Urban Poverty and Crime and Violence in America

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Poverty, crime, and violence have always seemed to go together; these qualities were exemplified in the squalor of American industrials cities. It started when more and more people moved to the cities because of job loss through mechanization and new farming techniques. Also there was a huge amount of immigration in the 1890's 1880's. Many of these immigrants were un-skilled and had little money, especially the east and southern european immigrants. These immigrants came to amerrica escapeing poverty and overcrowding. Also religous persuction if you were Jewish and Russian. They were drawn here by the allure of the american dream and the get rich quick beleif. Also the posssibility of advancement because of books like The Gospel of Wealth, which descrided an immigrant who started out with absolutly nothing and through luck and the american dream and then became rich. But sadly, Most immigrants saw the same conditions that they had left.


Most factory workers made very little, and could not afford much. So poorly built tenets sprouted up all over the place. These tenets were horrible, piling hundreds of people in to cheaply built and poorly mantained apartments. As the picture demenstrates familes were cramped into small rooms. Sewage was another huge problem because people mostly just threw it out onto the streets. Diease spread like a fire did in those places also, many people got sick and could not afford to see a doctor or get the necasary medcine.


Another reason for the poverty was low job wages and poor job security. Even though the American standerd of living was rising, the average wage was still only 400-500$ a year compared to the 600$ minium for a reasonable level of comfort. Immigrants also kept on taking jobs, they worked for less and they also complianed less. Workers were also vernable to the boom and bust cycles of the economy of that era, and may lost jobs due to techological advances or sensonal work. Many times childern and the women also had to work just to get by. Few workers were ever far from poverty.



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Poverty have always gone with crime in america, crime has always gone with violence, and in the stool pit that are the deep city tenements crime was everywhere. Because of the job loss and the low wages people needed to steal for food or for rent. Violence also rose as tensions became tenser and people joined unions and roited for higher wages or better worker conditions. Crime was fought agianst, mostly by lighting the streets.


Though it seems that america was in for a poor time at this point in our history, the general standred of living rose and our economy grew. But poverty in America will always be around and the persent and no so much different from the past.