The Exponential Growth of Modern Cities
Josh Davis and Michelle Solorio

Many Americans and Immigrants moved to cities for jobs growing in the Industrial Sector. These cities had many different things such as skyscrapers, modern transportation, and social class distinctions. Party Bosses would attempt to control the cities politically.

Political Cartoon

Political Machines

This Politcal Cartoon shows workers looked into the empty Treasury when behind the scenes Boss Tweed and other city politicians are having this wonderful feast. This shows that the politicians didn't put the workers first.

Primary Source

“With . . . one dollar a day [our mother] fed and clothed an ever-growing family. She took in board- ers. Sometimes this helped; at other times it added to the burden of living. Boarders were often out of work and penniless; how could one turn a hungry man out? She made all our clothes. She walked blocks to reach a place where meat was a penny cheaper, where bread was a half cent less. She col- lected boxes and old wood to burn in the stove.”

—quoted in How We Lived

This is a quote from a boarder living with the working class in a tenement.



1900: Population in the US grew to 30 million #urbanization

-New York had more than 3.5 million, Chicago had 3.5 million

1885: The first skyscraper is built #urbanization

-Home Insurance Building in Chicago

1873: San Francisco is the first city to instal cable cars #urbanization

-They were pulled along tacks by underground cables

1887: Electric Trolly car is invented #urbanization

-Opened the following year in Richmond, Virginia

1900: Working class families on more than one wage earner #urbanization

-64% of the working class

1860’s-1870‘s: Willing Boss Tween ran the Tammany Hall Organization #urbanization

-It was the New York City Democratic political machine


  1. How many people lived in New York City in 1900?
  1. 1 million
  2. 3.5 million
  3. 6 million
  4. 800,000
  1. What was the first skyscraper ever built?
  1. Sears Tower
  2. The Empire State Building
  3. Home Insurance Building
  4. Rand McNeely Building
  1. What percent of families relied on two sources of income?
  1. 39%
  2. 81%
  3. 52%
  4. 64%
  1. What disease was caused by contaminated water?
  1. Bronchitis
  2. AIDS
  3. Cholera
  4. Hepatitis A.
  1. The Party Bosses controlled what aspect of the city?
  1. Finances
  2. Construction
  3. Utilities
  4. Education

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