Notes of Books on Urban History

The Rise of Modern City Culture in 19th Century America by Barth, Gunther
Josh Britton's Notes: Introduction and Chapter 1 The rise of the “modern city,” which historian Gunther Barth dates to between 1830-1910, brought with it a whole host of problems. The sheer variety of people—rural and urban, native and immigrant, black, white and yellow—was uniquely American and at the same time completely unprecedented. How could these people coexist and in fact, form an identity? Barth argues that urbanites constructed a city culture out of the economic and social circumstances and this culture developed several institutions across America, and the nineteenth century city culture ultimately became American culture, until the changes of the 20th century swept away the accommodations people had made; Barth sees hope that current urbanites can adjust to the changes in their city, using the modern city culture he documents as a model. Chapter 2 The nineteenth century city was made up a series of divided spaces that seemed to work despite the lack of an overarching plan or an architectural style to link everything together. The gridiron system, was the organizing principles and it served the economic needs of the city, allowing it to be easily divided into various districts, each serving a specific function. Apart from the poor, work was separated from home and the nineteenth century saw the rise of suburbanization as well as the apartment house, which gave urbanites a “respectable” private while allowing them to remain within the city. The apartment house, an adaptation of the so-called “French flats,” was a middle-class variant of the boarding house and tenement house and the boom of apartment building further stimulated the city’s economy. Finally, Barth considers the streetcar, the technology that made this division possible, linking people with work and commerce and aiding the absorption of suburbia. The rise of the automobile would atomize this unity and drastically transform the shape of the city. Chapter 3 The metropolitan press, as distinct from urban newspapers, was one of the major cultural institutions of the nineteenth century city. The metropolitan press, by focusing on the everyday news of city life, helped instruct people on their city, connected them together, both emotionally and in a common pursuit of wealth with other city residents, and gave them a sense of identity, all very important and reassuring for residents of the heterogeneous city. The met press was made possible by technological advances and a managerial revolution that made the processing and disseminating of sometimes sensationalized news fast and cheap—something everyone in the city could share. The sensational element was key as it provided the emotional appeal that sold well, although it also led to the decline of the met press, a result of the force of yellow journalism and an internationalizing of the news. However, between the 1830s and the 1890s, the metropolitan press was vital in unifying the city and making people care about it, connect with it and connect with each other—as individuals and groups. Chapter 4 The department store was a particularly feminine urban institution that linked women of all classes together in the pursuit of shopping and consumption, reoriented urban life towards the downtown and opened what was previously only a male space. Although they were British and French antecedents, the department store found the truest expression in America, where economics and the social conditions of urban life encouraged men like A.T. Stewart, John Wannamaker, and Marshall Field experiment with a more refined service and other innovations. While Barth suggests shopping and the department store created a feminine public while at the same time reinforced gendered conventions: nonetheless, it was an important part of feminine urban world and offered an escape, however temporary, from the daily drudgery of urban life. Chapter 5 Baseball became the nation’s game and a key component of city culture in the nineteenth century for several reasons; it spoke to a pastoral ideal among urbanites; the speed and performance of the game fit for those with a limited amount of leisure; and most importantly, the game of baseball, with its rule, timing, penalties and rewards seem to reflect urban culture and modern life. The way for baseball was paved by horse-racing and boxing and as the game itself became more popular, the rules became standardized, the game commercialized and professionalized to appeal to the greatest number of people. Baseball did appeal, offering a reflection of life, an escape from drudgery, but watching others perform and even to the immigrant who could not easily follow other emerging forms of leisure. Baseball was easily adopted by urban children and exposed them to the value of play. Ultimately, baseball offered people lessons in modern life as well as linking crowds of strangers together in a shared sense of community. Chapter 6 Vaudeville’s rise in the nineteenth century, out of the ribald, working-class culture variety shows, presented city people with a portrait of their urban world and offered ways of coping. Run very tightly as a business, with an almost industrial notion of time—offering something for everyone; essentially making the variety show “safe” for a middle-class audience. The humor of vaudeville was tough, stereotypical, bounding audiences together as they laughed at certain social groups while at the same time affirming a common humanity. The vaudeville stage helped create distinct notions of urban language, fashion and gender sense, and taught lessons in urban living to audiences who formed an identity and life-style out of that identity.

JUH, 1994, 21(1): 7-30 by Blumin, Stuart


Lives on Their Own: Blacks, Italians and Poles in Pittsburgh, 1900-1960 by Bodner, Simon & Weber, John, Roger & Michael
Josh Britton's Notes: In this comparative study of three ethnic groups in Pittsburgh in the early to mid-twentieth century, Bodnar, Simon and Weber argue that there is no one universal immigrant experience, and every group is uniquely affected by a combination of premigration cultural patterns and the structural realities of urbanization and industrialization that creates unique adaptations. The main questions the authors seek to explore is the dynamic between change and cultural continuity as well as, in the case of African-Americans, of whether racial discrimination alone can explore their historical inequality. While noting some base similarities, such as loosening ties to the land and a reliance on kin networks to make a place in the city, Bodnar, Simon and Weber heavily emphasize the differences. Blacks had higher expectations due to a small amount of mobility previously; Poles sought above all security, land ownership (in Pittsburgh or back in Poland); Italians were somewhere in between, heavily relying on the family economy like the Poles, but still desiring their children to learn skills and gain mobility. The various adjustments each of these groups made between the structural realities of the urban-industrial experience and the premigration cultural patterns would influence the development of their neighborhoods. For example, blacks did not have the community structure that Poles and Italians had and their kin networks did not function to the same degree in securing places to live and employment. They lacked community-wide organizations and were even fragmented religiously. In contrast, Poles and Italians had institutions that preserved their ethnic ties, and their kinship networks were vital in many immigrants’ employment. These ameliorated the conditions of urban life and that, in conjunction with high rates of home ownership led to the creation of stable, ethnic working-class Pittsburgh neighborhoods well into the 1960s. Home ownership was very important to Italians and Poles, even to the point where they were willing to sacrifice improvements to their homes, endure overcrowding and endure boarders to be able to afford them. For blacks, home ownership was harder to achieve because the family was more individualistic, although the authors’ suggestion that there were no cultural traditions of ownership is hard to credit—their discussion of the black family’s individualism and the structural bars to home ownership are more convincing. Poles and Italians were able to achieve occupational mobility by the second generation; Italians through their movement into skilled work and the needs of the physically growing city, and Poles, through the slow, steady rise through the ranks of industrial work. Blacks had a much harder time of it, dealing with a lack of effective networks, their unsuitability (and competition for) anything but unskilled and semi-skilled labor and of course, the structural racism that increased dramatically in the early 20th century. While Simon, Bodnar and Weber acknowledge racism’s pernicious effect on black residential and occupational mobility, they insist it is not the only factor that created their lack of opportunity. Ultimately, the authors do a good job at demonstrating the ways in which cultural patterns, aspirations and goals, and the adaptations immigrant and African-American groups made affected their mobility in the city. They also do well in demonstrating how groups (particularly blacks) affected each other as well as the importance of contingent variables such as time and place. Bodnar, Simon and Weber are heavily influenced by the methodology of the “new social history” and “new urban history,” but to their credit, they acknowledge its weaknesses and supplement it with oral history testimony that provides qualitative information. Like other “new social history” works though, it ignores other aspects that might have influenced adaptation—particularly politics seems vital here. Despite these weaknesses, the book raises several valuable questions about the immigrant experience and warns against too much generalization about cultural persistence and drastic change alike.

A City in the Republic: The Origins of Machine Politics in Antebellum New York by Bridges, Amy
Josh Britton's Notes: There are two traditional interpretations of urban politics in antebellum America; the first, the so-called “Schlesinger school” argues that class interests were at the heart of two party politics—the Whigs the party of the elite, the Democrats the party of the working classes; the second is an ethnocultural interpretation that identifies Whigs with native Protestants and Democrats with immigrant Catholics. Amy Bridges substantially revises these interpretations in this account, which argues a nascent class consciousness is at the heart of machine politics in the American city, and its unique nature can be traced to the social problems of industrialization (common everywhere) mixed with the uniquely American democratic character of the franchise. Moreover, urban politics developed their own context, related to but autonomous from national politics. The character of city politics then, was not a two-party system but a “bosses vs. reformers” dichotomy, both groups relying on the new group of career politicians to serve their interests. While at face, this may appear to be an extension of Schlesinger’s interpretation, Bridges qualifies it somewhat. Democratic politics in New York were not those of all working classes, but those who had been proletarianized and whose occupations were industrialized; they saw no mutuality of interests with the elites; the artisan classes on the other hand, still recognized some mutuality and threw in with the Whigs; even this passed however, and by the election of Lincoln, reformers and bosses alike operated through the Democratic party; coming to a sort of arrangement. What is valuable about Bridges’s interpretation is she shows how both groups drew open old and new traditions to formulate their ideology. Once it became apparent that the moral economy was gone, the “machine politics” constituency turned to the municipal government for welfare; likewise, the reformers drew upon the tradition of government by the “best men.” Even the professional career politician owed much to the patrician style of older leaders. Moreover, Bridges also does well in noting the necessity of forming coalitions in city politics; reformers drew upon the elite interests to preserve the city’s fiscal stability as well as some of the nativist cultural politics that emerged during the dissolution of the second two-party system. For their part, Democrats were forced to embrace, albeit reluctantly, immigrants and workers (often the same groups), both to create a coalition against the Whig/nativists as well as coopt labor parties like the Workingmen’s Parties or the Loco-Foco Democrats—though in many cases Whigs attracted workingmen and Democrats attracted nativists. Moreover, Democrats often kept labor and Irish demands at arm’s length. Ultimately though, the fall of the Whigs (through national politics) led to a Democratic consensus that allowed the rise of Democratic machines and bosses; checked and managed by reformers periodically, with bosses being overthrown only when they go too far—see Fernando Wood’s call to class warfare or Tweed’s open corruption. The Democratic coalition of workingmen and immigrants proved to be unbeatable by 1860. Urban social (cultural and economic) conflict was politicized, with the bosses providing the moral economy and paternalistic aid militant workers missed under eighteenth-century economic conditions and the reformers represented the laissez-faire attitudes towards government and cultural conservatism of their nativist, Protestant base. This balance would be a mainstay of city politics everywhere until they were nationalized in the election of 1928; with the “boss” Al Smith, facing off with “reformer” Herbert Hoover. A City in the Republic claims a common character for machine politics everywhere; with Bridges specifically mentioning Newark, Pittsburgh, Baltimore, Boston, Philadelphia and San Francisco at points. Political styles, reigning parties and combinations (in Baltimore, for example, nativists and militant workers found common cause against Catholics and elites) may be different, but the general form remained the same. While clearly written as a political science text, Bridges offers a compelling interpretation of how a fragile machine politics could emerge out of the political chaos of Jacksonian America, and it fits well with interpretations of boss rule by Seymour Mandelbaum and latter nineteenth-century city government by Jon Teaford.

Voices of Protest: Huey Long, Father Coughlin and the Great Depression by Brinkley, Alan
Josh Britton's Notes: In Voices of Protest, Alan Brinkley offers a remarkable account of political dissent in Depression-era America in a collective biography of two important political dissenters: Louisiana political figure Huey P. Long and “radio priest” Charles Coughlin. Rather than presenting these figures as straight-up public demagogues who enflamed a vulnerable population, Brinkley portrays them sympathetically. He locates their lasting appeal (and the fear that they could create a viable third party) in their appeal to basic American traditions; a true sense of community and localism; a more equitable spreading of wealth; and a state to regulate the excesses of capitalism but not too be too present in the lives of average people. This platform recalls the appeal of Populism in the 1890s, but as Brinkley argues, these men tried to balance their critique of modernity with an embrace of some its results—which sometimes resulted in unclear or fuzzy policies. Nonetheless, both Long and Coughlin found in the international banking establishment and eventually Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal effective things to campaign about. Both men mobilized a broad-based though heterogeneous and localized base of support on the criticism that the New Deal both did not go far enough in dealing with the economic issues of the Depression, but it also went too far in placing a federal bureaucracy overtop of a more community-based structure that both men as well as their supporters idealized. One of the great strengths of Brinkley’s texts is how he contextualizes these two men’s popular movements in the context of third-party politics of the time—ranging from Francis Townsend’s Revolving Old Age Pension Plan to the Midwestern Progressives like the LaFolyettes and old agrarian politicians more in the Populist mold. There is a real sense of possibility in 1935 that a third party (particularly one headed by Long) could radically change the politics of the 1930s. That they didn’t was, according to Brinkley, testimony to the political genius of FDR, who managed to maintain the loyalty of those drawn to Long and Coughlin as well as coopt some of their ideas into the left-leaning “Second New Deal” in 1936. While Long was murdered before the 1936 election, the embarrassing failure of Coughlin’s National Union Party in 1936 demonstrated the belief most people had in the leadership of Roosevelt. Ultimately, Brinkley cautions readers from dismissing Coughlin and Long as anti-democratic, anti-Semitic ideologues. He notes they offered economic solutions to the problems of the Depression that appealed to many people, blamed groups that certainly did contribute to the Depression and were not at all fascist (Coughlin’s anti-Semitism only became apparent after his political power waned.) Voices of Protest offers a vision of real, populist-based alternatives (as opposed to socialist alternatives) that, for a brief moment in the Depression, seemed all too real led by men like Father Charles Coughlin and Huey P. Long.

The Age of the Bachelor by Chudacoff, Howard
Josh Britton's Notes: Intro Howard Chudacoff argues that despite their recent visibility, bachelors have always been a historical subculture in larger American society, particularly in urban areas. Due to the emphasis on the family as the central structure of society though, the bachelor has often been a focus of ridicule and suspicion. Bachelors lived in constant tension between society’s lauding of individualism and society’s desire for conformity among its members. Chudacoff focuses on urban bachelor life between 1880 and 1930 and finds it to be very complex: bachelors affected the social geography of the city, popular and consumer culture and questions about manliness and masculinity in American society since their first appearance. Chapter 1 Despite being an object of scorn and discriminatory legal restrictions the colonial and early national bachelor remained intertwined in larger American society, bound as they were to their family and community: besides, the lack of large urban areas forced bachelors to maintain such bonds. As the nineteenth century progressed tough, bachelors found themselves more economically and spatially independent of their families, and began to coalesce in the urban places that would form the backbones of their subculture: saloons, clubs, social organizations and the new world of public amusements. The sporting male appeared as an antecedent of the bachelor, bringing with him a world of controversy, as epitomized by the trial of Richard Robinson for the murder of Helen Jewett (see Cline-Cohen). Ultimately, it was the processes of urbanization and industrialization that made all this possible and led to the “age of the bachelor.” Chapter 2 The period 1880-1930 sparked the emergence of the bachelor as a serious topic of study for observers. That is because, Chudacoff argues, it was the first time significant numbers of independent single males lived in urban areas. Chudacoff accepts that the traditional economic and demographic explanations are part of the story, but he prefers the cultural explanation; men remained single because they wanted to. The city provided them with familial substitutes, access to homosocial and hetereosocial interactions that belayed their reputation for isolation and the changing mating rituals that allowed men to choose their partners for themselves for the first time. It was the city that allowed all these factors to blossom. Chapter 3 The “boarding house culture” bachelors lived in at the end of the nineteenth century was a major cause for concern for moral reformers. Yet, as Chudacoff demonstrates, the domestic life of bachelors was much more complex. Many bachelors, perhaps a majority, still lived with family of some sort, whether it be their parents or a married sibling or a widowed mother, maintaining semi-dependent family bonds. Still others, boarded with families that had similar socio-economic backgrounds as they did. Even the bachelors who lived in lodgings were not completely socially isolated, forming strong homosocial (and sometimes homosexual) bonds that replicated the family. Ultimately, despite the dire warnings from moral reforms, the bachelor was not an isolated creature, but rather an autonomous one who maintained social connections with the wider world. Chapter 4 The rise of the bachelor subculture both required and encouraged institutions to cater to its needs. Chief among these was the saloon, a site of homosocial bonding as well as a bank, lunchroom and news agency for single young men. Barber shops, pool halls, cigar shops and restaurants provided essential services for bachelors while also providing an environment that encouraged sociability. These businesses and others, ranging from tailors to laundries and candy stores located near lodging houses in heavily populated bachelor districts. Bachelors were the biggest patrons of commercial amusements, vaudeville, neighborhood theaters, nickelodeons, the movies and others. The taxi dance hall, were young men could buy tickets to dance with available young women, which combined commercial amusements with the opportunity to heterosocial relations. These institutions formed an important part of the city’s social geography; moreover, it reinforced and helped create the bachelor’s sense of self. Chapter 5 The bachelors also created social bonds through institutions, ranging from gangs, fraternal organizations, social clubs and the YMCA and sports teams, which in rooting for or playing for, strengthened the bonds of sociability. Men also participated in unique heterosocial opportunities the city offered from innocent dances to the less innocent commercial amusements to prostitution. The bachelor’s growing importance also gained him legal protections in the field of “breach of promise” actions brought by jilted women. While bachelors could and did still face civil and criminal action, the relaxation of laws protected the bachelors, even as Chudacoff indicates, the laws were loosened to protect marriage from the individual habits of the bachelor himself. Chapter 6 Popular culture sensed an important market in the bachelor, and an important genre, similar to the earlier “flash press” emerged as publications came out designed to explicitly appeal to the bachelor and his lifestyle. Journals like The Bachelor Book and books like The Complete Bachelor offered advice on urban lifestyle even while celebrating their maleness and (subtly or unsubtly) denigrating women in general and marriage in particular. The most famous journal of this period The National Police Gazette, under the editorship of Richard Kyle Fox, generally appealed to a wider masculine audience even as they geared themselves towards bachelors, as seen in their sports reporting, salacious woodcuts of attractive women and sensational crime reporting demonstrates. Even more explicit were classified ads for marriage services, photos of women, medicinal cures and other bachelor-oriented products: moreover, copies of the journal were found most often in bachelor institutions. The ability of bachelors to create and support such a large consumer market indicates both their growing size and influence in American society. Chapter 7 The relationship between bachelorhood and mainstream masculinity was very complex. They both truly emerged out of the new “boy culture” of the nineteenth century that provided urban boys with an increased sense of autonomy and forced them into homosocial relationships characterized by rivalry and competition. This culture matured into the bachelor subculture while marriage gave a man the traditional definition of manly (opposed to childlike); for the bachelor though, the definition of manly became the opposite of feminine and increasingly in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, as industrialization made middle-class work sedentary and the women’s movement rose up to challenge the middle-class male’s sense of masculinity, the bachelor definition became dominant. This created a mass culture of athletics, rowdy behavior and the imitation of working class behavior. The most celebrated figure of manliness, John L. Sullivan, the bareknuckle prize fighter was so celebrated because he epitomized these values and implicitly ridiculed the values and mores of the feminized middle-class. The result was, even as the number of bachelors began to decline in the 1920s, the “image” of the bachelor remained acceptable and for a time, even popular in mainstream American society. Chapter 8 Since the 1920s, the bachelor has risen and fallen in American society. The economic prosperity and cultural conservatism of the 1940s and 1950s restigmatized the bachelor as a selfish individual in an era of conformity: bachelorhood became a psychological problem. Nonetheless, bachelorhood survived and in the hands of men like Hugh Hefner transformed into a form of domesticated bachelor, who was suave, cultivated and urbane as well as urban. In the years that followed, as baby boomers came of age, they chose to reclaim the life of the bachelor, even cohabitating with females as opposed to marriage. The increased visibility of the homosexual subculture and the rise of the sensitive male also raised questions about bachelors and masculinity, which in turn provoked a stern response from cultural conservatives that wanted a stronger male/homosocial component to counter the feminized male; an echo of early twentieth century arguments over masculinity. As these examples show, the bachelor remains a complex part of the cultural fabric of America; influencing America both as a consumer and as a symbol of masculinity.

