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Title: By Bruce E. Donohoe

Cities and Immigrants in the Gilded Age
  • By Bruce E. Donohoe

"America was built by immigrants. From Plymouth
Rock in the seventeenth century to Ellis Island
in the twentieth, people born elsewhere came to
America. Some were fleeing religious persecution
and political turmoil. Most, however, came for
economic reasons and were part of mass
movements.... The American economy had needed
both unskilled and skilled workers through much
of the nineteenth century.
But after the 1880s, the demand was almost
exclusively for unskilled workers to fill the
growing number of factory jobs. Coinciding with
this were poor conditions in some areas of
Europe, which were undergoing major economic and
political changes in the 1880s. Southern and
eastern Europeans, dislocated from their land and
possessing few skills, were attracted to the jobs
offered by the burgeoning industries in the
United States. They had been told that the
streets in America were paved with Gold
Life and Politics of the Gilded Age
  • A Nation of Immigrants
  • Changing patterns after the Civil War
  • Ellis Island
  • Urbanization New York
  • Reforming the City Chicago
  • Preview The 20s
  1. Colonial heritage
  2. German Immigration
  3. The Irish
  4. Immigrant treatment

Our Colonial Heritage
Immigration to America is as old as knowledge of
the new world to the post Columbian world. The
first major migration to America was at Roanoke
Island. That Virginia colony failed, but
Jamestown in 1607 and Plymouth in 1620 were seeds
that grew. The replica of the Mayflower
celebrates the journey of the Puritan Pilgrims
who fled England just 30 years before Puritans
came to rule that nation. they came to escape
religious persecution.
German Immigration
The majority of early settlers were either
English or German. The major German colony in the
Americas was Pennsylvania, settled in the late
1600s. They also settled in regions of New York
and moved into the farming areas of the Ohio
valley, the mid west and eventually even into
Texas when it was opened in the 1800s.
Why Immigrate?
Europeans and later, the people of other
continents, came to America for many reasons, but
in the end, their motives fell into one of five
  1. A new life
  2. Economic opportunity
  3. Political freedom
  4. Religious freedom
  5. coercion

Immigration in the Early 1800s
For many years, immigrants trickled into the
United States in small to medium numbers. They
came mainly from Western and Northern Europe,
especially from Scotland, Germany and even still
from England. Immigrants were processed locally
and faced little difficulty getting into the new
nation. They settled together in ethnic regions,
staking out a claim in the lands they settled.
Their impact is still seen today in the ethnic
flavor of places like the German country of
Texas. Mass migration to the U.S. began with the
Irish potato blight.
The Potato Famine
People outside Ireland refer to that country's
19th century horror as the Irish Potato Famine.
The Irish people call it the Great Hunger or the
Great Starvation. Consequences of the Great
Hunger still exist. So many people died, or left
Ireland, that the country's population is still
lower than it was before the potato blight. The
potato blight was caused by a fungus which caused
the potatoes to rot before harvest.
The blight hit first in 1845
The Potato famine
The potato was not the only crop the people
grew, but it was the main food crop. Without
it, people were forced to purchase much of their
food. When they were unable to pay their rents,
many were evicted from their homes. It began
with a blight of the potato crop that left acre
upon acre of Irish farmland covered with black
rot. As harvests failed, the price of food
soared. Subsistence-level Irish farmers found the
crops they relied on to pay the rent to their
British and Protestant landlords destroyed.
Impact of the famine
The Irish Famine of 1846-50 took as many as one
million lives from hunger and disease, another
two million emigrated, and it changed the social
and cultural structure of Ireland in profound
ways. Its impact on the U.S. came in the form of
immigration. Irish immigrants flooded American
cities seeking a new life. They came in cramped
ships that have been labeled The Famine Ships.
The Famine Ships
Some landlords paid for their tenants to
emigrate, compelling hundreds of thousands of
Irish to go to America and other English-speaking
countries. But even emigration was no panacea --
ship owners often crowded hundreds of desperate
Irish onto rickety vessels labeled Famine
ships, and more cynically. "coffin ships." In
many cases, these ships reached port only after
losing a third of their passengers to disease,
hunger and other causes.
The Famine Ships
Tale of the crossing
The Jenny Johnson
One emigrant vessel, the Jeanie Johnston
(1847-1858) was the most famous and had the
proudest record. On her 16 voyages, to
Baltimore, New York, and Quebec between 1848
and 1855 she never lost a passenger to disease
or to the sea. And even when she sank,
waterlogged at last, in 1858, she went down
slowly in the mid-Atlantic and all aboard were
The Famine Ships
  1. Is the cartoonist generally complimentary or
    negative? Explain.
  2. Does he think the Irish will be a positive
    influence on America, or a negative one?
  3. What groups in America might be economically
    challenged or threatened by immigrants?

