at the time . On the other hand , social locations in Amusing the Million (Coney Island , Central Park , the 1893 Columbian Exhibition in Chicago) were obviously created for recreational purposes . Some of the major players in the reshaping of mass urban society---Frederick Law Olmsted , Andrew Jackson Downing , William Cullen Bryant--- were troubled by the contact without 1
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fellowship and congregation without community that were characteristic of the years prior to the redevelopment of the urban American landscape . (Kasson 12) Thus , the juxtaposition of the Industrial Revolution and the gentrification of the urban working society created a new , social middle class with leisure time that allowed places such as Coney Island and Central Park to thrive amidst the hustle and bustle of the City .
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