The Murder of Helen Jewett by Cline-Cohen, Patricia
Josh Britton's Notes: Patricia Cline Cohen’s The Murder of Helen Jewett is an interdisciplinary look at the history of New York City during the Jacksonian era., using the murder of a highly-paid prostitute as its entry point. While the world of prostitution and commercial sex is perhaps the most logical focus of Cohen’s book, Cohen also addresses diverse issues such as the growing influence of the penny press and a literate public on news coverage, the role of the post office in urban America, the young male clerk subculture, and even the role of the frontier (both Maine and Texas) had to play in the making and aftermath of the tragedy. There is much to admire in Cline’s book. The Murder of Helen Jewett, taken as a whole, provides a vivid portrait of Jacksonian America, a time where the changes created a new world that fitted uncomfortably with the old world that it was slowly replacing. The murder of Helen Jewett, then, could be considered one of the touch points where the new America is superseding the older one. The most accomplished sections of the book focus on a few key themes: the newspaper coverage of the crime for one. Cline ably dissects how editors like James Gordon Bennett and William Attree utilized the growing literacy of the public and the interest in the erotic and sexualized nature of the crime to create a sensation. Cline does not make it explicit, but one can certainly trace the origins of the penny press through to the ‘flash press’ of the 1840s and even the tabloids of today. Cline also devotes some attention to the role reading played in the murder itself, paying no small attention to both the books that Jewett herself read, the books and plays read/seen by her paramour and likely murderer Richard P. Robinson and how these may have influenced their behavior. In the backdrop to this, as Cline so rightly notes, is the debate over the value of novels themselves: are they really harmful to the morality of those who reading them? The Jewett case became fodder for those opposed to the novel. The world of prostitution in the 1830s is handled skillfully as well, though, it does not have as much focus as perhaps it should. Cline draws a lot from Timothy Gilfoyle’s City of Eros and it’s clear that Cline’s interest here only derives a lot from how prostitution affected Helen Jewett’s life rather than providing a background on the world of commercial sex as a whole. Finally, Cline also does an effective job of discussing the new subculture of the young bachelor that was emerging in Jacksonian America as a result of the breakdown of the apprentice system. These men were often from rural areas, new to the city, and they had access to a world of male (and class) privilege that if it did not excuse their often immoral actions, it tacitly overlooked them. Finally, I must note given my interest in psychohistory, that Cline does a lot of psychoanalysis of her subjects, particularly Helen Jewett and Richard P. Robinson. Her exploration of the character of Robinson, his easy amorality, and her definition of him as a psychopath is refreshingly direct and not something you’d read from a more cautious historian. However, this attitude gets her into trouble elsewhere. Conscious that her audience might be a more general audience than a historical one, Cline attempts to fill the gaps in her narrative with what is quite simply conjecture. Reading this as a scholar, it is quite jarring to see Cline make “educated guesses” about exactly who first seduced servant girl Dorcas Doyen and set her on the path to becoming Helen Jewett or whether or not a pamphlet edition of Richard P. Robinson’s diary was a hoax or not. Unless there is positive evidence, Cline might have been better served by simply stating there’s no way to be certain. What’s more disconcerting though, is she basing large chunks of arguments on these conjectures and they serve to weaken her argument. Despite this, Cline’s book works as a background to the world of Jacksonian America, using perhaps THE first notorious murder as an entry to the world. Without accepting all her conjecture about the murder and the argument that accompanies it, it’s possible to read The Murder of Helen Jewett and get a sense of the birth of modern America.

A Consumer’s Republic: The Politics of Mass Consumption in Postwar America by Cohen, Lizabeth
MAIN ARGUMENT: After WWII, the United States underwent a major change in economy, politics, and culture with major consequences for how Americans made a living, where they dwelled, how they interacted, what and how they consumed, and what they expected from government. The period between 1945 and (roughly) 1975 saw economic prosperity which restructured the country to expect a mass consumption economy “not only to deliver prosperity, but also to fulfill American society’s loftier aspirations: more social egalitarianism, more democratic participation, and more political freedom.” In reality, it also increased inequality, and ultimately may have led to a decline in the number of voters – or at least made the voters more reliant on the party system. “… by the mid-1970s – thanks to growing resistance to giving consumers a permanent foothold in government, an economic recession of massive proportions, and an increasingly conservative political leadership – it [the Consumer’s Republic and associated movements] led to a rejection of ‘big government’ and an embrace of privatization, deregulation, and a more self-interested market relationship between citizens and government. (406)” TERMS: Citizen consumer: consumers of the New Deal and WWII era; puts consumer power to work politically to help capitalism weather the Great Depression while safeguarding the rights of the individual consumer and the general good. Responsible for safeguarding the general good of the nation by prodding the government to protect consumer’s rights in the private marketplace, while at the same time viewed as assisting the nation more through their purchasing power than through political assertion. Purchaser as Citizen: post WWII; the satisfaction of personal material needs and wants served national needs and the public good. PART I – “The Origins of the Postwar Consumer’s Republic” -This section traces the seeds of the Consumer’s Republic in the pre-WWII era -“First-wave consumer market” – Progressive era – significant shift towards recognizing the centrality of consumers to the nation’s economy and politics. National Consumer’s League (NCL) started by middle-class women to encourage women to practice “ethical consumption” and thereby pressure employers to pay a living wage. League of Women Shoppers of New York (1935) founded by upper and middle class women for similar Progressive purposes. -“Second-wave consumer market” – an acknowledgement of the consumer as a political power in part used to placate consumers towards capitalism during the Great Depression; not a major part of Cohen’s thesis. -The 1930s saw the laying of critical foundations of the postwar Consumer’s Republic; Americans looked for more ways to stretch their money – this gave more power to consumerism and so their views were taken more into account. - Blacks (and other minorities?) used consumerism primarily to secure their rights as producers and to protest their marginalization from mainstream politics - WWII encouraged the home population to save (via war bonds) thus creating a surplus of money and pent-up demand after the war; WWII also organized women as the power behind purchasing, giving them more political power. - Private home becomes “center of Americans’ vision of postwar prosperity(73)” - Government regulation of prices seen as a good thing by some women & blacks PART II – “The Birth of the Consumer’s Republic” - Huge consumption after the war; Fears of a depression like the one after WWI prompted many methods to promote economic prosperity - The Consumer’s Republic trusted private mass consumption within the marketplace, supported by government resources like the GI Bill, to deliver economic prosperity and loftier social and political ambitions for a more equal, free, and democratic nation. - “Mass consumption, for the liberals particularly, provided a way of reconciling capitalist growth and democratic commitments, without endorsing too planned an economy or too powerful a welfare state. (116)” - New house production was bedrock of economic growth (both building and filling it with consumer products) - Explosion of consumer credit after WWII - Consumer’s Republic redefines gender, class, and racial norms; men begin to be preferred over women as consumers – GI Bill aimed at men, so were credit cards; tax laws favored families where women stayed at home. - Blacks could use consumerism to fight discrimination; - Postwar saw growth of new suburbanized spaces/businesses labeled “private” could place themselves outside of government regulation and thereby discriminate PART III – “The Landscape of Mass Consumption” - By restructuring residential and commercial centers, the Consumer’s Republic introduced new kinds of divisions in postwar society while it aimed at overcoming old ones. (see last point listed in Part II, above) - Formation of homogeneous suburbs; class stratification by community; better education in richer areas with money as compared to inner cities with smaller property-tax base - Blacks excluded in part because it was feared they would drive property values down; Blacks and Hispanics tend to stay in cities and rent while whites preferred to buy in the suburbs. - Mount Laurel (NJ)- Supreme Court ruling against zoning as a means of keeping out the poor and shifting expenses for services to the power but overcrowded cities. - “New City” of postwar era based around mass consumption – Paramus and the malls; consumption and leisure more tightly linked; shopping centers begin to be viewed as focus of community (and a good way to reach a broad audience); Shopping centers functional equivalent of sidewalks in a public business district (275) PART IV – “The Political Culture of Mass Consumption” - Market segmentation to fight market competition; more choices for consumers; in part due to technological changes which allowed industries the flexibility to make smaller production runs on short notice - “… marketers turned class differentiation from an income to a lifestyle distinction.(310)” - Segmenting the market by age and stages of life reshaped the mass market. - Racially based market segmentation paralleled civil rights integration - Politicians used notions of market strategies in their campaigns, equating marketing with politics - “Third-wave of consumers movement” – grew out of unfulfilled promises of Consumer’s Republic; includes methods of using mass media to make public and government aware of unsafe products and so force legal changes - Consumer activists made three layers of demands 1. Pass laws to better protect consumers in the marketplace 2. Reorient the government’s regulatory authority towards public interest 3. Give consumers a permanent voice in government/executive branch - Consumer/Urban unrest among blacks in 1960s based in part upon their awareness of overall American abundance and their inability to partake - By mid 1970s economic recession, consumerism seemed to be abandoned.

Wobblies on the Waterfront: Interracial Unionism in Progressive-Era Philadelphia by Cole, Peter
Josh Britton's Notes: Peter Cole returns to the old style of labor history by chronicling the remarkable ten-year career of the Industrial Workers of the World Local #8, a Philadelphia-based longshoremen’s union. According to Cole, Local 8 was important for several reasons: it was a successful interracial union during a period of racial prejudice; it balanced the short-term goals of its membership (safety conditions, wages) with the longer vision of syndicalism (maintaining job control in worker hands) that was essential to the IWW’s self-concept; it was remarkably successful at controlling work on Philadelphia’s waterfront for its ten-year existence. Key to its success was its ability to unify Philadelphia’s diverse waterfront workforce, comprising African-Americans, Eastern Europeans and Irish Americans together in one union—moreover, these groups resisted employers attempts to divide them racially or ethnically. Local 8’s first success, in a May 1913 strike that sprung out of an IWW attempt to unionize sugar refineries marked a decade of dominance over the waterfront labor market, and in the face of localized, decentralized opposition from local shippers and an effectual attempt by rival union the International Longshoremen’s Association (associated with the AFL). Although Local 8 was weakened by the 1918 jailing of many of its leaders including Walter Nef and Ben Fletcher—a legendary African American IWW organizer—Cole challenges the historiography by insisting that Local 8 maintained its job control until 1922; far more serious challenges came from the rise of black nationalism, the growing number of black migrants in Philadelphia, increasingly virulent racism and especially the threat that Communism posed to the labor movement as a whole. Local 8 was directly involved in what was called “the Philadelphia Controversy” which demonstrated a wider split in the IWW over whether or not to affiliate themselves with Bolsheviks. The ultimate defeat of Local 8 came in October 1922, when they agitated for an eight-hour work day, standard in other industries. By this time, the bosses were better organized, and supported by the federal government (who strongly supported “breaking” the IWW), they locked out Local 8 longshoremen and imported mostly black strikebreakers. The racial unity that characterized Local 8 collapsed, and with it, the union itself. There are a few weaknesses in Cole’s book: he certainly fails to explore worker culture to see if IWW egalitarianism extended beyond the workplace, and his treatment of gender is sparse and based on secondary sources from outside the US—surely something better could be found. Nonetheless, these flaws do not demonstrably detract from Cole’s work. Wobblies on the Waterfront demonstrates how labor can build strong class and job conscious unions as opposed to other more common, racially divided unions. The radical egalitarianism of Local 8 was remarkably successful and, according to Cole, it was ultimately the failure to maintain it that allowed capitalist interests to retake control over labor on the Philadelphia waterfront.

Nature’s Metropolis: Chicago and the Great West by Cronon, William


Parades and Power: Street Theatre in Nineteenth-Century Philadelphia by Davis, Susan
John Britton's Notes: Susan G. Davis argues that the use of parades, street theatre and other forms of public culture has long been ignored by historians writing about the public sphere. In this monograph examining different types of street theatre and its relationship to power in Philadelphia. Davis argues that such public events are indeed important; they are a form of social communication that is part of the social forces of an urban place. While the meaning of the parade is subject to the context of the place and participants, Davis argues that generally, parades can reflect and reaffirm the social power structure as well as present a challenge to it. To make her point, Davis examines a few specific types of public demonstrations in nineteenth-century Philadelphia. The first she addresses is the voluntary militia companies, the most prominent street performers in nineteenth-century Philadelphia. True to their origins among the genteel classes of the city, the voluntary militias preferred an orderly, highly decorative procession that generally occurred during the visit of a notable public figure, or on a public holiday. Davis contends these marches were an attempt to link the elite voluntary militias with the associations behind the dates and figures—Washington and Lafayette, and the Fourth of July in particular. This was necessary because, particularly in the Jacksonian Era, the militias were coming under attack for being elitist, ineffective, and contrary to the leveling ideology of the Revolution. So in a way, the public processions and drilling were an attempt to control public perceptions of the militia—an attempt that largely succeeded according to Davis. Davis then moves on to vernacular public culture—made up of masques, mummers and burlesques of elite culture and behavior. Davis links these ideas with the eighteenth-century practice of chivari or “rough music.” Things like nominating a stable cleaner (the famous John Pluck) for a militia officer, burlesque parodies of the voluntary militia drills were popular not only in Philadelphia, but many cities over the East Coast. This became not just a parody of these events but a critique of them and an attempt to reduce the distance between the elite militia and working-class groups through laughter and ridicule. These events could also be used for group solidarity purposes that had much less cultural criticism implicit in them; Christmas and Fourth of July revelries explicitly mocked immigrant and African-American groups and usually sought to legitimate the participants’ solidarity and place in the social hierarchy of the city. Much more critical of the hierarchy was the labor procession or strike parade. These parades blatantly critiqued the transformation of Philadelphia into a manufacturing city and the effects that transformation had on labor. The demonstrations were intended to create support for the laborers, which was usually successful in the neighborhood of the strike, less so throughout the city, or to threaten scabs, blacklegs and other potential opponents of the strike. These strike parades also employed the memory of earlier demonstrations that emphasized the sort of moral economy and shared interests of labor and capital that had long since passed. For the most part, though, these demonstrations were seen uneasily by the press and public who largely recognized the divergence of these interests and the disruption that strikes could have on the financial workings of the city. Yet, Davis suggests these workingmen mostly adhered to the conventions of respectability. In the process, they managed to achieve respectability as they helped define its parameters for the working classes. Though, as Davis notes, this respectability had its limits; Irish strikers were always excluded. Finally, working people also participated in street performances via fire companies, seen largely as a social problem in the 1840s, and temperance societies. Both groups utilized street performances to claim legitimacy for their group as well as a propaganda tool. Moreover, the participants in both groups were much more heterogeneous socially, with a mixture of elites with a largely working-class constituency. While both groups raised social issues important to the working classes, they were largely seen as respectable and celebrated by mainstream Philadelphia society. Ultimately, two styles came to dominate Philadelphia public processions by the Civil War; the respectable style exemplified by the voluntary militias and a vernacular style represented by the burlesques. The former communicated approval of the social hierarchy, the latter a threatening challenge by politically challenging the elites.. Yet, as Davis notes, only a limited group of actors could participate in this “public sphere”—ie white men. Women and blacks who exhibited the sort of group identity that was required of public actors could cause derision or rioting, and immigrant groups and abolitionists were too widely unpopular to participate. While parades and processions used public space, they were ultimately private acts with particular meanings. The period of 1790-1860 was so important for these articulations because the Republic was new and open to mediation; the post Civil-War years saw increasing restrictions on public protest and parades via police and regulation. The twentieth century saw a decline in protest culture due to the rise of commercialism and spectacle. Protests must be truly remarkable to achieve the recognition it did in the nineteenth century. Davis’s work compares most directly to Lisa Keller’s Triumph of Order; though set earlier and in a different place, Davis chronicles (better, in my opinion), the use of public space, it potential for protest and its limitations. In its depictions of labor, Bruce Laurie’s Working People of Philadelphia is a close antecedent. Further linkages about urban disorder and the Jacksonian city can be found in Michael Feldberg’s The Turbulent Era.


