Thursday, November 3, 2011

Chicago the "America"

Chicago can be viewed as the “America” especially as we came to the closing of the nineteenth century. America in general was experiencing rapid growth industrially, economically, and socially in terms of social classes and overall population. Many of the aspects and changes throughout the Gilded Age and the 19th century were occurring at huge lengths in the city of Chicago.

One example is the changes and advancements made in architecture and the way that people were now building their towns and cities. The skyscraper is a great example of this new method of construction that allowed for many businesses to expand and it created more room overall throughout the city which meant that new business could come and boost the economy. In addition to skyscrapers, as mentioned in Devil In The White City, the great exposition was to occur in Chicago and this event was a representation of America and everything that it entitled would create a representation and reputation of America as a whole which is another reason why Chicago could be seen as the “America” towards the end of the nineteenth century.

Chicago also magnified many of the issues that were being raised throughout the Gilded Age. Chicago was a big scene for immigration and overall population increase. Due to the advancements being made in technology and the improvements of living, the separation of social classes was extremely prevalent in Chicago as it was in other parts of the country. Chicago is a great example of the different living conditions that separated the wealthy from the middle and working class to the poor.

A major thing that came with a growth in population was crime and corruption, as Devil In The White City has begun to talk about. Violence and jealousy were major themes among people especially when it came to people mixing in with all the immigrants that came to America, most of which were not well liked.

Overall, America was undergoing a huge industrial transformation and Chicago lay at the heart of the transformation, exhibiting many of the aspects of what America was facing during these times; only supporting the idea that Chicago was the “America” by the end of the 19th century.

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