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AMSCO Chapter 18: The Growth of Cities and American Culture, 1865-1900In 1893, Chicago hosted a world's fair known as the World's Columbian Exposition. More than 12 million people traveled to the White City,as Chicago's fairgrounds and gleaming white buildings were known. Visitors saw the progress of American civilization as represented bynew industrial technologies and by the architects' grand visions of an ideal urban environment. In just six decades, Chicago's population hadgrown to more than one million. Its central business district was a marvel of modern urban structures: steel framed skyscrapers,department stores, and theaters. Around this central hub lay a sprawling gridiron of workers’ housing near the city's factories andwarehouses, and a few miles beyond were tree-lined suburban retreats for the wealthy. The entire urban complex was connected byhundreds of miles of streetcars and railroads.Visitors to Chicago also experienced a "gray city" of pollution, poverty, crime, and vice. Some complained of the confusion of tongues, "worsethan the tower of Babel, “for in 1893 Chicago was a city of immigrants. More than three-fourths of its population were either foreign-born orthe children of the foreign-born. Both the real Chicago and the idealized "White City" represented the complex ways in which three greatforces of change-industrialization, immigration, and urbanization-were transforming the nature of American society in the late 19th century.A previous chapter covered industrialization. This chapter focuses on immigration and urbanization.A Nation of ImmigrantsIn the last half of the 19th century, the U.S. population more than tripled, from about 23.2 million in 1850 to 76.2 million in 1900. The arrivalof 16.2 million immigrants fueled the growth. An additional 8.8 million more arrived during the peak years of immigration, 1901-1910.Growth of ImmigrationThe growing connections between the United States and the world are evident during this period, especially in the area of immigration. Anincreased combination of "pushes" (negative factors from which people are fleeing) and "pulls" (positive attractions of the adopted country)increased migrations around the world. The negative forces driving Europeans to emigrate included (1) the poverty of displacedfarmworkers driven from the land by political turmoil and the mechanization of farm work, (2) overcrowding and joblessness in cities as aresult of a population boom, and (3)religious persecution, particularly of Jews in eastern Europe. Positive reasons for moving to the UnitedStates included this country's reputation for political and religious freedom and the economic opportunities afforded by the settling of theWest and the abundance of industrial jobs in U.S. cities. Furthermore, the introduction of large steamships and the relatively inexpensiveone-way passage in the ships' "steerage" made it possible for millions of poor people to emigrate.