"Urban History: Retrospect and Prospect" in JAH 68 (1981) 69-84 by Ebner, Michael
Downtown: Its Rise and Fall, 1880-1950 by Fogelson, Robert
Josh Britton's Notes: Downtown is at heart an intellectual history of downtown, both as a place and as an idea, and a cautionary story of unintended consequences. Fogelson, a historian at MIT argues that the downtown region, by 1950, was losing its grip on being considered the “heart” of the city’s body, or the hub of the city’s wheel. The processes of decentralization and residential dispersal served to make downtown, by 1950, just another business district. According to Fogelson, this was a slow, contested process whose outcome was by no means certain; indeed, he demonstrates how it occurred incrementally. Fogelson begins with peoples’ assumptions of what downtown was an was meant to be. It was, first and foremost the business district of the city, and it was supposed to work together with the other parts for the good of the whole—a process that Fogelson describes as “spatial harmony.” It offered a place for businesses to concentrate while speeding the process of residential dispersal. Problems did appear, congestion was very bad and dispersal was uneven, with many lower income residents and minorities left in the city’s downtown residential neighborhoods,. However, at no time was this considered to be a threat to downtown’s preeminence. Cracks began to appear in the 1880s. Efforts to introduce rapid transit, in the form of elevated railways (which were deemed dangerous, noisy and ugly) and subways to reduce congestion were defeated, by a mixture of forces who disputed the use of rapid transit, its cost and even how it would be built. A battle over height limits proved how unrealistic the notion of spatial harmony was, as at issue was whether business would spread out vertically or horizontally, with people in other regions advocating for height limits. Decentralization of businesses began in the 1920s and the rise of outlying business districts saw the downtown rechristened the “central business district.” The Depression saw many merchants abandon the downtown, and business interests took the problem of decentralization seriously for the first time. They hit upon several solutions, none of which they properly noted the consequences of. First of all, they sought to make the downtown more accessible, by creating freeways that would allow unimpaired access to the downtown (or allow the downtown to be bypassed altogether, an ominous sign for the future) and improving off-street parking—which in turn further accelerated decentralization. Moreover, downtown businesses, in alliance with local politicians and a cadre of city planners adopted slum clearance plans (part of housing reform efforts of the 1920s and 1930s) towards their own ends, inventing the idea of blight to condemn run down working-class residential districts in an attempt to create more high and middle-income residences to reverse the process of residential dispersal. Advocates of this urban redevelopment realized the need of a public-private partnership, and pushed for government to subsidize the building of these homes; their greatest success was Title I of the Housing Act of 1949, which saw the federal government offer aid to urban redevelopment projects without specifying the need to build low-income housing. From this seed, the great urban redevelopment/renewal projects of the 1950s and 1960s grew. At mid-century, Fogelson argues, despite evidence to the contrary downtown was in clear decline. The decentralization of retailing and office space had begun, The “thrill” had gone out of going downtown, and soon, with the departure of jobs, the entire necessity of going downtown would be gone, too. With the enormous growth of a decentralized Los Angeles, the idea of downtown itself was in question. Its fall had begun. As noted above, Downtown is largely an intellectual history, contrasting what people thought of downtown with its reality and how their ideas to save it often had unintended consequences. He is particularly strong in dealing with the planners and business leaders twentieth-century responses to decentralization, though I would have liked to see more about the effects of deindustrialization; moreover, as he himself acknowledges, the section on height limits did not particularly bear on the story in terms of downtown’s decline. Nonetheless, this is an important story, well told by Fogelson.

From Sicily to Elizabeth Street: Housing and Social Change Among Italian Immigrants, 1880-1930 by Gabaccia, Donna
Josh Britton's Notes: In this ethnographic study of Sicilian immigrants’ adjustment to American life, Donna Gabaccia argues the unique housing conditions in New York City helped migrants achieve their social ideals of being close to large social and kin networks as well as their workplaces, while their housing ideals were unfulfilled. The adaption to the conditions of their physical environment (in this case housing) was, according to Gabaccia, key in the process of creating Italian-Americans. Gabaccia begins by exploring the lives of Sicilians in the agrotown of Sambuca. Their residential patterns were characterized by home ownership, nuclear households and social diversity. For Sicilian peasants particularly, neither their housing nor social ideals were met by the conditions of Sambuca. Men had to travel far for work, and the needs of their family meant they could not maintain even a fictive dominance over their households. Their homes were exposed, and even private spaces were subject to the scrutiny of visitors. Sicilian men especially were socially isolated and unable to create networks beyond those of these wives (who were much more active in the towns). They did meet housing ideals, however, in the fact that they owned their own home. The pervasive social discontent certainly played some part in motivating peasant migration. Gabaccia challenges the notion that Sicilian social life was centered on the family; instead, by examining Sicilian proverbs, she suggests that the neighbor was the root of social networks in Sicily. This was due in large part to the rootedness in place of Sicilians in the 19th century. Sicilian artisans had more ease in maintaining their social and housing ideals, but the threat of downward social mobility likewise encouraged their migration. Gabaccia then moves to Sicilian life on Elizabeth Street in New York’s Little Italy. Gabaccia finds that while tenement life might have been very familiar in many ways to Sicilians, they found the tenements just as unsatisfactory as their homes back in Sicily. However, their social ideals were much better served in New York. Gabaccia notes this is in large part due to changes that occurred during the migration process—family, who aided migration became more and more important, so much so, the Sicilian concept of la famiglia emerged from this time. Similarly, men were closer to their place of work and were able to reassert household authority. Although some distinctions between “dirty” and “clean” work remained between artisans and peasants, the two groups became more similar socially, producing similar patterns of work and leisure. Emigration created new opportunities for expanding social networks, and practices unheard of in Sicily, such as boarding became common place, due partially to environmental constraints, but also due to cultural changes. The everyday life on Elizabeth Street became, according to Gabaccia, much like an agrotown without the social distinctions or countryside. It was the housing environment and constraints that shaped these cultural adaptations. While some older immigrants bemoaned the individualism that often separated them from their children (and their children’s desire to achieve their housing ideal), Gabaccia shows how the bonds of family solidarity were breeched by the elders first, in failing to provide some degree of inheritance for their children. Nonetheless, the turn to familism became a strong part of Sicilian culture. Gabaccia ends by noting the paradoxes evident in these cultural changes. As they adapted to their environment (and native Sicilians changed too) Sicilian-Americans viewed their changing culture defensively; they sought to maintain their identity against the forces of Americanization. In this process of change, adaptation and holding onto ethnic roots, Italian-Americans were created

The Urban Villagers: Group and Class in the Life of Italian-Americans by Gans, Herbert
Josh Britton's Notes: In this classic sociological account of life in Boston’s West End, Herbert Gans produces a study of what he describes as a working-class subculture and a harsh critique of the practices and policies of urban renewal—policies based on middle-class biases and inability to understand the lives and values of this working-class subculture. Gans begins with a portrait of lives of the second-generation Italian-Americans who lived in the West End. He argues that their lives are situated around a peer-group society, in which their values, behaviors and even individual identity are involved with that of the group. These values are transmitted to them by their families and parents (indeed, families remain a key part of the society) and is based around a person-oriented individualism to be liked and accepted as a person within the group as opposed to object-oriented individualism that strives towards the accomplishment of an object, common to middle-class existence. Indeed, West Enders who exhibited the tendency towards object-orientation were shunned for trying to be better than they are. This orientation leads West Enders to be fatalistic in their goals and attitudes towards work and life, and a fear of downward mobility is more terrifying than desires for upward mobility. Gans suggests that far from being an Italian ethnic issue, person-oriented individualism and peer-group societies were characteristic adaptation strategies of working-class subcultures across time and space, adaptations that Gans feels are valid; although he acknowledges that they can be very conforming, discourage political involvement and it rejects certain types of “caretakers” who may be beneficial to them (like doctors or education—as opposed to settlement houses, that attempt to break up peer group societies because they fail to understand them). However, middle-class observers collapse working-class subcultures with subcultures of the poor or lower classes. While the poor, with their situational poverty and female-centric families, could use the aid of “caretakers,” Gans argues that caretakers interested in the working-class subculture must change their approach. After this section observing the “urban village” of the West End, Gans moves onto the most famous section of the book, the critique of the urban renewal project that destroyed the low-rent, stable neighborhood that was the West End, largely because it was in the process of unslumming but was still seen as a slum. Gans suggests that the peer-group society relationship characterized the worldview of West Enders and may have led them to misjudge the intensity of the city to “renew” the area, Gans obviously puts most of the blame on the city, for failing to provide adequate information to West Enders until it was too late. Gans then savages the planners for failing to recognize the stability of the neighborhood, and suggests a plan of “urban rehabilitation” would ultimately have been more appropriate for the West End. Finally, he also critiques the relocation process and the assumption that the working-class residents of the West End were less important than the future residents of the high-income developments. He proposes an eighteen-point revision plan for future renewal processes, ideas that would make the process more equitable and charitable for residents of future renewed areas. The Urban Villagers properly belongs in two categories of urban studies. It is partially a study of assimilation to American cultural values by second-generation Italian immigrants, and has roots in literature ranging from Stefano Luconi, Virginia Yans-McLaughlin, and John Bodnar, but like Jane Jacobs he also provides a trenchant critique of planning and its effects on stable neighborhoods, though Gans is more concerned with renewal and unlike Jacobs, he also argues that solutions to structural problems like poverty are more important that any sort of planning or diversity. The Urban Villagers is a fine text, with deep sociological insight enriched by Gans’s reflections twenty years later, but also characterized by a fresh, engaging writing style.

City of Eros: New York City, Prostitution and the Commercialization of Sex, 1790-1920 by Gilfoyle, Timothy
Josh Britton's Notes: In this important, foundational text for the history of urban sexuality, Timothy J. Gilfoyle argues that the years 1820-1920 marked a period of unprecendented access to and tolerance of commercialized sexuality in the form of prostitution; the period of 1836-1871 in particular is cited as the “hacylon days” of commercial sexuality. While Gilfoyle suggests many factors a few key ones are recurring themes in the text. First of all, is the use of space and real estate in the city. Brothels made good tenants for landlord because they were more likely to pay their bills and turn a profit for the landlord—indeed, Gilfoyle even reveals that many of the most prominent New Yorkers held property where brothels existed; men like John R. Livingston and William Randolph Hearst, for example. Moreover, a larger market for the services of commercialized sexuality first appeared in the 1820s; a “sporting male” subculture arose (with the flash press acting as its spokesmen) which demand an easy access to sexuality. Finally, Gilfoyle adds, the inadequacy of female employment and wages made prostitution an attractive, sometimes necessary alternative for girls. Josh Britton's Notes: Gilfoyle tracks the geography of prostitution very closely, and notes that it was by no means restricted to the working classes. There were neighborhoods of more genteel, up-scale establishments and even the admission of patronizing prostitutes was rather common. Additionally, the extent to which prostitution captured the American imagination can be glimpsed at the attention paid to it in popular culture; authors like George Thompson and George Foster made it a central concern of their work, a pecuilar mix of misogyny and sympathy for the prostitutes themselves. Even mainstream newspapers paid attention to prostitution, and the murder of Helen Jewett in 1836 demonstrated how interested the public was in commercial sexuality. Although purity reformers like Anthony Comstock often attacked prostitution, it never really succeeded in disrupting anything but its institutional form; masquerade balls and concert halls replaced theaters and saloons as places of assignation, and police and political forces collaborated in an informal, unorganized regulation system that both protected and coercively monitored prostitution throughout the city. Ultimately, Gilfoyle is rather dismissive of the efforts of the purity crusaders, instead blaming the decline of prostitution in the early twentieth century to changing social factors: better wages and working conditions for women, government action (from Prohibition to the Mann Act to the fall of Tammany) changing patterns of real estate use (the rise of the skyscraper) and even changing heterosexual relations between men and women pushed prostitution back into the “underground” workd it inhabited prior to 1820. The slow disappearance and conversion of the former sites of commercial sexuality—the brothels, theaters and concert halls—demonstrate for Gilfoyle, the end of the era of prostitution. This is an excellent book with an important, well argued thesis and accomplished research. A good social history of gender, sexuality and the city. See also: Cline-Cohen, The Murder of Helen Jewett, Chudacoff, The Age of the Bachelor, The Flash Press and The Pickpocket’s Tale.

Power and Society: Greater New York at the Turn of the Century by Hammack, David
Josh Britton's Notes: The study of its power, and more particularly its distribution is one the continuing questions in American political history. The late nineteenth century, with the industrial and urban transformations occurring seems to be a critical moment, most historians agree. In this account focusing on elite power in New York City between 1860 and 1910, David C. Hammack argues that differences and the fragmentation of the elite in the city prevented any one group of elites from exercising complete power and gave a cosmopolitan middle-class and a proletarianized working class an opportunity to exercise some power. Hammack argues that the distribution of power can best be glimpsed through events and he chooses four major events in the history of Greater New York to explore his thesis about the fragmentation of the urban bourgeois. The four events he chooses, the city’s mayoral elections, the campaign for a consolidated New York City, the completion of the city’s first subway line and the centralization of the city’s public school system. Each of the cases demonstrates that the elite had significant power, but there were enough divisions to force policymakers to seek a broad-based alliance for their proposals. This occurred gradually as the economic transformations altered the composition of the elite and created a stable, heterogeneous middle class. For example, an elite group that Hammack calls the “Swallowtail Democrats” were able to dominate the mayoral nomination process from the fall of the Tweed Ring in 1871 until Henry George’s run for the mayoralty in 1886; afterwards, even patricians like Seth Low had to reach out to labor and ethnic voters, despite their running on a traditional elite, “good-government” platform. Similarly, the school centralization issue brought together good government advocates, educational reformers, Protestant evangelicals and nativists together in a coalition, that succeeded in centralizing, but failed to fundamentally transform education along lines any one group envisioned. In the case of subway lines, advocates of public funding clashed with other economic elites who clung to a laissez-faire ideology and disdained the idea of public investment—aided by a Tammany anxious to repudiate their reputation for fiscal irresponsibility. Ultimately, Hammack suggests all the ways the elite were fragmented—socially, politically culturally and economically—worked to the advantage of other groups, from Tammany politicians to the middle class to labor, and allowed for a more pluralistic sharing of power. This process continued throughout the 20th century, as evidenced by sociological findings from the 1950s. While Hammack is hesitant to attribute this same transformation to other cities, he suggests that New York, as the first modern industrial economy was the first to undergo such changes, and other cities where the middle class and working class eventually achieved a higher absolute standard of living a similar distribution would occur; populations that fail to advance would see such power inequally shared. Hammack never denies that the elite wielded disproportionate power; his contention that their fragmented nature prevented their dominance is at odds with Sven Beckert’s The Monied Metropolis. There are also valuable references to Brooklyn Heights for my own research (pages 209-214.)