The Irish Experience Job discrimination
Irish Immigration to America represented the
first mass immigration to the United States and
set the stage for all future immigrating ethnic
minorities. They met with discrimination and
prejudice in their quest for those new lives.
Newspaper adds and store front signs touting, "No
Irish need apply," and less obvious forms of
prejudice were not uncommon.
No Irish need Apply
  1. What kind of job is available?
  2. This ad is incomplete. What kinds of jobs might
    a grocery store be offering?

The Irish Experience
Yet the Irish learned of a power they had not
previously enjoyed in Ireland, the power of the
polls. Because the Irish were concentrated in
large cities, they held considerable clout when
it came time to vote. The grassroots urban
political organizations formed by the Irish
thrived on the concept of providing for those who
could not otherwise help themselves in exchange
for their votes come election time. The Irish
slowly stepped up the social ladder.
The Irish immigrant found himself welcome in two
places more than any other the coal mines and
the railroad building gangs.
Life and Politics of the Gilded Age
  • A Nation of Immigrants
  • Changing patterns after the Civil War
  • Ellis Island
  • Urbanization New York
  • Reforming the City Chicago
  • Preview The 20s
  1. European Conditions in the 1860s unsettled
  2. Eastern and Southern Europeans
  3. Immigrant Experiences

European Unrest
The industrial revolution in England forced many
farmers off their lands. Many found work in the
factories, but others did not. In other places,
such as Germany, political unrest contributed to
migration as wars tore through the land. One
major result was migration to the United States.
The New Immigrants
Although the reasons for their travel changed
very little, the national origin of the
immigrants changed after the Civil War. The
so-called New Immigrant was from Eastern and
Southern Europe and the language of choice became
Polish, Italian, Hungarian and Yiddish. The
change was not wholly welcome, but they came.
The Immigrant Experience
Each generation of immigrant came, settled in the
Americas, often taking the lowest paying jobs.
The competition for work in the factories often
led to ethnic strife as well. A new group
arrived, worked for very low wages, and replaced
the previous group at the bottom of the economic
dog pile. Soon however, they learned to fight
for fair treatment and they were in turn replaced
by the next group of immigrants. The chain just
kept repeating as each wave of immigrants
competed with the one that had come before them.
Life and Politics of the Gilded Age
  • A Nation of Immigrants
  • Changing patterns after the Civil War
  • Ellis Island
  • Urbanization New York
  • Reforming the City Chicago
  • Preview The 20s
  1. Immigrants before Ellis Island
  2. The Ellis Island concept
  3. The Experience
  4. Ellis Island finally closed
  5. Angel Island in California

