Thursday, November 3, 2011

“American” city in late nineteenth century--Chicago

Chicago was the ‘American’ city that represented the United States as an emerging big city in late nineteenth century. Chicago had many nicknames, such as ‘White City’ and ‘Windy City’. Both of names came from the most famous event- World Fair. World Fair in Chicago also called 400th anniversary of Columbus arrival in America, and United States wanted to celebrate it by holding a World Fair. White City came from the buildings in World Fair were made of white stucco. It made an obvious comparison with the tenements in the city. At the same time, World Fair also used lots of streetlights, so it also caused Chicago to become White City. ‘Windy City’ came from the fact that Chicago won over the New York City, St.Louis, and Washington D.C to be the host of World Fair. People described this city as amazing as wind. After that, people started to say Chicago as Windy City. However, why did people choose Chicago as the place?
In the late nineteenth century, Chicago became a major hub of railroad. In that period, Chicago was not only a railroad center, but also a central warehouse and trans-shipments. As the economy growing, Chicago grew as a second economical center just after New York City. With the growth of economy, another factor of city was evitable increasing. It is population. Between 1870 and 1900 Chicago grew from a city of 299,000 to nearly 1.7 million, the fastest-growing city ever at the time. Most of them were immigrants who brought musculatures and ample opportunities to this rapidly increasing city.

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