Making the Second Ghetto: Race and Housing in Chicago 1940-1960 by Hirsch, Arnold
Josh Britton's Notes: 1998 Foreword In his 1998 Foreword, Arnold Hirsch reevaluates his purposes in writing Making the Second Ghetto. Hirsch argues that he was trying to present a case study that looks at the root causes of black urban unrest in the 1960s. He finds that the “second ghettos” created during the 1940s and 1950s demonstrated the way segregation was written into public policy and help determine the way racial violence occurred. While acknowledging that focusing of housing in one city had its limits, Hirsch discusses how much of the subsequent historiography expands upon his findings. In particular the work of Thomas Sugrue and Ronald Bayor comes in for great praise; particularly Sugrue’s insistence that the specific creation of the underclass was not inevitable; similarly, the way the concept of race had changed as white ethnics were absorbed into whiteness and had a stake in the outcome of racial conflicts in the 1940s-1950s. Finally, Hirsch admits to some ambivalence over the subject matter: creation of ghettos are caused by choices and there are many groups to blame for choices--apportioning blame was difficult for him. He ends by acknowledging his wider point. Hirsch sought his text to demonstrate that the “second ghetto” in Chicago was not built in response to liberalism’s excesses, but rather a resistance to ANY change at all. Preface In the preface, Hirsch examines the genesis of his book as a result of his mistaken belief in a period of racial harmony in Chicago between 1919 and the 1960s. He quickly realizes this is not the case, and the racial violence of that period comes from shifting racial/residential boundaries. That got him to focus on how resistance to desegregation created a “second ghetto” in Chicago during the post WWII decades. He notes that his study mainly focuses on the creation of the ghetto and the actions of the powerful and less powerful whites in creating the ghetto--including a number of white ethnics. Hirsch credits the influence of GIlbert Osofsky in creating this work; Osofsky is best known for his study of the Harlem ghetto. Chapter 1- Second Ghetto and Neighborhood Change-tables p 6-7 Here Hirsch defines the term “second ghetto”--that is the concentrated area of urban black settlement that first appeared in the postwar decades and he investigates the way the changing composition of Chicago’s population began to shape the second ghetto. As blacks streamed into the city during the 1940s, they faced an unprecedented housing crisis that affected blacks and whites alike. For blacks however, it was particularly egregious as the “first ghetto” of the Southside Black Belt faced overcrowded conditions, poor, declining buildings and inadequate amenities and aid from landlords. This was exacerbated by the sheer number of blacks. The need for housing led to blacks at first accepting public housing that was built “in the ghetto” and segregated from the public at large. Black political leaders, who came to power through the creation of separate institutions, refused to support integration efforts and potentially lose their power bases. Beginning in 1950, though as Chicago’s white population began leaving the city for the suburbs, blacks had an opportunity to leave their ghetto and settle along the edges of white settlements. There was a period beforehand though, when neighborhoods were “threatened.” At this point, whites would refuse or be unable to move in, and landlords would let property decline until someone was willing to bust the block for African American tenants. The discrimination that forced them to pay higher rents led to owners being willing to break the restrictive covenants that they had signed, and were proving unenforceable in the courts. Rather than sell to blacks though, whites frequently sold their properties to speculators--called panic peddlers or block busters who would sell to blacks using installment land contracts that would allow the African American buyer to move in with a down payment, but would then charge an average of 75% over what the speculator paid for the home; the speculator also retained the title, which allowed him to turn out blacks who missed installments. After a number of blacks moved into previously white areas, then respectable realtors would feel free to sell to blacks too, transforming the area into another black ghetto eventually. Hirsch concludes by examining white responses to neighborhood change. The first, similar to Sugrue’s argument, is simply violence, not only to intimidate and ward off blacks, but also to send a political message. This included arson, or torching of areas where blacks were moving in. The need for black housing was so great, however, that it did not deter African American settlement. Secondly, and more dangerously, there were legal efforts to discourage black settlement, either through reviving a 1920s effort to improve housing in the ghetto itself, buying property back from blacks who bought neighborhood land, using urban redevelopment to take land and resettle blacks or using city planning language to deracialize their plans, making them seem political neutral. While this chapter is a good intro and provides an idea of what is to come, Hirsch’s suggestion that there were other alternatives is puzzling; he himself says that the first ghetto of the 1910s made the second ghetto more possible and the racism that seems institutionalized in Chicago makes it seem like there were no other alternative ways. Chapter 2- Hidden Violence Here, Hirsch looks at the 1940s and explodes the myth that it was an era of relative racial peace. On the contrary, Hirsch asserts that those years were filled with a great deal of racial violence, almost entirely associated with housing. Hirsch begins by looking at how racial tensions became almost too much to bear in the 1940s, as the Second Great Migration increased black-white proximity and the resentments. The bloody and brutal Detroit riot of 1943 alarmed those in power in the city and forced them to reevaluate Chicago’s response. In addition to creating inter-racial commissions, the Chicago Commission on Human Relations was created to manage and suppress press coverage of racial violence. It did so by reaching arrangements with black and white papers alike, having them minimize the events in their paper. This obscured the violence and brutality in many “housing riots” of the late 1940s, in areas like Fernwood, Englewood, Airport Homes, Park Manor, Trumbull Park and Calumet Park, as whites rioted in response to rumors of blacks moving into their neighborhoods or the actual presence of blacks. The CHR succeeded in minimizing press coverage of these events--though they failed to do so in a smaller riot in the suburb of Cicero in 1951, partly to do with its geographic location and partly to do with the advent of personal televisions. The Cicero riot for Hirsch, marked a change in violence as housing riots mostly ended and riots over the use of community facilities, like churches, schools and especially parks and playgrounds began. These riots were covered much heavier than the housing riots, but most observers failed to note the connections; after enough blacks had moved into neighborhoods to change whites for control of community facilities, violence necessarily erupted as whites struggled to maintain control of their neighborhood. These too, were housing riots. Hirsch notes that the press response and condemnation of white rioters forced them to use means other than violence to maintain their pressure to preserve white neighborhoods; however, violence would still be a possibility where other methods failed. Chapter 3 Friends, Neighbors, Rioters In this chapter, Hirsch takes a long look at the rioters themselves; their composition, motives and why the violence during the riots was so limited. First he finds, contrary to popular belief, that the rioters were largely of the neighborhood where the riots occurred. Secondly, he discovered that though most rioters shared a working-class Catholic background, they came from many different ethnicities; most notably Slavs, Irish, Poles and Italians. These white ethnics were willing to live in close proximity to each other, but not to blacks. Hirsch further finds that riots were a community event. Rather than being limited to young “hoodlum soldiers” the community was truly represented in rioting: women, young men, old men and children all participated in some form, though it was mostly young men who were arrested. Finally, Hirsch examines why the violence was so limited in the riots of the 1940s. He argues that it was not due to social control of the police and other observers but rather to the limited aims of the rioters themselves. These were no full-scale racial assaults, but rather usually focused on one family, one house or one area. Radicals and outsiders were targeted, as were police and city officials, but there was not attempt to widen the scope of violence. Furthermore, this violence was usually spontaneous and not planned, and the rioters would disperse after achieving their goals. The police, despite some efforts to improve the efficiency of their responses to the riots, failed to control them; Hirsch argues this failure was individual. Too many police officers were sympathetic to the rioters, a signal the rioters themselves picked up on. It was due to the mobs themselves, and the discipline of the black community, that wider racial violence did not occur during this period. Chapter Four- Loop vs. Slums: Downtown Strikes Back Here, Hirsch examines the response of corporate property owners to the growing black population of the city and argues that their response is just another facet to the organized white consensus. Here, he focuses on a single case study of the New York Life Insurance Company’s redevelopment of South Side Lake Meadows. He notes the way that corporate businessmen like Milton Mumford and Holman Pettibone became involved with urban redevelopment--which allowed them to mute the racial issues they were dealing with and instead focus on the economics of reviving the flagging downtown. The bill they and the Metropolitan Housing and Planning Council managed to pass in Illinois allowed the state to take on the costs of land assembly and clearance, providing it at low cost to private enterprise, who then would build. The city would recoup this one time subsidy back through tax revenue and the downtown would supposedly be saved. The racial issues this raises are quite obvious; the sites of redevelopment were in fact, sites of black housing. How to relocate these blacks became the burden of the city, a burden they consistently mismanaged, according to Hirsch. The properties built on the redeveloped areas were out of most relocated resident’s price range and although restrictive covenants were illegal under the terms of the law, many African Americans feared it would be the very real result. To relocate these residents, the city turned to public housing, transforming the very nature of the program itself, making it a tool for redevelopment and forcing public housing administrators to lower their standards for acceptance, in exchange for the public support offered by redevelopment advocates. The challenges to urban redevelopment, implicit in the “Carey Ordinance” that sought to bar any sort of discrimination in selling property in the redeveloped areas and the campaign of residents of Roseland to halt construction brought racial issues out into the open. Private enterprise would not build if the ordinance was passed, and its defeat was the result of well-organized opposition from planning forces and the lack of support from the black sub-machine of William Dawson, who sought to maintain the status quo and protect his base of power in the emerging “second ghetto.” Efforts by Roseland residents to block construction showcase the very real fears of racial succession that would result in the displacement of blacks--they would continue to settle the periphery, displacing more white residents and recreating slum conditions in other parts of the city. Redevelopment advocates blocked this challenge too. Ultimately, the significance of Illinois’s redevelopment legislation is that it acted as a model for the Federal Housing Act of 1949 that applied these principles nationally, it represented one of the last efforts to economically revitalize the failing downtown, and ultimately, in the transformation of public housing policy, it helped set the stage for building the second ghetto and increasing possibilities of racial succession throughout the city. Chapter 4- University of Chicago, Hyde Park and Urban Renewal This chapter presents a case study of Hyde Park, the Chicago neighborhood in which the University of Chicago is located. Hyde Park had been increasingly a site of black resettlement in the late 1940s and early 1950s and led observers to fear that the area was facing a complete racial succession. The success of the Hyde Park community in resisting this fate was due to the efforts of the Hyde Park-Kenwood Community Conference, which promoted a liberal policy intended to foster interracial harmony and settlement, and the Southeast Chicago Commission, a planning and urban renewal wing of the University of Chicago that sought to protect the area from succession. These two groups in essence protected one another; the SECC protected the community's interests while the HPKCC allowed residents to voice their concerns and feel good about it. Given the state of Hyde Park though, the legal mechanisms in place would not work (aside from SECC's first project, Hyde Park A & B), so the University of Chicago had to convince the city that conservation and slum prevention were in the city's best interest. After the law passed, the University of Chicago acted single-minded and single-handedly to remake the area without recourse to the public until 1958, when they needed support for a community plan. Hirsch notes that this transformed Chicago's program from urban redevelopment to urban renewal (which involved reviving threatened areas). Hirsch goes on to demonstrate how, despite efforts of HPKCC leaders, the SECC proceeded on a program of protecting the racial integrity of the area as much as possible, using race and class as twin barriers to keep all but the "best" blacks out of the neighborhood. In fact, Hirsch goes on to suggest the whites that were relocated were done so to prevent charges of discrimination. The University of Chicago and SECC made all the decisions, but Hirsch is at pains to demonstrate the population generally supported their policies of preventing racial succession. The one issue where HPKCC could have made a difference, in pushing for public housing, did not meet with the tangible support inside or outside the organization. The policies of the HPKCC, furthermore, acted as a way to stave off racial succession long enough for SECC to set up the legal mechanisms they needed to succeed. Chapter 5: Unity of Whiteness Here Hirsch examines the submergence of ethnic identity within a larger blanket of whiteness and argues that a white consensus existed that encompassed both working class ethnics and upper-middle class liberals that was based on the notion of racial succession being a negative thing. The interdependence of the city in racial matters (a group of whites will always be a loser where racial succession is concerned) often pitted whites against one another. Whereas business interests and the upper middle class were more mobile and developed a sort of “liberal environmentalist” way to explain the lack of progress on the part of African-Americans. This argument was adopted later to justify excluding African-Americans from their communities until they had adapted to Northern industrial society--an argument Hirsch shows to be patently hypocritical. Working class Catholic ethnics also used this justification but it was much less refined. The working class ethnics, who were more tied to their communities through home ownership and ethnicity than the upper-middle classes, felt racial succession threatened both their livelihood and their claims at whiteness(in which they sacrificed their own uniqueness and privileges at one of the worst possible times.) They also felt threatened by the tactics the upper-middle class used--the recourse to political and legal actions, specifically the use of expertise. This allowed government interference, which led working-class ethnics to demand McCarthy style investigation into the experts; racial succession was linked to domestic subversion in their minds. The upper-middle class in turn saw the working class ethics as sick bigots. The only thing they seemed to have in common was whiteness. However, as Hirsch makes clear, they also shared a belief in the wrongness of racial sucession, and utilized different methods to avoid having their neighborhoods threatened by black invasion. Chapter 7- Making the Second Ghetto In the concluding chapter, Hirsch brings together all the factors that coalesced in Chicago to create the second ghetto by 1960. Hirsch identifies the interplay between corporations who were threatened by changes in the 1940s and 1950s and utilized government power to attempt to revitalize and white ethnics who felt threatened by racial succession and government, and used violence and political pressure to influence public policy. The corporations had positive power, while white ethnics asserted negative power. Violence in communities that had no option to flee effectively blocked racial succession and it influenced the selection of sites for integrated public housing This interplay affected government action and influenced the wielding of power by government agencies who could do the most to halt the ghettoization of the black population. Hirsch employs the example of the Chicago Housing Authority (CHA) who did the most to challenge the racial status quo under its Executive Secretary Elizabeth Wood. Corporate pressure led to a position where the Chicago City Council took an overseer's role over the previously independent CHA's policies which limited their ability to challenge the status quo. Racial violence and discord in the Trumbull Homes directly or indirectly led to the dismissal of Wood; her successors would be much less confrontational--indeed, under Alvin Rose, it became a tool in which the second ghetto was institutionalized. Hirsch stresses that blacks had very little power to resist this process; agencies like the Commission on Human Relations which had been at the forefront of reform in the '40s receded as it was clear that white dissatisfaction was at the root of racial violence, and the political climate discouraged radicalism and activism on the part of agencies like the Chicago Urban League and the NAACP. Black politicians and institutions where further divided by whether they should pursue "Status" or "Welfare" goals. "Status" advocates wanted to fight discrimination, whereas welfare advocates sought to provide better lives and living conditions for blacks. This divided the African American community, and in the cases where they were united, their protests made little difference. Hirsch ends the chapter by noting what made the second ghetto different--it was not the result of historical pressures, but rather it was created as a result of the new racial conditions of the 1940s and 1950s. Furthermore, unlike the first ghetto, the second ghetto had government and institutional support--an insidious prospect indeed. This suggests Richard Daley cannot be blamed for the creation of the second ghetto. It had been institutionalized long before he took office. It also explains the origins of the black backlash--it was a response to very real and recent concrete events. Hirsch argues that the it took the combined efforts of everyone he looks at in the book to ultimately create "the second ghetto." Epilogue In the epilogue, Hirsch begins by looking at the results of the Hyde Park and Lake Meadow renewal projects, and how even the limited integration there conformed with the racial boundaries of the city. He connects much of the policies behind “the second ghetto” with ideas that accompanied the first ghetto--the desire not for integration, but rather the belief that social problems could be solved by better albeit segregated black housing; attempts to use legislation to aid private building of low-income housing, whether it was in a positive (post WWII) or negative (Progressive Era) context; the desire for profit from housing construction and finally the color line itself. Hirsch mentions briefly the black activism of the 1960s, that pushed for both “status” and “welfare” and the way open housing remained an ideal rather than a goal for the decades that followed, even given federal orders to open housing. Finally, Hirsch assesses the links between Chicago housing policy and federal policy. While he acknowledges the murky origins of the Federal Housing Act of 1949, he very clearly delineates the influence of Chicago’s conservation program (based on the Hyde Park urban renewal) on the Housing Act of 1954. He criticizes historians who evaluate the federal program without examining local conditions. Hirsch feels that the renewal efforts were not a federal program per say, and were carried out at a local level. By looking at the program at the local level, it is easier to discern the difference between the ideals of the program and its realities. Also, the drawbacks of the program-- “Negro clearance” and other racial problems were not side effects of the program, but were most certainly functions of the reason the legislation was drafted. Finally, Hirsch concludes this legislation served to hinder officials who generally wanted to fulfill the program’s promise. They had to rely on private development, which came to direct the program and the sites they desired became targets of renewal. The final result of this legislation was not destruction of the urban ghetto, but rather its permanence and creation of new ghettos that would explode into racial violence a few years later.

Crabgrass Frontier by Jackson, Kenneth
jjr207 - 6/21/10 Introduction:
Jackson suggests that the physical organization of our living spaces (neighborhoods, houses, etc.) set up living patterns that condition our behavior.
He sees suburbia as the ". . . quintessential physical achievement of the United States. . . "
Concept of suburbia include:
-conspicuous consumpation
-reliance on private automobiles
-upward mobility
-nuclear family
-widening divisions between work and leisure
-tendency towards racial and economic exclusiveness

The affluent and middle class live in suburbs
-low population density (as seen in the absence of a sharp division between town and country)
-home ownership (about 2/3 Americans own their own house)
-residential status (socio-economic distinctions between center and periphery)
-journey to work

Jackson's working definition of suburbs has four parts:
1. function (non-farm residential)
2. class (middle and upper class status)
3. separation (a daily journey to work)
4. density (low relative to older sections)

Suburbanization has been as much a government policy as a natural process.

