Urbanization In The Gilded Age

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Pages: 5

The 19th century was a tumultuous time for much of the West. The world had seen the dawn of the Industrial Revolution, and the vast majority of the developed world moved indoors- to the dark of factories and the crushing confines of schoolhouses and cities and slums. As the machine replaced the manual laborer in many aspects of life, many of those who would previously have had to subsist on small-scale agriculture in villages and towns now saw a drastic change in the methods of food production that allowed them to look for other jobs in order to stay afloat.

The 19th Century saw the growth of urbanization as these former farmer families moved to the mass production lines- the industrial revolution upended traditional ways that had been in
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It brought about the face of the America we see today- in its city life, in its diversity, in its relentless innovation and …show more content…
Instead, it was the tired, the poor, the huddled masses who yearned to breathe free who stood in line at Ellis Island, hoping for a better life in our newly industrialized world. The quintessential immigrant of new was not Western European, indeed, it would be difficult to pin a clear ethnic identity to the quintessential immigrant of new at all- these people hailed from Russia, Poland, Italy, the Balkans, Greece, China, Japan, and anywhere else where hardship was faced. Many were seeking refuge from torment and tumult, particularly the Jews, who arrived at America’s shores upon fleeing another wave of persecution throughout Europe. These people were sold an idea of an American Dream, of happiness and prosperity to anyone who simply worked hard enough, but many, despite possessing in spades hardworking spirit, still saw nothing but filthy and crowded tenements and slums, prejudice and out-of-reach opportunities at every turn, and, in the end, only the taunting whispers of the land of the free, of “all men are created equal” of democracy and of a world where anyone could rise up in life. These people worked in the shadows of the Gilded Age- in railroads and factories, asking for nothing but sanctuary in America in return for their contributions to our