The Passage
    We were pretty wild running around that
ship.  My oldest brother - we lost him on the
ship.  The ship was so big and the kids were
running around.  My mother was really scared. 
We didn't know what happened to him.  We stayed
in the lowest class, not second class, not third
class, how would you call it - steerage.  And
that's how we lived.  Whenever they gave you
anything like nuts or fruits, they would throw it
at you and the kids would crawl even under the
beds to pick this stuff up.  Oh, that was awful. 
It was dirty and my dad could not afford anything
better so we just had to take it. - Butch
Castle Garden
Opened in 1855, Castle Garden was built to
process the vast numbers of immigrants arriving
from Ireland and Germany. The Irish fled
political and economic chaos following the potato
blight and the German immigrant fled the
political turmoil faced by the hundreds of small
rival states competing for control of German
Castle Garden was Americas first government run
immigration center.
Castle Garden is too small
When the Federal Government took over the control
of immigration in the 1880s, the wave of
immigration had grown so large that Castle Island
was inadequate to handle the job. Immigration
patterns were about to change. The new immigrant
would no longer be Anglo-Saxon.
The History of Ellis Island
In the 1880s, the government decided to replace
the Immigration Station at Castle Garden. In
1890, Castle Garden, located on the southern tip
of Manhattan, was closed. Ellis Island was
selected to be the new immigration processing
center to facilitate the large number of
immigrants coming to America. In 1892, Ellis
Island opened and for the next fifty years more
than twelve million people came through the
famous center on their way into the United
Castle Garden, on Manhatten Island was the
immigration center until Ellis Island opened in
Opening Day on Ellis Island
The first Ellis Island Immigration Station
officially opens on January 1, 1892 as three
large ships wait to land. 700 immigrants passed
through Ellis Island that day, and nearly 450,000
followed through the course of that first year.
Annie Moore, a 15 year old girl from County Cork,
Ireland, was the first person admitted to the new
immigration station. On that opening day, she
received a greeting from officials and a 10.00
gold piece.
News paper and German work visa
Statue of Liberty
As the new Americans to be arrived, their first
sight of America was the skyline of the thriving
metropolis and the rising image of the Statue of
Liberty. Donated to the United States as a gift
in 1876, the statue celebrated the 100th
anniversary of the Declaration of Independence
and the strong friendship between the U.S. and
France. To the immigrant, it was a symbol of all
their hopes and dreams an image of the freedom
they expected in America.
The New Colossus by Emma Lazarus
Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled
masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched
refuse of your teeming shore, Send these, the
homeless, tempest-tossed to me, I lift my lamp
by the golden door.
  1. What kinds of people does Lazzarus suggest the
    United States wants from foreign nations?
  2. What do you think is meant by the phrase the
    Golden Door?

The Ellis Island Experience
From the bow of your arriving ship, your first
view of the immigration center at Ellis Island
might have been rather bouncy, but your hopes,
dreams and fears depended on what happened in
this vast building over the next four to five
hours. Most who arrived were admitted.
Immigrant Processing
Would you make it? Click the star for the test.
About 20 of all immigrants were detained for
questioning and 2 were deported for other
reasons. Medical conditions radical political
beliefs were the main reasons one might fail the
admissions checks.
Immigrant Processing
As an immigrant, you had journeyed for weeks to
reach this building, this view. Now, the last
100 yards would lead to the fulfillment of your
dreams, or the terrible fears of your nightmares.
Would you be admitted the odds were good, but
it was no sure thing.
Baggage Check
New arrivals checked their heaviest baggage here,
before heading for the Great Hall. Most families
arrived with very little more than come clothes
and perhaps a prize possession, like a musical
instrument or family heirloom.
The Stairs of Separation
As immigrants walked up these stairs, they were
examined by public health officials who carefully
watched for signs of disease and insanity. Anyone
showing signs was marked for detention and
further examination. Getting a mark here was not
the end of your dreams, but it did not help
your cause at all.
Medical Exams
Typhoid Fever, diptheria, whooping cough and
other dread infectious diseases were a death
sentence to your dreams and meant deportation.
About 10 of immigrants were detained for medical
concerns, although many were eventually cleared.
The Isle of Dreams and Tears
Ellis Island became known as The Isle of Dreams
and Tears. Most were admitted, but about 2
were deported, their dream of a new life in
America forever shattered.
The Great Hall
This was it you arrived here and waited for
hours until you were called before an inspector
who would interview you. His decision would clear
you for America, for passage through the fabled
Golden Door, or shatter your hopes and send you
back to the old country.
The Kissing Post
Cleared for admission to the United Stated, the
immigrant walked down the stairs and into the
hallway where long lost friends and relatives
might well be awaiting. The happiness at this
point on the Island was unbounded. The joyous,
festive sight became known as the Kissing Post.
From here, the next boat ride led to the
new world. New Yorks happiness and heartbreaks
Through the Golden Door
Immigrants tended to settle in the major cities.
It was here that they had jobs. Many times,
bosses seeking workers met the boats from Ellis
Island with offers of jobs. The new arrivals
often had work before they even had a place to
Through the Golden Door
  • These immigrants were photographed as they
    awaited the ferry to New York.
  • Write a short story about the emotions you might
    be experiencing if you were in this picture as a
    new immigrant.