Chapter 1:
Five spatial characteristics of major cities in 1815:
1. congestion - small lot sizes, narrow streets, houses close to curb.
2. clear distinction between city and country.
3. mixture of functions - almost no neighborhoods exclusively commercial or residential.
4. short distance inhabitants lived from work.
5. tendencies for fashionable/respectable addresses to be near center of town.

Suburbs were socially and economically inferior to cities when wind, muscle, and water were the prime movers of a civilization.

Chapter 2:
Mass transit systems inaugurated a pattern of suburban affluence.
This transportation change does not explain the initial development of the suburban trend (i.e. the new cultural values that were being embraced at the time).

A general pattern emerges;
1. enormous growth to a metropolises sizes accompanied by rapid growth of the periphery's population.
2. a leveling of the cities density curve.
3. loss of population at the center of the city.

This pattern resulted in an increase in the average journey to work and a rise in the socio-economic status of the suburban residents.
Shifts like this often began before the Civil War in large cities, but in smaller cities the suburbs remained slums well into the 20th C.
Transportation suburbs:
Ferry suburbs (Brooklyn and New Jersey being the prime examples) - as the ferry districts of Brooklyn grew, the political structures of Brooklyn and King's County began to change as well.

Railroad suburbs tended to stick out from cities like fingers. The residential areas that grew up around the train stops were relatively small enough to allow the residents to walk to the train. Since the ticket prices were too high for common laborers, this lent an air of exclusivity to communities in Westchester county.

Horse car railroads developed by laying track towards emerging wealthy neighborhoods on the periphery.

Chapter 3:
As more people crowded together in public spaces, families sought to protect home life by building private spaces.
This push towards family isolation reached its peak in the mid 19th C., in part due to American wealth (which provided the means) and in part due to the rhetoric of proper moral upbring (Women's sphere, cult of domesticity, etc.) which provided the desire for a secluded, controlled, home. The single family house became a goal to which reputable families aspired. Yards also became preferred. While this is going on, the American cities become symbols of vice, crime, poverty, etc,. Suburbia therefore also offered the promise of keeping city vices at a distance. By 1870 the term SUBURB no longer implied INFERIOR.

Technology - railways, street cars, water systems, etc. - made suburbanization possible.

Chapter 4:
By 1850s the conditions were right for suburban areas to be planned as a "romantic community in harmony with nature."
The NYC 1811 gridplan created a wave of speculation in NYC land, but the rectangular plots come to be viewed as anti-naturalistic and are sometimes blamed for the overcrowded tenement conditions.
Suburbs therefore tended to reject grid plans for winding lanes.

Garden City (Long Island)
-developed by Alexander T. Stewart
-The houses in this community were to be rented, rather than sold, in an attempt to keep the neighborhood from degenerating. Impeccable references were required to rent.
-Garden City failed because it attempted to change the traditional pattern of homeownership. Affluent families would not support rental markets for detached houses.

Two truths established by early suburban communities:
1. Quality single-family houses in a planned environment could not be built at a profit for the working-class.
2. Those who could afford a large house on a large plot of land would not be satisfied for anything less than ownership.

Chapter 5
-Rapid economic growth (and the [second] Industrial Revolution) provided the basis for large scale business organizations after the Civil War.
-The number of families in a position to own their own homes and have atleast one servent expanded rapidly after the Civil War. Jackson states approximately ten percent of the populations of major U.S. cities reached this position in the 1880s.
-Within the cities, at the same time that the older homes were becoming less attractive for residential use, the older (i.e. richer) families discovered that they could sell them at a profit. These older houses (or land) then used for tenements.

Railroad suburbs
-an important factor in suburban growth was related to the railroad expansion between 1865 and 1900.
-in late 19th C., unproductive games and sports were associated with the expansion of the upper-class railroad suburbs. Country clubs become the focus of suburban social life and help spur migration to the periphery. In some cases, membership in a country club was a prerequisite for living in the community. Compulsive play became an accepted alternative to compulsive work.
-at times "Real nature was forgotten in the midst of manicured greens and all-weather tennis courts."
-even in the upper-class suburbs there was a need for working class people (servents, etc.) and as these commuities grew the economic extremes between the classes became more pronounced.
-cost of commuting by railroad was always [kept] beyond the reach of the average laborer which kept communities exclusive.
-as railroad suburbs grew, the rural ambiance erroded.

Chapter 6
-Between the Civil War and World War I the street car had the single greatest technological impact on the American cities.
-cable cars were cleaner, quieter, and often more efficent than horse drawn cars. They encouraged real estate development, but had a high capital investment and could be inefficient in terms of laying cable.

-Electric street car come on the scene around 1885 and were a better alternative to cable cars. Allowed ordinary citizens to explore their cities. Often linked to amusement parks, which were a great stimulus for travel. Unlike railroads, trolleys tended to lead to the central business district (CBD thrived in the time of the trolley, due to trolleys and other developmetns like skyscrappers, elevators, electric lights).

Chapter 7
-Trolleys allowed people to spread out, and some in the late 19th C. presumed that by allowing the poor to have access to the open spaces they would act as a safety valve against the immoral influence of the overcrowded cities.

-Two policies of streetcar operators:
1. extend the lines beyond the built up portion of the city.
2. five cent fare (kept it affordable for the masses)

Pattern of street car suburbs:
1. street car lines built out to existing villages (also railroad suburbs).
2. street car tracks created new neighborhoods where none had existed before.

-land developers use streetcars to aid in development/speculation.
-at around the same time, balloon-frame houses come into use and are just as important for suburban development as mass transit. Balloon frame houses transform house building from a craft to an industry in part by reducing constuction cost (in part by using machine made nails) and are faster to errect. They make the private home affordable to middle income families and even poorer families.
-period of street car suburb growth known for marginal costs of street cars, falling costs of land (well outside cities) and increase in wealth of average family.
-typcial street car suburb made of 1-2 family houses on 1/10 acre lots. This compactness ensured a certain volume of traffic for the street cars.
-new balloon-frame suburbs developed in conjunction with other services, such as sewers, water supplies, and improved streets.

-Affordable housing meant the middle class could set as a priority the quality of the dwelling unit, preferring to live insuburbs with a low population density.

-The tenement house laws in NYC in 1867, 1879, and 1901 did not alleviate crowded conditions but attempted to ensure that the worst abuses would not be reproduced.

Chapter 8
As suburbs grow, they require basic services (sewers, water supplies, schools, police, etc.). Jackson notes there are four ways these services can be obtained:
1. Cities could expand their boundries, annexing the suburbs.
2. New municipalities coudl be created to supply the services.
3. Special taxing districts could be established to provide one or more desired services
4. County governments could expand their powers to provide the services.

In 1898 Greater New York is formed. impetus came from Republicans who sought to weaken power of Tammany Hall by adding middle-class voters to the city electorate. "Some people felt that the suburbs could best serve the city as a moral force if the central city annexed the suburbs and then used the additional middle-class votes to crush the liquor and vice interests. . . . But even when annexations occurred, the political machines they were designed to unseat proved to have remarkable staying power. (151)"

The desire of the cities to expand was inspired by the idea that larger organizations were more efficient than smaller ones, so consolidation would save money. However, in many cases, this was only a mask to cover up a more aggressive desire to exploit and control. Land speculators were often assiting annexations from behind the scenes.
-In the early 19th C., residents in outlying areas were poor and could not afford many of the city services; education was usually amount the first suburban instituion to be upgraded.

-As suburban services are upgraded, the suburbs loose interest in being annexed by the cities and begin to resist. In turn, cities adopt a doctrine of forcible annexation. In 1874, Brooklin, Mass., manages to avoid annexation by Boston. After this "virtually every other Eastern and Middle Western city was rebuffed by wealthy and independent suburbs."
-Incorporated suburbs begin to emphasize their distinction from the city, rather than their relationship with the city. Sharper racial, ethnic, and class distinctions. New laws make incorporation easier for periphary and annexations harder to work. As such, new waves of villages incorporate in a protective action to resist annexation. Suburbs also improve their own services, to have urban services without the urban problems.

-The group that most vigorously supported annexation were elite metropolitan business men who lived in the suburbs but had their homes in the suburbs. By contrast, blue collar workers who owned homes in the suburbs were most likely to oppose annexation due to fears of racial change and higher taxes.

-By the late 19th C, vast amounts of immigrats moving into the cities and the migrations of Southern blacks had created the association of the city with the poor.

-As cities that didn't annex didn't grow (in population) they tended to decline in status.

Chapter 9
Automobiles had a deep impact on American culture and suburbanization. One union leader stated that the Ford [Model T] hurt unionism because if the workers could afford it, they would rather be out driving than attending union meetings.
-Automobile development required new and improved network of roads. General taxation was used to pay for new and improved roads, but the thrust for street improvements came from special interest groups (car dealers, tire manufacturers, road builders, real estate developers).
-The nation adopted a new attitude towards streets. In the 19th C., they had been the primary open space in a city and had multiple uses, including leisure activities. By the 1920s the streets were viewed predominantly as the arteries of motor vehicle traffic.
-Private cars replace street cars. After WWI, successful street car suburbs are rare. Trolleys decline as mass transit systems often viewed upon as private businesses and not worthy of public aid. Further, GM begins to buy up unprofitable street car companies and to replace them with bus services. Trolleys viewed as old fashioned by 1920s and the automobile was viewed as the future.
-Suburbs become dependent on automobile.

Chapter 10
-Suburbs change radically with new possibilities in shopping, living and working. Automobiles changed suburban life in: (1) ways people made a living, (2) how people made a home, (3) raising youth, (4) leisure, (5) religion, and (6) community activities.

-Like the trollies before them, automobiles were suppose to stimulate a "back to the land" attitude among the urban masses, resulting in their exposure to the more wholesome suburbs or countryside.
-Mechanization cut farm populations from 32% in 1900 to 3% in 1980; also resulting in more farmland opening up for suburban development.
-Automobile growth result in Downtown areas becoming congested; central location no longer an asset for a business. New suburbs develop on the edges of all major cities, but cities themselves also grow (internally) due to new areas that are now accessible with the automobile.

-Automobile suburbs differed from the predecessors in 4 main ways:
1. Overall pattern of settlement - trolly and railroad suburbs tended to be finger shaped.
2. Length and direction of travel to work.
3. De-concentration of employment. Trucks and roads allowed industries, warehouses, and distribution centers to move to periphery.
4. New forms of low-density residential architecture - auto-suburbs have lower density and larger lot size; changes in home design (Cape Cod, bungalow, Ranch, etc.)

Chapter 11:
-Government subsidizes an acceleration in the rate at which economic activity is dispersed to new locations.
-WWI Congress begins to build housing for war workers
----- Emergency Fleet Corporation
----- U. S. Housing Corporation
-fear of socialism hinders government housing programs

-After 1929 (Depression) Americans are more receptive to government housing programs.

Emergency Farm Mortgage Act (1933):
Predominantly helps farmers facing foreclosure.

Home Owners Loan Corporation (1933):
- Designed to help urban dwellers
- introduced, perfected, and proved the feasibility of long term (20 year) amortized mortgages. (In 19th C. there was a negative stigma attached to mortgages)
- created systemic appraisal methods
- catagorized urban neighborhoods as (A - D); D were usually black neighborhoods
- HOLC appraisers had negative attitudes about city life
- In practice, HOLC DID assist residents of C and D areas more than A and B.
- Damaged caused by HOLC more from the use of its appraisal system by other institutions.

Federal Housing Administration (1934):
- extended mortgages to 25 - 30 years.
- 1. Appraisal standards were objective, uniform, and in writing.
- 2. Appraisals enforced by on-site inspectors.
- FHA not created to help cities but to revive homebuilding.
- FHA legislation favored new construction.
- Under FHA it becomes easier to purchase a new suburban house than to renovate an older house.
- FHA programs hasten decline of inner-cities.
- FHA insurance went to new construction in periphery.
- FHA policies biased in favor of all-white subdivisions or suburbs; supports income and race segregation.

Chapter 12
- Federal public housing resulted in further segregation of races and a concentration of the poor in the inner-cities.
- In an effort to renovate low-cost housing, the PWA was authorized to improve slums by:
1. Lending money directly to private enterprises to clean up slums; this ultimately failed.
2. Issue grants and loans to pubic authorities to clean-up slums; limited success.
3. Buy, condemn, sell and lease land themselves in an effort to improve housing; judge ruled use of eminent domain for low cost housing not a public use, resulting in PWA having to pay more money and therefore creating fewer projects.

U.S. Housing Act (1937):
- first time the federal government accepted permanent responsibility for construction of decent, low-income housing.
- partial success, but never enough.
- required voluntary municipal participation resulting in many municipalities opting out of using it to assist in racial segregation.
- required the destruction of one slum unit for each housing unit made, making it difficult for use anywhere but in inner-cities. Public housing quickly gets confined to existing slum areas.
- Destruction of slums forces residents to migrate to surrounding neighborhoods, resulting in an exodus of residents in those areas.
- Public housing ultimately seen as the dumping ground for the poor.

Chapter 13:
-Veterans returning from WWII increase housing needs; VA creates mortgage programs; shortage of available housing.
-Federal mortgage guarantees stimulate house building, usually in suburbs.
-Levitt family pioneered mass production of housing for government during the war. After war they improved this with vertical integration (owned their own timber and lumber mills). They tended to plant trees and use curvilinear streets to increase appeal of Levittowns.
- Five characteristics of post war suburbs:
1. peripheral location (isn't this true of all suburbs when they are new?)
2. relatively low density.
3. architectural similarities within developments(in waves - cape cods, split-levels, etc.)
4. easy availability creates a reduced suggestion of wealth.
5. economic and racial homogeneity. In time, aspiring professionals tend to move out of Levittowns, leaving a similar class of residents

-automobile use tended to increase racial and economic homogeneity.
-Zoning tended to keep poor out of residential areas in suburbs (and favored commercial uses of land in cities)
-Post war suburbs further weaken extended family in America.
-Critics say that suburbanization life damaging to women and children and created standardized individuals (cookie cutters). Suburbs were less an intelligent compromise and more of a cultural, economic, and emotional wasteland.

Chapter 14:
-Automobile and suburbs combined to create a new, drive-in culture.
- Interstate Highway Act of 1956, 4 stated reasons for its passing:
1. contemporary highways were unsafe.
2. traffic on contemporary roads was too congested.
3. poor roads saddled businesses with higher costs of transportation.
4. quick evacuation of cities in case of nuclear war.

- Shopping strip becomes a threat to the supremacy of the central business district.
- Malls impose uniformity of [middle-class] tastes and interests.
- Development of Centerless Cities, like Santa Clara County.
- Industry and offices begin to move to suburbs and industrial parks.
- By 1970, 9 of 15 largest metropolitan suburbs were principal sources of employment in their regions.

Chapter 15:
- As stated above, the term suburb initially implied a relationship to a city, but changed to show a distinctiveness from the city.

Chapter 16:
-Between 1950-1970 suburban population in US doubled.
- Cities caught in a reverse cycle:
---businesses and middle-class leave, decreasing the tax base.
---increase in demand for low income housing and other social services.
---municipalities raise taxes to cover increased expenses, driving out more middle-class and business.

-Typical model of urban growth has been for the reuse of housing by progressively lower income families.
-2 necessary conditions for American residential de-concentration:
(1) suburban ideal
(2) population growth
-2 causes for suburbanization:
(1) racial prejudice
(2) cheap housing

-Americans never placed a high value on urbanity or group interaction [with the possible exception of churches]
-"overriding significance of race (p289)" in suburbanization; unlike other countries, American cities are very diverse; Jackson sees fear of racial stress as an incentive to move to suburbia.
-"economic causes have been even more important than skin color in the suburbanization of the United States (p290)";
Jackson seems to waffle between laying stress on race or class
-Suburbanization part of an urban growth model and less a factor of ideology than of economics.

-SIX factors of suburbanization in US:
1. per capita wealth
2. inexpensive land
3. inexpensive transportation
4. balloon-frame houses
5. role of government, especially federal government
6. rise of capitalism which created a greater division of wealth


-Jackson believes that scarce energy and improved race relations will make centralization desirable again.


