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feb8th-lecture - Politics in the Gilded Age I The Modern...

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Politics in the Gilded Age I. The Modern American City: Urban Culture and Urban Identities A. Culture, Leisure & Identity in the Machine Age: Coney Island and Baseball 1. Culture: Rise of community parks, libraries, museums etc. (where the upper and middle classes could be uplifted and civilized -- compared to the immigrants) 2. Attempts to tame the immigrants and mold them in a civilized image 3. Coney Island -- establishment of modern enclosed amusement parks (1904/1905), offers freedom from social obligations (all different classes can associate with one another) -- machines for pleasure, not work 4. Baseball becomes popular will the working class (as opposed to football which is a college sport) -- easily adapted to urban settings, inclusive because teams can be large (9+ people on each side), community building/Americanization for immigrants B. Palaces of Consumption and the New Middle Class 1. Department stores -- NYC’s Macys, etc provide customers with everything they can desire -- clothing, house ware, etc. 2. Source of what can be use to promote the “right image” -- the right hat/dress/shoes -- source of identity 3. People are pushed to purchase beyond their limit -- people enter into debt, forced to work more and more II.
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