A Disastrous setback
On June 15, 1897, with 200 immigrants on the
island, a fire broke out in one of the towers
in the main building and the roof collapsed.
Though no one was killed, all immigration
records dating back to 1840 and the Castle
Garden era were destroyed. The Immigration
Station was temporarily relocated to the Barge
Office in Battery Park in Manhattan.
Rebuilding Ellis Island
On December 17, 1900, the New York Tribune
released a scandalous account of conditions at
the Battery station calling it "grimy,
gloomy... and more suggestive of an enclosure
for animals than a receiving station for
prospective citizens of the United States." In
response to this, New York architectural firm
Boring Tilton reconstructed the immigrant
station and the new, fire proofed facility was
officially opened in December as 2,251 people
passed through on opening day.
Three Great Waves of Immigration
  • c. 1815-1860----5 million immigrants settled
    permanently in the United States, mainly English,
    Irish, Germanic, Scandinavian, and others from
    northwestern Europe
  • c. 1865-1890----10 million immigrants settled
    permanently in America, again mainly from
    northwestern Europe
  • c. 1890-1914----15 million immigrants journeyed
    to the United States, many of whom were
    Austro-Hungarian, Turkish, Lithuanian, Russian,
    Jewish, Greek, Italian, Romanian

Settlement in the Cities
Although many immigrants did migrate to rural
America, a majority settled in cities. Immigrant
populations, in fact, were highest in four of the
largest cities at the time (New York, Boston,
Pittsburgh, and Chicago). Furthermore,
five out of every six Irish and Russian
travelers, three out of four Italian and
Hungarian immigrants and seven of ten arrivals
from England, eventually settled in the nation's
great cities.
Many immigrants came to America with little money
to buy farms or expensive farming equipment.
Some, including many Slavs, simply came to
America too late to acquire free or cheap land.
Others moved
to cities for different reasons. Many Irish opted
for an urban life because they associated farming
with English landlords who had persecuted Irish
tenant farmers. Immigrants, particularly Jews,
settled in urban areas because their forebears
had already established vibrant cultural,
religious, and educational institutions
throughout many of the nation's largest cities.
The Lower East Side
Residential communities on the Lower East Side
were shaped by flows of ethnic and religious
groups from across Europe. Immigrants combined
elements from their homeland's cultural and
religious practices with the economic and social
realities of living in New York City. Over six
decades, the blocks north of Houston Street
housed Irish, Germans, Austro-Hungarians, and
Italians along with Russian, German and Polish
Jews and a handful of other ethnic and religious
groups. Irish immigrants had settled first. In
the 1860s, the Irish had begun to be replaced by
German immigrants, forming Kleindeutschland
(Little Germany.) Italians established an enclave
in the north end of the neighborhood near 12th
Street and First Avenue. 
Making it big their kids!
Most immigrants went straight to work in the
factories and mines. Few made it big in the new
world, but a few of their kids and many of their
grandchildren were different stories. Raised in
they were able to make much more of life in the
new world, becoming the first generations of new
Angel Island
On the Pacific coast, the need for an immigration
facility led to the creation of the Angel Island
immigration station in San Francisco Bay.
Arrivals from Asia, especially Japan and China
were processed there in much the way that
Europeans arrived in Ellis Island.
(No Transcript)
Rise of Nativism
Nativism, the belief in the superiority of ones
nation and a desire to protect it against
undesirable influences, began in the mid 1800s,
especially the 1870s. One of the first laws
restricting immigration came in 1875 when the law
forbid criminals and prostitutes
from entering the U.S. The greatest cause of
nativism was the increasingly alien culture of
the new immigrants. Chinatown was a common sight
in western cities few were familiar with their
culture, but anyone could tell how different it
Example Chinese Exclusion Act
An even better example came in 1882 when the
United States passed the Chinese Exclusion Act.
It banned all Chinese Immigration to the U.S. for
a period of ten years, subject to renewal at that
time. It also banned Lunatics and Idiots.
Immigration to the US
Immigration to the US
Summarize the data on the chart. Write 2 TAKS
style questions using this chart.
Life and Politics of the Gilded Age
  • A Nation of Immigrants
  • Changing patterns after the Civil War
  • Ellis Island
  • Urbanization New York
  • Reforming the City Chicago
  • Preview The 20s
  1. Why New York?
  2. The Immigrant community
  3. A checkerboard city