The Death and Life of Great American Cities by Jacobs, Jane
Josh Britton's Notes: In this incisive, devastating critique of city planning (or as she sardonically labels it “Radiant Garden City Beautiful”—a reference to the founding principles of planning), a process that Jane Jacobs derides as a “pseudoscience” and profoundly anti-urban in its origins, Jacobs offers an alternative vision of bringing the cities back to life. Jacobs argues that cities themselves have a great number of assets that city planners seem determined to suppress: sidewalks and streets that offer a gathering place for people, a place for social contact and establishing trust and even surveillance, for the safety of both children and the neighborhood itself from the blight of crime; and a great diversity in people and uses of the city, in various residential commercial and industrial uses—a combination which reaffirms the strength of each rather than weakens them, according to Jacobs. City planners for their part, want to keep people off the streets and order the city into “single-use” zones in order to impose some sort of ideal vision onto the city. Jacobs argues that these actions actually make cities worse by interrupting the natural order that emerges organically out of diversity. Instead of protecting the city, planning clears the streets and thus makes them more vulnerable to crime; the transformation of neighborhoods to single-use makes them vulnerable to the “Blight of Dullness” that drives people away. The parks and playgrounds so beloved of planners are the most vulnerable to this, carving those spaces into gang “Turf” much as planners did, consciously or unconsciously with the residential neighborhoods they fence or wall off from other areas. Jacobs argues that parks and playgrounds are not in and of themselves bad, but most respect the diversity of the city, by drawing in a diverse group of users and people—no one, business or recreational area can rely on one group of consumers clustered in one time of usage. So, how can we create the types of neighborhoods that Jacobs advocates; places like Boston’s North End or Greenwich Village—places normally considered by planners to be transition or slumming areas? Jacobs points to four key criteria: diversity in usage and peopling, both of residential and commercial, as any area where one group dominates will become dull and force people to choose between sharing too much and sharing nothing (the availability of privacy and public life being an advantage of the city); short blocks and more streets in order to encourage people to explore the other streets in their neighborhood and district, whereas long blocks would discourage people from taking alternative routes; a mix of old and new buildings, so that a mix of economic activities and groups can mingle, the more high-end established groups and industries in the newer buildings while new, artistic and untraditional uses can be made of the older buildings; and finally a dense concentration of people in order to maintain the life and vitality of the area for a long period of time. Jacobs argues the first principle and fourth are most difficult to achieve, but all four are vital to encouraging the natural order and vitality of the neighborhood to assert itself. As Jacobs herself notes, all these principles are anathema to traditional planners, and she demolishes many of their negative myths about diversity. After presenting her principles for rehabilitation of city neighborhoods, Jacobs discusses some of the perils that could interrupt this process. The most notable here is gentrification, which she acknowledges can be a major result of this process, but in effect in leads to the self-destruction of diversity. Other issues include the creation of border vacuums around certain major buildings or landmarks where diversity and vitality is eliminated and the process of slumming and unslumming and “urban renewal” utilizing so-called “cataclysmic government and private money” that under normal circumstances is withheld from the types of areas that Jacobs describes; this process could have devastating effects on unslumming areas—the most attractive places for urban renewal. This is perhaps the weakest section in the book in that while these problems are interrelated to the application of Jacobs’s four principles of maintaining a city’s diversity, her solutions are basically the wider application of her methods. Moreover, for all of her criticism of thinkers like Lewis Mumford, he does recognize underlying structural problems that lead to the creation of slums, something Jacobs does not address in this text. In the final section, Jacobs addresses some of the other problems of cities and city planning. The most creative is her suggestion for reform of public housing; instead of creating planned, government-directed institutionalized housing, Jacobs instead advocates a private-market solution, albeit one supported by government subsidies. The design of public housing does much to destabilize it, as does income limits; removing these obstacles, Jacobs insists would lead to a diverse, stable community that would buck the popular conceptions of “public housing” in America. Similarly, rather than trying to accommodate the automobile into the city—a process that leads to the erosion of the city—Jacobs instead proposes that cities make it more difficult to drive into them, by reducing roadbeds, increasing sidewalks and providing adequate options. By lowering the number of cars, you can lower congestion and make the city a more pedestrian-friendly place, though Jacobs argues the car is not itself bad for cities, and trucks are an active good. Elsewhere, she argues for forms of visual order, landmarks, “eyecatchers” and visual interruptions that vary the visual monotony of the gridiron city. Finally, she advocates for a reform of city government, calling it an inadequate adaptation of smaller local-governments that has become hopelessly fragmented and unresponsive to the public it is supposed to serve. Instead, Jacobs suggests that while a certain degree of vertical government should exist, there should also be horizontal government in the form of district administration, a level that will be politically powerful enough to make decisions that affect the area and small enough to be responsive to constituents. The failure of city planning, according to Jacobs, is its failure to recognize the kind of problem the city is; some like the Garden City advocates see it as simply a matter of housing and adequate work; others, coming from Le Corbusier’s Radiant City Vision similarly see two variables, but also utilize the methodology of disordered complexity. Rather, Jacobs sees the city as a complicated series of interrelated processes that make a great deal of sense; they are ordered. This organic vision of the city is best expressed in the neighborhoods Jacobs discusses, like Boston’s North End or Greenwich Village, which have reached a healthy, stabilized state that confounds conventional planners. Only by recognizing this process and allowing the city’s vitality and diversity to assert itself, can the city be regenerated. The Death and Life of Great Americans Cities is ultimately an optimistic book, full of hope and love for cities. It has been embraced (wrongly to my mind) by laissez-faire conservatives as a celebration of free-market thinking, and she has been criticized for how closely linked the processes she discusses are to gentrification. More serious critiques point to the necessity of planning to provide urban services, and her exclusion of structural factors that assisted the creation of the modern city. For all their faults, and Jacobs depicted many, Mumford and his cohorts recognized these structural issues. Finally, Jacobs discusses race as if it does not matter, a fallacy that is obvious; how would the Sicilian residents of the North End or the candy-shop owner of Greenwich Village react to an African-American family in the area. These questions are valid criticisms. Despite this though, Jacobs’s warm, deeply humanistic work on the vitality and diversity of cities is important and fully deserves the wide attention it has received.

A Shopkeeper’s Millennium: Society and Revivals in Rochester, New York, 1815-1837 by Johnson, Paul
Josh Britton's Notes: In this important example of the “new social history” originally published in 1978, historian Paul E. Johnson examines what he terms “the social origins of religion” by studying the effects of industrialization on the mill town of Rochester, New York—center of the so-called “Burned-Over District” and birthplace of the “Second Great Awakening.” Johnson argues that industrialization caused social anxieties among Rochester’s entrepreneurs. While they set about constructing their middle-class world, they isolated themselves from the wage-earners who worked for them. Master craftsmen no longer worked beside journeymen, they no longer shared living space, and neighborhoods became increasingly class segregated. Alongside this came a loss of social control, alarming due to the proximity of middle-class and working-class neighborhoods. The entrepreneurs saw this problem as a religious one—raising questions of the legitimacy of the new modes of production. Thus, they found a religious solution in evangelical revivals. Evangelical religion allowed city elites to paper over political (Anti-masons versus Democrats) and religious differences that split them into rival sects and political factions and instilled in them a sense of mission—to literally create a millennial utopia on Earth. They sought to bring this to the workingmen too, rewarding those churchgoers who joined the temperance movement, kept the Sabbath and adopted other middle-class values, while those wage-earners who did not follow these evangelical precepts found themselves isolated and often forced to move on. This reforming zeal was expressed politically too, in the founding of the Whig Party, which sought to bring to bear the powers of government to their reforming crusade. The economic and social benefits for those workingmen who joined also provided a number of votes for the Whigs. Ultimately, Johnson demonstrates the social origins of religious revival in the market revolution and suggests that the power of faith served (unconsciously) as a powerful control mechanism for economic elites. As Johnson notes in his new preface, his sample size is perhaps a bit too small for his generalizations and his discussion of women’s roles too narrow, but A Shopkeeper’s Millennium is nonetheless an important resource for understanding class formation in the early nineteenth century city.

Building Little Italy: Philadelphia’s Italians Before Mass Migration by Juliani, Richard
Josh Britton's Notes: Chapter 1 Richard Juliani argues that Italians had an impact on Philadelphia long before the era of mass migration and in this first chapter, he details the Italian contribution to Philadelphia’s commercial, political, scientific and most importantly, cultural life during the late 18th century all while acknowledging that their proportion of the city’s population was insignificant. Despite the fragmentary evidence, Juliani identifies a few key figures in each field and details their contribution. However, he also notes rightly, that this is less of a cohesive group of immigrants and more of a group of individuals, whose contributions were made alongside and for other ethnicities. However, even in this early period, the process of assimilation can be glimpsed, even in the case of Joseph Marbell, who entered the US as Giuseppe Marabello and through name changes and marriage, settled into a life of respectability. Chapter 2 Here, Juliani follows the formula of the first chapter, detailing the impact of individuals of Italian heritage rather than a community identity, even as he demonstrates, again based on fragmentary religious and naturalization records, how Italians supported one another—albeit alongside other ethnicities, mixing and marrying freely with outsiders. Their businesses and cultural contributions likewise introduced a wider group of people to Italian culture; Juliani notes the prominence of Italians in public amusements, culinary (the Italians introduced ice cream to America!) and artistic endeavors (sculpture in particular). Finally, this period saw the first chain migration, from villages around the Chivara area: a pattern that would be replicated in the period of mass migration. Chapter 3 This chapter provides context for what was occurring in Philadelphia and Italy during the mid nineteenth century—a time when Italian identity was beginning to coalesce. The twin pressures of industrialization and democratization saw the population of Philadelphia rise and even though it had a reputation as a “city of homes” there was still significant segments of city that were ill-served by the city’s manufacturing jobs. Immigrant groups (particularly the Irish) began to become more involved in city politics, creating rising political, religious and ultimately ethnic tensions with the native-born Philadelphia population—which in turn made things more difficult for other immigrants, like the Italians. Yet, the Italians were still seen largely in a positive light: many Philadelphians (though, as Juliani notes, surprisingly few Italian immigrants) expressed support for Italian unification and Italian culture continued to be admired: of course, certain types of immigrants were still seen as threats, and Juliani detects signs of the birth of the “Italian as criminal stereotype” during this period, despite the admiration. Finally, Juliani notes that with industrialization, new patterns of neighborhood settlement emerged that finally began to concentrate Italians in certain areas, an essential ingredient for the establishment of ethnic identity. Chapter 4 The census, parish and court records from the 1850s form the backbone of the fourth chapter as Juliani chronicles the continuing rise of an Italian community. He does well in explaining the difficulties on relying on census records and the many ways in which census takers disrupted and called Italian identity into question—yet the records of the 1850 census show the Italian population was now of real significance. This is further collaborated by the first community institution—the St. Mary Magdalene de Pazzi parish church: a result of political uproar over the American visit of an Italian cardinal involved in reaction against the Risorgimento. Finally, Juliani looks at an election fraud case from 1856-1857 to show both how vulnerable a politically unorganized Italian community was to exploitation, but also through the remarkable testimony of Joseph Repetto how the Italian community was organized, how they lived and how they interacted. Though at this point most of Philadelphia’s Italians came from the same region, a true sense of identity had emerged. Chapter 5 The 1860s saw Philadelphia’s Italians finally establishing their own community. Centered in the old Southwark District, and served by St. Mary Magdalene de Pazzi and the Italian Beneficial Society, the Italian community was drawn together and Americanized even as they established community institutions to protect themselves. They had also become enough of a presence where native-born people could judge them on their own merits for good or ill—particularly ill in the case of padrones, and street merchant. Juliani also looks at family structure and sees both traditional families and other forms of collective life—multiple families living together or boarding house style living: in short all the signs that would characterize the Italian experience during the age of mass migration were present in Philadelphia as early as 1870. Chapter 6 This chapter uses the 1870 census—a year of great change for Philadelphia’s Italians as a jumping off point for a discussion of family structure, employment structure and again, the ways in which the Italian population struggled with their new and old identities. Juliani’s point here is to demonstrate how the Italian community in some ways—family structure and community self-help—resembled the later period of Italian migration but also how it differed: particularly in employment structure and original home region. The changes that these early immigrants faced prefigured the later generation of immigrants who would be drawn away from Italian nationalism towards a more American mode of life. The Italians had become an organized community—just as the floodgates of immigrants came in. Chapter 7 The Italian entrepreneurs (promienti) who arrived in Philadelphia in the middle of the century provided a great deal of the community’s leadership in the first years of Italian immigration. While their success and prominence varied, Juliani is careful to note even the most successful was still somewhat marginalized by mainstream Main Line Philadelphia society. Nonetheless, figures like Joseph Raggio, Vito Viti, Joseph Malatesta and others acted as mediators between Italy and Philadelphia for both natives and Italians. Moreover, in their unique interactions with both worlds, these figures provide visible evidence of the rise of the dual sense of identity they possessed: they were both Italians and Americans. Finally, Juliani very clearly argues that these men and indeed all Italian immigrants in the early years provide sort of a scaffolding for the later years of mass migration to build upon.


"American Historians and the Study of Urbanization" in AHR 67 (1961) 49-61 by Lampard, Eric
Industrializing America: The Nineteenth Century by Licht, Walter
Industrializing America Walter Licht Developments in the 19th C were marked by America's passing from a (1) mercantile to a (2) unregulated and then to a (3) coporately and state-administered market society.

Early American resistacne to industrialization was not against machinary, but against a new group of businessmen who might enslave the masses

The appearance of large-scale corporations in the late 19th C represented a greater threat to the idals of Americans than the earlier emergence of market.

The spread of the market spurred industrialization-urbanization but not evenly; nor did they form in a vacuum - both were shaped by ongoing political dialogues.

Late 18th C debate on manufacturing:
propoents: Tecnh Coxe, Benjamin Rush, Alexander Hamilton
arguments for:
1. Amercians would save money by manufacturing their own goods and reducing imports (strengthens economy)
2. science and industry would improve agriculture
3. poor & indigent could be employed in manufacturing
4. immigration - especially of skilled labor - would be encouraged.
5. decreased dependiture on England and English law and whims
6. useful for production of war materials
7. manufacturing would open avenues of investment and direct surplus capital towards productive purposes. (strengthens economy)


opponents: Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison arguments against:
1. "Manufacturers are founded on poverty." (Franklin) - landless poor would become almost enslaved to factory owners.
2. Growth of propertyless masses inurban centers was historically a death knell for republics. (these were arguements against a manufacturing sector - not machines)
[ Industrialization in US began and grew in countryside - not in cities ]


New England:
- In Europe, domestic outwork preceeded rise of factories and industrilaization; in New England it accompanied manufacturing growth. [JJR- Yes, but prior to the late 18th C, manufactures - whether outwork or factories - were illegal in the colonies (and could not be started up during the War, nor until enough capital had been obtained) suggesting this could be an artifical delay.]

- No large scale farms in New England due to both circumstances (soil quality) and intentions (Puritan beginnings - simple, ordered communities)

- Farm families not overly involved in market activity

- 1790s - 1820s - Changes in N.E. countryside
- Better transportation
- Mercantile families faced declingin mercantile investments now invest in industry.

Samuel Slater:

1787 - finishes apprenticship as a manager trainee in cotton mill.
1789 - arrrives in US
1793 - partners with Brown - sets up first successful mechanized mill in Pawtucket, RI,
Slater System (evolved over time):
- hired whole families (utilized NE's patriarchcal system)
- wives and children work in mill
- fathers offered supervisory jobs, construction work, farming, or weaving work
- tried building harmounious communities about his mills 1830s-1840s - growing labor market allowed him to hire labor on a simple, daily, wage basis.

Francis Cabot Lowell:
1810-1812 - travelled to G.B. in search of new investments
-memorized nots on mechanization of mills.
- Partners with Nathan Appleton, received chareter from MA and raised $400K in capital
- built mill at Waltham, MA
- employees young, unmarried women from respectable families
- ran clean, company-owned borading houses - good cash wages, wholesome recreational activities

Lowell, MA - built from scratch as a one industry city
1835 - Lowell had 22 mills
1855 - Lowell hd 52 mills, employing 8,800 women and 4,400 men
New Business Practices
1. use of corporate form of ownership
2. new financial practices
3. new applications of technology
4. new organization of production
Lowell System -
- corporate ownership
- largescale fully integrated mechanized production
- manufacture of standardized goods
- use of cheal labor sources

Boarding Houses become bases for political & trade union organzations

Lynn, MA - an evolving story of industrialization, similar to Europe
late 18th C - area around Lynn a center for shoe production
using domestic outwork
1830s - centralization of production - women in households now receive direct orders and paid a piece-rate price
1840s - further concentration - beginning of factory buildings
1850s-1860s - adoption of sewing machines and other mechanical devices "classical version of industrialization: from home production to domestic outwork, centralization and increased division of labor, factory buildings, and last, mechanization."

- in Lynn's mechanized factories, tools and products remained in the hands of skilled labor
- strong artisanal traditions - allowed/created more notable worker protests.

