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The Urbanization of America

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Urbanization of America was caused by an explosion of industry due to the railroad. The railroad made it easy to transfer goods form one end of the country to the other. This opened up markets to consumers and created demand for products. The extra demand made jobs in the factories. To fill those jobs people from rural areas moved into the cities. City provided factories with a cheap work force and a market for their goods.There was also a large amount of immigrants coming south western Europe that made American cities their new homes looking for opportunity in the new world. In 1893 immigrants made up 3/4 of the population in Chicago. Also making the move to cities where southern African Americans. Nearly 1 million made northern cities there homes between 1897 and 1930.

Effect of urbanization

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Urbanization put a large amount of people in a relatively small area. As upper class people moved out of the cities into the suburbs landlords divided up homes and rented them out for a quick buck. The tenement apartments resulted in over crowing. At times over 4,000 people were crammed in one city block. Living conditions in the cities were horrible. In the late 19 century cities had not dealt if the waste and sewage in the cities. Cities were filthy which caused problems with disease and health problems. With a large amount of poor people living the cities crime was a common problem.

As cities grew they began to evolve. Transportation moved from horse-drawn cars to elevated railroads, subways, and electric trolleys. With advances in steel making cities began to grow toward the sky. In 1885, William Le Baron built the first true skyscraper in Chicago. Steel also made it possible build bridges like the Brooklyn Bridge creating better transportation. City neighborhoods would often be divide by immigrant groups. These communities provided a place were immigrants could continue to speak their native language. The would often fund their own newspapers, schools, and church or temple. These neighborhoods were refer to as ghettos.

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