Why New York?
THE LOWER EAST SIDE, pictured here about 1900,
teemed with immigrants. By decade's end, a
million people a year were arriving at Ellis
Island a quarter stayed in New York.
Pretend you are an immigrant living in New York.
Today, you were a part of this scene. Describe
life in New York to a friend in The Old Country.
Why New York?
New York was growing rapidly and offered jobs and
opportunity unknown in the old world. The streets
were not paved with gold, but as one immigrant
said It may not have been built from gold like
we had been told, but there was gold there. It
was the gold of opportunity.
Population Density grew
Bronx Manhattan Queens Brooklyn Staten Island
If you knew that immigrants were normally poor,
in what parts of the city would you expect to
find the most immigrants living?
New York Thrives
The city grew and thrived on the backs of the
arriving immigrant labor and the business ideas
of industrial capitalists who took advantage of
the opportunity to build profitable and huge new
businesses. New York became a legendary
destination for those in search of a new life.
The Henry Street Settlement
New York Social Reforms
In the sprawling slums of New York, the so-called
other half lived as it always had, mostly hand to
mouth. The tenement districts, concentrated near
the Manhattan and Brooklyn shorelines, were home
to notoriously squalid and overcrowded
conditions, a source of misery to those who
endured them and a concern to those who studied
them. Activists like Lillian Wald tried to
relieve the physical suffering of the immigrant
poor and help them find means of escape.
The Henry Street Settlement
Lillian Wald and Mary Brewster created a mission
called the Henry Street Settlement. It became the
model for visiting nursing care in the United
States. When the exodus of Jews from the Eastern
European countries began in the
1890's, the new immigrants were totally
unprepared for life in a new world. Work and
living conditions in the New York tenements were
intolerable. Several families crammed into small
The Henry Street Settlement
Community help and social services were non
existent. Crammed into the tight quarters,
without knowledge of the native American culture,
many families succumbed to diseases and due to
the filthy cramped conditions, illnesses were
rampant. The death rate in the tenements was
almost twice that of the rest of New York. Wald
began performing social
work in the Jewish community, helping new
arrivals in any way she could to adjust and cope
to life in the big city. Her efforts rivaled Jane
Adams in Chicago and set a new tone in immigrant
community life.
Urbanization of America
Urbanization is the change from a rural life to a
city life. The nation had been agricultural for
many years, but with the growth of industry,
people began to settle more and more in the
cities. The nature of America was changing. By
1920, for the first time ever, more Americans
lived in cities than in the country side.
Melting pot?
One popular theory on immigration claimed that
America was a melting pot. In the years
following their arrival, immigrants would
intermingle and eventually loose their ethnic
identity as they became Americans. This theory
was a favorite of those who favored nativism and
the Americanization of the immigrant population.
It led to the hope of a unified nation.
Or a campers stew?
Others argued that America is a campers stew.
They believe that while we are all a part of one
great nation, people will tend to retain much of
their ethnic identity as they live together,
sometimes complimenting each other, and at
other times competing sometimes flavoring the
stew, sometimes tainting it. We will not likely
blend into one culture, but will instead retain a
varied and diverse, multicultural nation.
The Dumbbell Tenement
What do you think life might have been like in a
The Tenement
At one time, building designers held a contest to
create a new design for low income housing in
major cities. The winning design was called the
Dumbbell Tenement. You have had a chance to look
at the design. They crammed massive numbers of
people into very small spaces, but were seriously
overcrowded, dark and hot remember, no AC and
since they were packed together so tightly, no
air either. The original design said two families
per floor the reality was more likely to be 10
to 14 families per floor one room each.
Transportation Challenge
New Yorks first subway line opened in 1904. It
made travel about the city far more efficient
than ever before. Even faster than the
horse-drawn streetcars, the new subway encouraged
the construction of new lines nationwide.
New modes of transportation
Public transportation in major cities had focused
on the horse drawn carts or even a primitive
streetcar pulled by horses. The electric
streetcar arrived in the early 1900s and made
transportation much faster than ever before. The
forerunner of the bus, the electric streetcar was
a revolution in city transportation. They
allowed people to live further from their places
of work and therefore, allowed some people (the
wealthier ones) to escape the poverty-stricken
city slums.
The Streetcar
With the coming of the electric streetcar, the
size of cities grew rapidly.
A walking city of limited size A larger horse
cart city The Streetcar city A modern auto and
subway city.
Bridging the boroughs
The stone masonry and steel suspension cables of
the Brooklyn bridge mark one of New Yorks most
famous landmarks. John Augustus Roebling designed
the structure, which was completed in 1883 and
still serves to connect Manhattan and Brooklyn
today. The bridge was almost 1600 feet long and
was a marvel of engineering design that led to
many other bridges in New York and other cities.
Roeblings invention of steel cable rope made the
bridge possible.
Water and Sanitation problems
Although New York was one of the first American
cities to have a genuine sewer system, this was a
typical rural area sewage canal until the 1930s
when the system was rebuilt. What might be the
problems you could find with open sewers?
Enclosed sewers were one of the solutions to city
sanitation problems. In the late 1800s, more and
more city dwellings had indoor plumbing. Cities
also instituted scheduled garbage collection.
Fighting High Crime
Another major problem in the city of the 1890s
was high crime. In the later part of the century,
more police officers went on patrol. Extra
officers helped. Still, the ultimate solution to
high crime escapes the city planner in low income
areas. Even today, poor neighborhoods experience
rampant crime. What can be done to fight crime in
your city?
Life and Politics of the Gilded Age
  • A Nation of Immigrants
  • Changing patterns after the Civil War
  • Ellis Island
  • Urbanization New York
  • Reforming the City Chicago
  • Preview The 20s
  1. The Chicago Fire
  2. Rebuilding
  3. The Dumbbell tenement
  4. Chicago World Fair

