This period of time (1880-1890) experienced rapid urbanization that changed the makeup of American cities. This urbanization was tied closely to increased industrialization and a number of other factors including immigration and technolgy. These factors would combine to produce rapid growth and development in American cities.

Immigrants in Cities
New Immigrants
New Immigrants

American urban centers contained massive numbers of immigrants. Many of these newcomers were "new immigrants," meaning they traced their orgins to southern and eastern Europe. Most new immigrants had little knowledge of the land they had emigrated to and few qualified as skilled workers. Thus, droves of foreigners flocked to city centers in search of unskilled labor. Competition for jobs was fierce and the wages were minimal. Immigrants tended to reside in ethnic neighborhoods near the business district. It was here that they were housed in pathetic apartments and "dumbell tenants"- single room residences with a ventilation shaft in lieu real windows that were used to evade housing regulations. These ethnic neighborhoods were centers for immigrants striving for the American dream and influenced the makeup of cities all over the country.

Technological Developments
The years between 1880-1890 saw many new technological developments that would serve to advance the progression of American cities. An example of this can be seen with the introduction of skyscrapers in the downtown areas of cities. As lateral space became
Home Insurance Company Building
Home Insurance Company Building
too crowded to allow building and expansion, architects recognized a new direction to grow: Up. The first skyscraper, Chicago's Home Insurance Company Building, was completed in 1885. This feat of engineering was made possible by advent of new technology such as central heating, radiators, and the Otis elevator. In addition to progress in engineering, developments in transportation would have major impacts on cities. By the 1990's, horse-drawn carriages and cable cars had largely been replaced by subways and electric trolleys. This allowed people who worked in the city to move out of the city and commute to work; essentially in enabled the creation of a new American development: The suburb. Most people who could afford to relocated to residential areas outside of the metropolis limits and many of their living quarters were transformed into tenements for the impovershed. In these ways technology influenced the makeup of America's cities.

Urban Politics
In many cities politics were dominated by tightly organized groups of officials, led by a top politican (boss), known as political machines. The consolidation of power in city politcs by one group paralleled the consolidation of businesses by corporations in the economic world. Successful party bossed were experts at winning the favor of multiple cometing ethnic groups in the city. They were, however, largely corrupt. A prime example of a powerful, corrupt political machine is the Tamanny Hall group in New York City.

Conditions
In general, a city's ability to maintain a high sanitary standard failed to keep up with the pace of its growth. Examples of this could be seen in the filth that filled urban slums. Without access to plumbing, people were forced to simply throw their waste onto the street. These conditions facilitated the spread of contagious diseases, such as cholera. Crime was another common problem, especially in the overcrowded urban slums
Chicago during 1993 World's Fair
Chicago during 1993 World's Fair