Large Cities (NY, Philly, Boston, etc.)
- smaller shops located throughout cities - cellars, attics, flats, etc.
- small to medium sized shops
-Four Characteristics:
1. product diversity
2. diversity of work settings - i.e. variaty of work sites
3. specialization in operations and products
4. small to medium sized family owned and managed businesses
-Why?
1. energy resources very limited in these cities
2. pre-exiting artisans encouraged craftsmen entreporeneurs
3. small scale production allowed flexibility
4. large mercantile families opted out of industrial investmetns in urban centers

South:
- South did use slaves in industry
- success of agriculture stilled industry
- slave masters feared a concentration of slaves in urban [industrial] centers

Boss Tweed’s New York by Mandelbaum, Seymour
Josh Britton's Notes: According to historian Seymour Mandelbaum, the failure of New York City’s government in the late nineteenth century to improve the conditions of urban life in the period between the end of the Civil War and 1880 was due to the failure of communication, of socially integrating the various fragmented groups of the city, and giving ultimate power over decisions that affect the entire city over to the market. This trend to decentralize authority could cut in two ways; giving inordinate power to local areas to make decisions given the weak channels of communication with central authority and (in the case of John Kelly) a single authority attempting to manage and dictate all decisions. This was ironic for New York, because external it was integrated into an international system of information and communication; internally, it was a loosely connected, fragmented mass Out of all this came, according to Mandelbaum, William Marcy Tweed and a moment of opportunity, when it appeared that municipal government would take responsibility for fixing the “problems” of city life. Commitments were made by the city to fix the waterfront, improve public services and build an effective system of rapid transit. Tweed was able to form a strong working coalition, a process of integration by payoff that would serve him well, but also lead to his downfall when his political enemies allied with city elite to challenge him over the ballooning debt and fiscal mismanagement. His fall from grace, and the failure of reformers to replace him with any sort of effective government returned the city to its path of fragmentary, decentralized authority. A key part of this was the desire to economize, to avoid the debt that nearly crippled the city, and it informed the effort of reformers like William Green and more notably, “Honest John” Kelly, who as the comptrollers in the post-Tweed years, tried to return the burgeoning metropolis to policies of economy that would restore development and initiative for services to private hands; even then, a new suspicion of authority and of government power marked the political process and even the reformers split with Kelly, and were able to oust him over the issue of improved public services; but according to Mandelbaum, no group was able to achieve power over the political structure of the city, nor were they willing to public development first suggested in the Tweed years. The market became a key way to “solve” and simplify the complex problems of city life. There are a few other key themes that Mandelbaum touches on; the tendency towards reversing the democratization of the professions and even municipal voting; moreover, he also examines the initial round of business regulation and finds in it not an attempt to curb the excesses of the market, but rather an attempt to limit competition according to rules formulated by business itself; New York, nor the country had neither the ability to generate the public support of or the elite interest in substantial legislation. The city remained too fragmented, buffeted by local forces. Mandelbaum’s work is strong, but not without flaws. He deemphasizes the middle class, and makes too much of the failures of urban government post-Tweed; although his reading is more nuanced than previous historians, Jon Teaford’s study of city government in the succeeding years is to me, more persuasive..


"Reconsidering the Suburbs: An Exploration of Suburban Historiography" in PMHB 119 (1988) 579-608 by Marsh, Margaret
Suburban Lives by Marsh, Margaret
Josh Britton's Notes: In this monograph, Marsh explores the history of the suburban ideal, how it changed over time and its relationship with the ideology of domesticity—which at times it seems to be wedded to. Marsh’s thesis is simple; while the suburban ideal and the ideology of domesticity both emerged from anxieties tied up in urbanization, the two were entirely separate and what’s more, gendered. The earliest suburban ideal was male, a nostalgic longing for the days of the rural republic and full of fear that urban living was destroying the democratic character of the United States. The ideology of domesticity was feminine, and devoted to making the family the center of women’s lives; women’s influence remained wedded to the home. The ideology of domesticity was not explicitly anti-urban. In fact, Marsh argues, many women enjoyed the sociability and relative opportunity that urban life seemed to grant. This began to change in the late 1870s, as the domestic and suburban ideals were fused. This is a response to a few different factors; certainly part of it was economic, as men became salaried and less susceptible to fluctuating economic forces. This gave them more time and frequently desire to participate in the home life; while not an equal partnership by any means, Marsh calls this “masculine domesticity.” Finally, this “masculine domesticity” proved valuable in short-circuiting the claims of some women’s rights advocates. It was through this masculine domesticity that men first connected suburban living with a domestic ideal. In exchange for this male domesticity, women had to sacrifice some of the heterogeneity they experienced for a more homogeneous suburban life. However, these early suburban advocates did not want to exclude others, but provide suburban living for everyone. Home ownership was not that important either; what was important was having a space for your family away from the city. Architecture increasingly emphasized private space for the family, yet paradoxically open space to promote togetherness. World War I interrupted and slightly changed this pattern of behavior. The war frightened people of radicals and made home ownership a priority, and the exclusionary tone of suburban life became nasty and more conservative. Furthermore, male domesticity began to wither and die with only a few vestiges remaining. Women withdrew further from political life (although they remained to some degree in the workplace) and children and family togetherness, two important issues in the suburbia of the 1900s became central concerns of the 1920s—even suburban architecture reflected these concerns. It was the work of big business (making suburbanites consumers) and the government (particularly the HOLC and FHA) that finally institutionalized these ideals nationwide by subsidizing suburban housing. This is a fine study. Marsh combines cultural history in the form of advice books and fiction, social history, architectural history and even neighborhood case studies of places like Jamaica Plains, Maldon (Massachusetts), Overbrook Farms (Pennsylvania), Haddonfield (NJ) and Palos Verdes (California) to provide a particular picture of suburbs in certain times and places. Suburban Lives has much to tell us about the suburban world we live in today and the roles that men, women and social thinkers all played in making it happen.

The Sanitary City: Environmental Services in Urban America from Colonial Times to the Present by Melosi, Martin
Josh Britton's Notes: One of the major problems of city life is providing a good standard of life through the provision of services; sanitary services such as water supply, sewerage, and refuse management have variously been considered vital to the public health of people, necessary for moral uplift and important aspects of environmentalism. In this abridged edition of a much longer work, Martin Melosi explores the history of sanitary services in America from the colonial times until the present, focusing on these three services as case studies. He argues that while sanitary services have done much to secure a better standard of life for urbanites as well as a cleaner environment. Yet also, these sanitary technologies also cause disease and spread pollution and waste around—moreover, the “path dependence” that caused many cities to set up their sanitary services also served to limit the options for the future that cities had as they sought to address new environmental concerns that arose after the initial development of facilities. Melosi begins in the colonial period, where strictly speaking, there were very few sanitary technologies. Laws, based on English common nuisance laws, did exist against some types of pollution, though most courts were reluctant to rule against development. Water supply facilities, first in Philadelphia in 1801 were the first real sanitary services provided, and over the course of the early nineteenth century, more and more cities began to add waterworks to meet the growing demands of the city for water. Sand filters proved to be very important to increase the quality of water, and after Sir Edwin Chadwick popularized the “sanitary idea” that is physical environment affected well-being, that cities moved to seriously address the sanitary problems of the city. Various methods of disposing wastewater were raised, with Chadwick’s arterial system being very controversial, though within time, sewer systems were adopted, often without regard to where the waste was being dumped. This system put into place would set the basic standards for years to come. The key insight the “Age of Miasma” brought was that disease was a social rather than moral problem. This insight was continued into the Progressive Era, even as miasmic theory was upended by the so-called bacteriological revolution. This period further saw the beginnings of a concern for the effects of pollution, and moreover, the problem of refuse in the city as detrimental to the health and well-being of city dwellers. This remained the standard until after World War II, when suburbanization and the stirrings of an environmental conscience drew further attention to issues that had not been raised in the past; water and air pollution, waste disposal and water treatment became serious issues, and cities and the federal government struggled to solve them (often made worse by the sanitary infrastructure). The perception of “infrastructure crisis” and “garbage crisis” that cropped up in the 1970s and 1980s was less a problem of catastrophic issues and deterioration, but rather the “path dependence” that the city-developed sanitary infrastructure placed upon the city, as well as the new concerns and environmental consciousness over the course of the twentieth century. The Sanitary City is a landmark book in fusing environmental and urban history. Perhaps its closest relative is William Cronon’s Nature’s Metropolis though it is also important as public works history like Keith Revell’s Building Gotham.

The Making of a Ghetto, Negro New York, 1890-1930 by Osofsky, Gilbert
Josh Britton's Notes: In this pathbreaking study first published in 1966, Gilbert Osofsky recounts the transformation of the neighborhood of Harlem from an upper-middle class pastoral enclave into an African-American slum. Osofsky argues that the conditions of Harlem today (1966) were made manifest in the 1920s; in a special essay included in the second edition, he expands the argument to say that the black ghetto has essentially been shaped by the same focuses of racial prejudice and structural inequality since the mid-nineteenth century. Osofsky begins by recounting a history of black New York in the nineteenth century. He argues against the “black as the last ethnic” theory by noting that blacks were migrating to Northern cities like New York, Philadelphia and Chicago well before the postwar “Great Migration”—particularly in the 1880s. These migrants were largely poor, disconnected Southern rural blacks, and their entrance into New York sparked a new emergence of racism in the city and often pitted the older, more established and urbanized blacks at odds with the new migrants. While Southern racism was one factor, Osofsky argues economic opportunity was at the heart of migration. Events like the brutal race riot in the hot summer of 1900 were one visible manifestation of the new racial tensions, as were the antipathy between blacks (who Osofsky convincingly characterizes as nativist) and Irish immigrants. Osofsky even throws doubt onto whether or not race relations actually improved, looking briefly at cultural depictions of “coons” in popular song and theater. After this introductory section, Osofsky looks at the transformation of Harlem—an area needed because of black migration and racial antagonism. Although contemporaries thought the area would be a stable white upper-middle class enclave, the presence of black and Italian immigrants indicated a degree of instability that became more pronounced after a speculative real estate boom in West Harlem finally busted in 1904-1905; the falling prices and increasingly desperate landlords made the area ideal for black settlement—and African American realtors like Philip Payton and his Afro-American Realty Company took advantage of the available property—the type of race enterprise that Osofsky notes combined profit motives with advancing the race. The chapter on the Afro-American Realty Company’s politics seems out of place, but it is important because of the role it played in making Harlem available to African Americans. Of course, Harlem was not a slum to begin with; it was originally a black middle class area. But the high rents combined with the lack of economic opportunities for blacks led to overcrowding, unsanitary conditions and refusal of landlords to take responsibility for their property. This led to a wholesale degradation of the area—and Osofosky blames the rural black migrants, with their superstitions, naiveté, and lack of urbanization as being a major contributing factor to the area’s decline; an argument that seems tenuous at best. Efforts to reform Harlem failed due in large part to misunderstanding of the problem and the attempt to treat the symptoms, not cure the disease. On the bright side, the concentration of blacks in Harlem gave them a degree of political power in ward politics and opened up new positions for African-Americans through the influence of political bosses like Charlie Anderson. Ultimately, it was the 1920s that set the patterns of ghettoization that define Harlem up to today; even the so-called “New Negro” was simply stereotyping in a new form and interest in figures like Langston Hughes and the vogue for Harlem did not lead to any serious attempt to solve its problems. The concluding essay, “The Enduring Ghetto,” argues this pattern established in Harlem in the 1920s, was recreated in ghettos across America throughout the nineteenth and twentieth centuries—a social pathology caused by ignorance of the real structural and institutional prejudice that has prevented the African-American from achieving an economic standing similar to whites.

Brownsville, Brooklyn: Blacks, Jews, and the Changing Face of the Ghetto by Pritchett, Wendell
Pritchett uses new urban history techniques to tell the biography of Brownsville, Brooklyn, and to show some of the various influences that changed the neighborhood from a predominantly Jewish, working-class neighborhood in the early 1900s to a black and Hispanic ghetto in the 1960s-1970s. The book tends to focus on class, race, neighborhood agency, internal perceptions of the community versus external perceptions, and government involvement in neighborhood development.

Specifically, Pritchett seems to suggest that this is a model where the urban reformers of the late 19th/early 20th C. could not (or did not) tear down the entire area and rebuild from scratch, but - due to the politically marginalized area - were forced to let a variety of local, grassroots, organizations attempt to improve their circumstances.

Since the earliest population in Brownsville was predominantly Eastern-european Jews, they came to the area with leftist/socialist sympathies. After WWII, when a black population began to settle in the area, these leftist sympathies may have made this population more willing to integrate on a community level, although perhaps not on an interpersonal level. These Jewish residents - politically marginalized and tending to rent rather than own real estate - reacted to the changes in the neighborhood by first forming a large array of grassroots organizations, and later, by moving out of Brownsville. Prichett does make an interesting point that the United States has a mobile population and such mobility is "particularly damaging to working-class associations, because poor neighborhoods face greater social and economic problems. [and therefore feel the loss of the moneyed-class more]. (p272)"

The upward social mobility of the working-class Jews, especially in the postwar economy, made them more willing to move away to better neighborhoods or the suburbs, resulting in a rapidly growing Black and Hispanic residency for the district. Due to the poverty level and racial discrimination, government involvement in Brownsville was haphazard at best. Prichett focuses on the area's problems in housing, sanitation, and education and portrays them as battles between the city government and grassroots organizations. Ultimately, Prichett views the few sincere government programs as social solutions being used in an attempt to solve economic problems, and thus doomed to fail.

Class
The working class in Brownsville was politically marginalized.
Even the NAACP of Brooklyn which was dominated by middle-class blacks, tended to leave blacks in Brownsville alone.


Community and perceptions
The transitory nature of the population hindered the development of a sense of community.
The later African-American community seemed to be late in organizing and when it did tended to be organized around issues like the 1199 strike at Beth-El hospital or the teachers strike, rather than institutions.

Physical environment
The speculation on real estate in the area resulted in very poor quality housing from the start. Perhaps this in part led to the community wanting and requesting public housing projects in an era (1950s-1960s) when most neighborhoods fought to keep them out.
The city used blight to tear down old buildings but delayed rebuilding apartments for years. However, once residents could buy affordable houses, the area began to stabilize.
Businesses declined due to decline in disposable income caused in part by deindustrialization.

Government
At least three different times, the government (or outside institutions) come into Brownsville to undermine or diminish local agency
1. The redistricting of the political district
2. When Abe Stark gets control of the Brownsville Boys Club (BBC)
3. When the War on Poverty Group attempts to dictate how funding will be spent.