Scene Chicago, 1871
The summer of 1871 had been hot and dry. It was
in the October of that year that Chicago
experienced one of the worst disasters in
American History. Much of the city was destroyed
in a massive fire that began on the south side
and swept north through the helpless city.
The Chicago Fire
Horace White, editor-in-chief of the Chicago
Tribune, described the scene "The dogs of hell
were upon the housetops of La Salle and Wells
streets, just south of Adams, bounding from one
to another. The fire was moving northward like
ocean surf on a sand beach. It had already
traveled an eighth of a mile 200 m and was far
beyond control. A column of flame would shoot up
from a burning building, catch the force of the
wind, and strike the next one, which in turn
would perform the same direful office for its
neighbor. It was simply indescribable in its
terrible grandeur."
Fire Fighting Equipment
This hand drawn fire cart is a sample of
equipment used in Chicago that night. This very
cart was actually there in the fight against the
devastating blaze. How does it compare to modern
The Great Fire of Chicago
The Chicago fire raged for two days and nights,
burning until it reached the Lake Michigan
shoreline. On the morning of October 10, 1871,
light rains began to fall and the main fire,
lacking any more material to burn, finally died
out, leaving complete devastation in the heart of
the city. The fire covered over 2,100 acres,
caused 250 deaths, destroyed 17,450 buildings and
left 70,000 homeless (out of a population of
324,000). The entire central business district of
Chicago was leveled.
How did the Chicago Fire Begin?
Late one night, when we were all in bed, Old
Lady O'Leary lit a lantern in the shed. And when
Her cow kicked it over, she winked her eye and
said, "There'll be a hot time in the old town
The song illustrates the light attitude that
Chicago had toward the disaster 20 years AFTER
they had recovered! That night, the mood was
anything but light hearted!
The Great Chicago Fire
"Ruins of the Business Center looking southwest
from the site of Old Fort Dearborn.   Explosion
of Giant Powder and fall of buildings in the
"Wholesale District, looking west along the
Chicago River.  River street in the immediate
foreground.  The West Side in the distance.
"Panic at Rush Street Bridge.  Burning of the
North Division.  Looking north up Rush Street."
"Looking eastward.  Mouth of Chicago River.  Lake
Michigan.  Panic stricken multitude escaping from
the Fire in boats."
Did the Cow actually do it?
Simple answer is that no one knows, but the
evidence suggest that it might actually have done
Joseph Dushek "Just after the fire, while
looking through the ruins of the O'Leary barn, I
found an oil lamp, of the usual pattern, with a
foundation-piece, about five and a half inches
square, of brown stone or marble. The upright
piece which set into it, and upon which rested
the oil-holder, was of brass. The foundation
piece, the upright, and the oil-reservoir or
holder, were all together. The oil-holder,
however, had been broken. The globe and chimney
were gone."
Inventing the legend
While many of the neighboring residences, not to
mention a third of Chicago, went up in smoke, the
home of the O'Learys and their tenants the
McLaughlins escaped destruction. The barn behind
the living quarters was not so fortunate.
most likely the photographer, seems to have
believed that getting this animal to pose would
enhance the overall effect, even if the stand-in
for one Mrs. O'Leary's cows was a steer.
Did the Cow actually do it?
The wind swept fire spared the OLeary home. But
ravaged through the city. It was stopped only by
good fortune and the self-destruction of many
buildings in the path of the fire, creating a
crude firebreak.
S.H. Kimball, who was a boy at the time, claims
that the south wall of the barn was still
standing after the fire, and that when he and a
friend came to look at it, "Mrs. O'Leary came out
with a broom stick in her hand and drove us away.
As I recall, she acted like an insane woman."
Later he returned to the shed, "in hopes that I
could find something." He continued, "As I was
looking about, I noticed that one of the planks
in the floor of the shed had been broken forming
a V shaped space. This space was filled with
burnt hay and a glitter and sparkle caught my
eye. Leaning down I picked up the bottom of a
small glass lamp."
Rebuilding the city
The city was able to rebuild with a clean slate.
Chicago became the most modern city in the
nation. They had street cars, wide streets and
sewers before most others. They adopted new
equipment drawn by horses rather than the men and
they carried more water. The new city had more
fire hydrants new buildings were state of the
art. By the early 1890s, the fire was a distant
Laughing and remembering
Laughing and remembering
  1. Pretend that you are a news reporter witnessing
    this trial. Write a one three page story
    covering the trial.

