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Election Essay, Research Paper

Between 1865 and 1900 American cities changed drastically. The development was at its fastest moving point. For example, in 1860 only fifty-eight cities in the country had a population between ten and 50 thousand people. This number by 1900 was up to 369. With this rapid population growth came a need for development in these cities. Electronic trolleys were invented to eliminate the tons of waste from horsecars that had for decades fouled city streets. This also caused congestion however, and to relieve this congestion large cities such as New York elevated portions of transit systems and in turn put communities under noisy and rickety platforms. City sanitation also changed during this forty-year period. By the 1880s bathrooms with showers and flush toilets had become standard features in hospitals and many middle-class homes. Life became a bit turbulent at times with the problem of overpopulation and poor housing. Chicago?s population was increased twenty times it?s size over this short period of time. Urban life was not the same for everyone. Until 1889, women?s life in urban areas was much different. That year, Jane Addams founded one the first settlement houses called ?Hull House? in Chicago. These houses gave women the birth of a feeling of power in the ?real world?. AN advantage to living in these urban areas was the close proximity to everything. Nearby open land was now urbanized and used as a place for leisure activities to shy away from the stresses city life can bring. This urbanization of cities was an extremely big part in the development of the United States to what it is today. Today, the vast majority of people in this country live in the higher populated areas. Before the 1860s this majority claimed farms as their living space. One advantage to these urban areas was the entertainment. The most popular form to come about at this time was called ?Vaudeville.? Vaudeville bridged the middle and working class tastes, highlighting such entertainers as singers, dancers, and comedians. Even though sanitation quality did increase during this period, it must have still been considered a heavy disadvantage to living in the cities. Sewage was often dumped in the middle of the streets in front of houses. Even farmers themselves started slowly making their way into the urban atmosphere at this time. Slowly less and less emphasis was put on life on the farm and more on what was happening in the cities. Advantageous, to those living in cities was that of the new railroad system popping up at this time. These expansive railroads began connecting large cities. To this day the growth and urbanization of American cities is one of the largest movements in history. It completely changed the development of this country along the way.

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