The Settlement House Movement
Hull House was the first social settlement house
in Chicago. Meant to assist the poor, especially
immigrants to adjust to life in the U.S. The
services provided within the walls of the house,
now a major museum,
Included public baths, a gymnasium, playground,
theater, a public kitchen, citizenship courses,
college extension classes, support for the arts
including the first free museum in the city, and
the first Boy Scout troop in Chicago. The
community was the brainchild of Jane Adams.
The Angel of Hull House
Born in 1860, Jane Adams became the best known
social worker in America. She lived until 1935
and did amazing work in promoting the rights of
immigrants and teaching them the skills needed to
compete in a rapidly changing America. She
received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1931 in honor
of her life long commitment to humanitarian works
and devotion to the cause of peace.
The Chicago Worlds Fair
By 1893, Chicago was one of the most technically
and socially advanced cities in the world. They
hosted the 1893 Worlds Fair, called the
Columbian Exposition.
Chicago gets its nickname
There were many heated debates before Chicago
finally won the right to host the fair.
Embittered New Yorkers did not take the loss
well. They nicknamed Chicago "The Windy City" due
to long-winded speeches by the Chicago
representatives. Chicago may be windy, but that's
not where it got its nickname!
The Columbian Exposition
The fair celebrated the 400th anniversary of
Columbus's voyage of discovery and was thus
called The World's Columbian Exposition. Amidst
the Depression of 1893, the fair sought to
provide a utopian view of the United States as
the fruit of progress generated by
uniting the forces of high culture and commerce.
The Fair's chief architect, Daniel Burnham,
expressed this utopian ideal in the neoclassical
building facades, broad walkways, and lush
gardens of that portion of the Fair situated
along Chicago's waterfront, called the "White
The White City
The Midway Plaisance, an 80 acre strip of land
connecting Washington Park and the rest of the
Fair, was the first deliberately self-contained
entertainment district. Here one could enjoy all
kinds of fun concessions, theaters, music,
shopping and even snake charmers. There was a
circus with wild animals, balloon ascensions and
you could even kiss the Blarney stone. The first
Ferris wheel, a massive ride 264 feet tall which
could hold over 2,000 people at a time, became
the trademark of the Fair. Even today,
entertainment areas at fairs are known as
It is said that one of every four Americans
visited the 1893 Worlds Fair.
Fill in some solutions to each challenge
Education of immigrants
City Problems in the 1800s
Life and Politics of the Gilded Age
  • A Nation of Immigrants
  • Changing patterns after the Civil War
  • Ellis Island
  • Urbanization New York
  • Reforming the City Chicago
  • Preview The 20s
  • The Pattern shifts again
  • Anti-immigrant sentiments
  • The Depression
  • Mexican Immigration

The Patterns shift again
In the years of World War I, a decided
anti-immigrant spirit took hold in America. By
the 1920s, a demand for limits on immigration
resulted in the passage of the Quota Law. Alarmed
at the high levels of less desirable immigrants
arriving in the country following World War I,
Congress limited immigration from any particular
nation to 3 of the total number of people of
that nation living in the U.S. in 1910. The
effect was to virtually ban immigration from many
of the areas that the new wave was actually
coming from!
The use of literacy tests further limited
immigration. Two more laws were passed in the
1920s to limit new arrival numbers.
(No Transcript)
Anti-immigrant sentiments
With the Immigration Act of 1924 the U.S.
restricted new immigration more with an annual
quota of immigrants of only 164,000. The
buildings on Ellis Island began to fall into
neglect and abandonment as the era of mass
migration came to an end and the vast spaces were
no longer needed. The National Origins Act was
passed (1929) banning immigrants from East Asia.
It also decreased the quota of European
immigration to 2 of the figures recorded in the
1890 census.
These laws reflected a general preference for
northern and western European immigrants over
those from Southern and Eastern Europe.
Mexican Immigration
Immigration is still a major issue in America.
It is divisive today because more than ever
before, immigrants arrive illegally.
The Bracero Program
There have been efforts to bring Mexican workers
to the U.S. legally. One such effort was called
the Bracero Program. It was begun during World
War II in 1942 as an effort to supplement the
American farm labor forces during the war. The
program lasted into the 1960s. Work permits are
still issued today under strict rules, but the
application process can take months or even years
to complete.
Preview A new pattern?
  1. Describe how the origin of immigrants has been
    changing since 1951?
  2. What effect do you think this is having on the
    attitudes of Americans toward immigrants?

The 1901 Yale University Basketball team