MyTest by Remling, Jeff
Enter notes and comments here. Blah blah blah

Building Gotham: Civic Culture and Public Policy in New York City, 1898- 1937 by Revell, Keith
Josh Britton's Notes; Preface and Introduction Interdependence key concept of Revell’s study -ideas of common interest -How governmet can solve collective problems New York itself an example of collective living -incorporation of 96 governmental units into one metropolis -largest “modern” city in the world -Incorporation a means of solving problems *creation of a central authority Failure of “traditional authorities” (machine politicians, corporations, etc) allowed for professionalization (pg 4) -created break with tradition of privatism -did not last; compromise gave power back to local level Book examines how “culture of expertise” developed to manage the city -ultimately the study of the birth of city bureaucracy (pg 7) Efficiency is common narrative in study of Progressive city government -rather conflict between the efficient and the democratic Revell sees “culture of expertise as causing splits in: (9) - legacy of active government as foundation for state building - The implications of interdependence for policy making - The constitution of general interests vis-à-vis the structure and scope of government power Culture of Expertise and Active government -Government was both a starting point for coalitions and a barrier to fundamental change. *Government tradition of activism in aid of business gave reformers an excuse; they approached it in a different way Emphasis on Interdependence -Experts saw city as “unified whole” (pg 11) Culture of Expertise identified a few “general interest” areas but understood need for “local communities to exist -creation of agencies to identify and protect areas of general interest Chapter One- Railroads, Engineers and Voluntarism Corporate Managers of Progressive generation motivated by more than profit. -Break with Corporations of the past; managers expected to act like public officials Hudson and Manhattan and the Pennsylvania Railroad created NYC commuter network -making private economic power responsive to public needs (pg 18) Natural boundaries forced need for commuter facilities -William McAdoo brains behind Hudson & Manhattan- springboard into public service -Tunnels from New Jersey to New York; supported by other companies as “in the public interest.” *Private gain, but still serving public interest. Pennsylvania Railroad a national line that serves local interest- linked NYC with regional transportation system -Penn Station biggest symbol of PRR’s commitment of civic life of NYC (pg 28) -How PRR building program was city building and planning *Things improved city and company Experts in private companies faced city-wide problems; city is their primary concern. -not tied to one specific company; worked in many environments *had expertise in city planning too (pg 34) *connected unrelated components of city-unaddressed by city gov’t. Franchise battles led them to face off against local politicians -local politicos not interested in unity of city; interested in election *Tammany resisted; an opportunity to show their concern with local issues (pg 42) *Award of franchise due to dealing with machine politics Struggles over franchise is debate between regions of city- Brooklyn and Manhattan -creates debate over government institutions to represent consolidated city (pg 45) -PRR supports force of reform; professionalization of franchise awards. *Expands it beyond field of partisan politics -Goes both ways- politicians support general needs, corporations abuse power Engineers and Railroad Executives’ perspectives on civic issues could ignore local concerns. -West Side Avenue Station- residents of Marion needed a station to link them to PRR *lack of station hurt community; didn’t fit in with PRR scientific planning -shows difficulty in planning for a large metropolis Shared unitary vision of city and region created opportunities for private development (p 55) -Alliance of experts and businessmen -Did NOT always work this way. Engineers had to choose sides often private v. public Chapter Two Reform of the Freight System Reorganizing freight system of NYC very important problem; part of calls for consolidation -Creation of city and region as a system – needed government help *Private companies (railroad) acted in own interests. Freight planning illustrates difficulty of putting expert ideal in place in area where many interests compete. (p 59) -Interests not always compatible Competition for advantage among private interests limited efficiency -caused chaos in the city Examination of federal policy of the Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC) -ICC perspective: abuse of power by corporations the problem *permanent improvements NOT operating expenses- not worth a rate increase >seen as a waste of money (p 67) -Railroad perspective- company will only invest if they could earn consistent $ Limiting of RR perspective came at a time when NYC needed ambitious planners -Railroad conservatism undercut improvement projects like the Brooklyn Marginal Railroad World War I led to a wave of institutional innovations -War participation based on old principles (p 73) *Did not work with freight @ the messy port of NYC *Created new interest in freight planning in NYC Port Authority clashes with ICC -Port Authority seeks to create a national system -Independent management of freight facilities; use open to all *intended as a counterstrategy against local interests trying to split port Efforts blocked by Railroad too (p 78) -still see the clash between expertise and democratization that Revell disclaims Transportation Act of 1920 a symbol of federal regulation and system creation -provisions of Act (p 81) *allowed for sharing of railroad facilities; important for Port Authority ICC accepted joint-sharing were multiple parties benefited -It must determine what was in “the public interest” (p 85) Hell Gate Bridge Case conflict between regional and national goals of PA and ICC -PA tried to force PRR to open Hell Gate route to other Railroads. *John Wanamaker store argument (p 87) vs. Charles River Bridge (p 88) Port Authority asserted right to make investments over the PRR- transition to professional management -argument failed- ICC decided in PRR’s favor (p 90) Experts found it difficult to convince others to cede regulatory power to them Case of freight demonstrates limits of culture of expertise. -Everyone acknowledges problem exists; conflicts of interest block solution *Voluntarism fails- certain groups excluded from system ideal System ideal excludes certain interests (p 95) Hard to determine relationship between whole and parts Chapter Three Interdependence in “The Underground City” Consolidated city linked underground as well as overground- underground very important -Sewer explosions in 1909 demonstrate Creation of underground city part of integrated system; raises issues of power & authority -Centralization and financing major issues- city/boroughs Transformation of city politics (p 104)- privatism into public good Subways- NYC (private city) had longest public transit in the world (Quintessential public city- compare to Warner) -helped decongest Manhattan & facilitate suburban growth *initially privatized-fear of Tammany abuse & lack of $ (p 106-107) >potential for private abuse/monopoly forced public action Public officials held power over subway construction; attacks subway companies. -Culture of expertise urged public-private partnership in subway operation George McAneny promoted a citywide transportation system of large benefit (p 113) Water services; providing water for 3.5 million showed need for collectivity -struggle to assert interdependence- sacrifice of efficiency Need for greater water pressure to protect flammable commercial goods -Growth harmful to existing water supplies; rural communities blocked municipal efforts. This sparked a need for refurbishing underground systems (p 117) Could not afford/did not have the technical expertise to expand water supplies -led to privatization- Ramapo Company *corruption- alliance between private & political interests Experts began to develop solutions for water problems- saltwater fire protection & expert advice. -John Ripley Freeman engineer; led to construction of Castskill Reservoir *emphasis on interdependence of entire city >connected via underground pipes (p 121) Water meters used to illustrate physical interdependence; creates resistance -Forced city to be accountable for use; quintessential expert culture *anti-distributive public policy -Metering defeated due to opposition not revived until 1980s Distributive politics largely incompatible with culture of expertise (p 125) Centralizing of sewage issue largely a failure until 1980s -threatened “free riders” in city; needed large scale institutional changes Sewage system dumped waste into nearest body of water; high degree of pollution Cities in region refused to cooperate with centralized agency (p 128) -Centralized agencies pushed regional goals; clashed with borough officials Sanitation not a “visible problem”; limited urgency NOT a public issue (p 139) -Creation of Interstate Sanitation Commission in 1936; still regional difficulties *much like Port Authority; had limited powers Progressive experts did partially succeed @ politics- gained public support -Systems rejected because of need for interdependence *public wanted results without togetherness (p 140) I STILL see this as a democratic v. centralized issue; I think Revell does too (p 142) Chapter Four Taxes, Services and Reform Everyone wanted a share of municipal money; causes occasional crises in city -fiscal conservatism in wake of Tweed’s downfall; inhibited problem solving Economists move past low taxes vs. corruption; helped usher in + demand for public claims on private wealth. -hard to control Financial interdependence linked city- also gave power to financial institutions (p 145) -Crises demonstrate attempts to using private wealth publicly. Fiscal discipline followed in wake of Tweed Ring- cutbacks to restore credit -reduces investments in city improvement as result of laissez-faire *people WANTED city to borrow to build subways, sanitation, etc. Consolidated city started with debt crisis- Brooklyn had a huge debt (p 149) -People wanted more metropolitan services 1898 starts new era. City gains greater access to private wealth (p 150) -solved earlier problems but created new ones. *heavy borrowing and investment in city infrastructure >did not match battle between machine and reform forces -claims on private wealth increased; improvement on the tax base Conservatism seen as mismanagement by Progessive experts; gov’t promotes growth -borrowing from financial institutions begins; gives them power (p 155) -spending reform needed; transparency and clearness of benefits Ability-to-pay becomes criteria for taxation leads to new wealth (p 160) -taxation allows government to pursue social ends; tenement reform etc *critics reject this; infighting with other progressive tax advocates; others do not want higher taxes -use of long-term borrowing to deal with current spending *reformers try to overturn this Reformers also had to sort through multifarious demands on public funds (p 164) Private sector businesses fought city for control of finances; new taxes needed -J.P. Morgan saves NYC from bankruptcy; gives him say over budget War crisis in 1914 shows dependence (p 170) -City needed bailing out again; allowed bankers to dictate borrowing practices *insisted on return to pay-as-you-go policy >other improvements from current taxes NYC achieved control over money management, not out-of-control spending. *scientific allowed more liberal spending City resisted pay-as-you-go; tried to repeal it in 1917 -limited amount of services while increasing taxes *By 1920s past trends reasserted themselves (p 176) >growth prevented another crisis from appearing 1932- Depression finally hits the city of New York; needs another bailout Civic culture caused financial messes in city -People thought growth=larger tax base=more services; too many demands (p181) *led to year after year of financial crisis in city. Chapter Five-Private Failures force Public Control of Zoning Overcrowding forces a build upwards; skyscrapers unwanted but a city can’t regulate building. Desire to regulate how public space can be used. George Bassett key figure -Culture of expertise results in passing of first zoning ordinance in 1916 (p 188) Zoning an attempt to come to terms with modern city by increasing public control Committee on City Plan concerned about housing conditions; govt must restructure city -lack of planning caused extremity; poor housing, congestion, etc. Plan to group housing, industry and commercial agencies with like -Private market failed in distribution of workplace/homes Skyscrapers seen as another market failure; desire for “horizontal unity (p 191) -Knock on effect that negatively impacted housing, health, property values etc Support from merchants who wanted height limits on building -Zoning also used for racial and ethnic exclusion; dark side to culture of expertise *Issue raised then disappears Needed a legal basis for zoning; ok if health, safety and public welfare were motivation -Aesthetic motivation NOT legal grounds Election of zoning supporters in 1913 give Committee 4 year window (p 197) Purpose of zoning is to give power to public sector to order city -Conflict with the legal tradition re: property Police powers seemed there for the taking legally: discussion of court cases The solution: Comprehensive Zoning over the entire NYC area -Use, height and area restrictions. -Established residential, business and unrestricted zones (p 202) *Ordinance went far beyond previous zoning laws Established legality by claiming grounds of safety, health and general welfare -Use of expert testimony -Emergence of reasonableness to allow exceptions-key innovation (p 206) Defended ordinance by disguise, deflection and proxy -Disguised aesthetic objectives & state power for fear they would be struck down Ordinance continually challenged anyway (p 210) -Misdirection away from constitutional challenges (which experts would lose) *Bogged challenges down in administrative details NY law hurt by others who use comprehensive to try to do too much (p 214) Judiciary divided into those who think scope of city needs experts & those who want to protect private property. -Zoning ultimately accepted & constitutional in 1926 Comprehensive planning becomes the standard Board of Appeals open to corruption/manipulation Developers also sought to use city-wide provisions to influence local zoning -Preferential zoning in NYC; Bassett participates in this People themselves were not interested in zoning as a plan (p 222) Complexity of urban life requires regulation -Demonstrates collectivity and interconnectedness of city Zoning was an institutional success -Cultural failure; not embraced by people- zoning used to undercut city plans Chapter Six Regional Planning for the Whole Metropolis Robert Caro accuses Robert Moses of authoring New York’s decline -Moses frustrated attempts to create a master plan for the city *Not true; Revell sees decline as beginning much earlier (p 228) Study of efforts to create a city-planning agency that considers city as a whole Planners contended entire metropolitan area interconnected; planning must consider this -Faced fragmentation and insistent localism over regional interest -Planners challenge authority of local government; sought to remake structure Move away from city planning comes with abolishment of city planning committee-1917 -No control over city’s growth and reoccurrence of financial & congestion probs. Planners propose creation of multiple urban centers- regional and interconnected Must identify the interconnected region the experts proposed -Revell links reform efforts to other chapters; port, sanitation Experts identify three insights that display interconnectedness(p 234) -Diversification b/c decentralization; cause of problems from town to town -IMPORTANT: New York’s competition for resources push industry to the periphery. Part of decentralization and caused friction of space between work and home -Residential decentralization: People leaving Manhattan for other boroughs *Dispersal causes crowded tenement conditions to decentralize too Demonstrations of interconnectedness spur regional planning (p 240) -Planning to correct problems suggested by above insights *Manhattan was the center of a group of regional urban centers Creation of a sensible highway system to allow access to urban areas; reverse decentralization trend automobiles promoted. Guide the natural evolution of the urban form in a rational way: purpose (p 243) Need to convince local officials to participate regionally -Experts sought a scientific voluntarism where local communities would recognize the benefits of putting the region first; NYC must be on board. Borough autonomy threatened efforts to get NYC into plan Machine politico and mayor Jimmy Walker becomes planning ally on election-1926 -Walker engendered large amount of participatory planning Bassett took charge of city-planning for Walker; heavily based on Regional Plan (p 249) -Proposal of a 3-member planning board to make ALL planning decisions *Borough Presidents quickly moved to reject it -Detoothed Planning Dept passed in 1930; can’t interfere with public works Walker’s activity for planning shows how much currency civic culture of expertise had -Not strictly for good reasons, but he likely agreed with planners *need existed; Board of estimate overwhelmed with city issues Fight over charter reform in mid-1930s; between centralization and decentralization -Fails to end borough government Fiorella La Guardia creates Thatcher Commission to continue the work (p 254) -Planning is #1 priority New charter passes in NYC 1936 which gave Planning Commission increased authority -Charter was a radical change in the distribution of municipal power; gives planners tools they wanted Robert Moses refused chairmanship of Commission; odd, because Moses was involved in most affairs. -Moses disdained planners in place of doers; he got things done and ignored the planners Too many plans costing too much $ existed for Moses (p 258-259) -adapted aspects of city planning; centralization of authority; interdependence Moses saw the city as a unit, much like planners; he did not reveal his plans Rexford Tugwell was his counterpart on City Planning Commission -Wanted a much more radical recentralization program than others; more a visionary than a pragmatist Tugwell saw the whole without reference to how it may have hurt local concerns -His failure to adopt Regional Plan led to his failure and replacement by Moses Moses refused any sort of master plan for the city -1940 was the first major plan; ten years since Regional Plan had made the problems MUCH MUCH worse (p 264) Blight, Sprawl and Flight of the 1950s and 1960s prefigured in the 1930s and 1940s -Cooperation even more difficult in face of Great Depression Commission inspired a new storm of protest which prevented much from getting done Planners thought they could get everyone to cooperate by promising benefits for all -Localism continually frustrated these efforts. Conclusion Planners try to relate many of the parts of the city to a systematic whole -These common interests “Mystical unity” did indeed exist Experts tried to create agencies to work on this interdependence when public and private efforts failed Use of expertise- profoundly affected the structure of the city (p 271) -Did not formalize the ability to see city as a interdependent whole *Variety of factors interfered in each topic Revell studies Failures of Experts throw idea of common interests into doubt Recognition of interdependence a powerful idea -Dewey writes extensively on it (p 275) Bureaucratic agencies had to combine the minority voice and a sense of what is and what’s not appropriate for the general will Common purposes DO EXIST (p 277) Even Jane Jacobs says that communities of interest come together in cities Culture of expertise ultimately raised an issue that’s still relevant today: -Assuming we recognize the interdependence that cities create, how can we balance that with our own political and cultural autonomy? Good question to end on; Revell largely ducks issues of the “dark side” of this culture of expertise and questions of democracy and its relationship to the expertise. However, his treatment on how planners sought to present the city in a unified manner in many different issues as well as his discussions of the problems and solutions of the progressive era city make Building Gotham an excellent text examining the triumphs and failures of the culture of expertise and its relationship to public policy in New York during the first decades of the 20th century

Atlantic Crossings: Social Politics in a Progressive Era by Rodgers, Daniel
Josh Briton's Notes; In Atlantic Crossings, historian Daniel Rodgers offers a sweeping new interpretation of American progressive politics. Faulting previous Progressive interpretations to be too geocentric, Rodgers places American progressive reforms between 1870 and 1940 into an international context, demonstrating how Americans drew ideas from Britain, France, Germany, Sweden, Denmark, New Zealand and other countries to find solutions to mediate between the industrial capitalist world and the heavy-hand of state interventionism and authoritarianism. Rodgers suggests the Atlantic context is so important because it reveals not that the problems were peculiar specifically to America, but rather, the solutions were new and exciting—these solutions encompassed many issues, from public housing to municipalization, to rural collectives and social insurance, with each European model offering a slightly different solution, but with the same ends in mind—the slowdown or delay of commodification inherent in the new economic order, an idea first planted by the German training American economists received in the 1870s. This has particular importance for urban life, particularly in the drive for municipal ownership of utilities in American cities like Toledo, Milwaukee and San Francisco. Housing reform likewise, drew from European antecedents—Catherine Bauer being heavily influenced by English and German models like German Ernst May. Of course, Rodgers does not fully abandon the notion of American exceptionalism. He notes the physical distance often led Americans to see the finished product of European social reforms, and not the political compromise and maneuvering that went into them; moreover, Americans picked and chose the solutions they wanted, adopting them imperfectly or finding them completely altered by the process of transfer from Europe to America—zoning regulations, originally intended for working class housing in Germany, but turned to commercial ends in America being a key example. The ultimate moment of trans-Atlantic social politics came with the New Deal, where many European ideas were revived at a moment of economic crisis; Social Security, public housing, cooperatives, planned communities, even labor camps were all prewar European social political ideas that found revival among New Deal administrators—at the same time however, New Dealers found themselves retreating from their trans-Atlantic roots, instead emphasizing the American nature of their policies; which, according to Rodgers was true. Certainly, special interest groups diluted measures like public housing and Social Security down significantly from their European ancestors. The end of the Second World War completed this American withdrawal from trans-Atlantic social politics. The Beveridge Plan, born out of Progressive ideas and responsible for the social welfare state in Britain, including the establishment of the NHS, was dismissed by Americans by being too concerned with limits and poverty—Americans had rediscovered their own exceptionalism, and foreign ideas were again viewed with suspicion and disdain, as they were in the early to mid nineteenth century. Rodgers’s book is undoubtedly a triumph and forces readers to reconsider the context and international scope of Progressive and New Deal reforms. However, he ignores Progressive traditions borne out of American nationalism. The Progressive moment in America was a particular fusion of Americanism and cosmopolitanism. So many scholars have explored the particular American context, Rodgers does well in restoring international currents. It remains for the two threads to be fused together, however.

Eight Hours for What We Will: Workers & Leisure in an Industrial City, 1870-1920 by Rosenzweig, Roy
Argument: 1. How the working class in Worcester used leisure resources (time, money, political pull, etc.) usually gave the working class / ethnics an alternative, rather than oppositional, outlet when compared to the middle-class, native-American values. Chapter 1: Workers in an Industrial City, 1870 – 1920 workers organized their lives around cultural values and institutions of ethnic communities (p11) Worcester is not on navigable water and does not have a large supply of running water to power machinery. Instead the Blackstone canal (1828) and railroads opened up the city. Production in the city was among highly diversified products: boots & shoes, machinery, metal products (esp. wire), textiles, leather belting, envelopes, abrasives Traditional story is that poor young inventive boys moved to Worcester to work in an early factory, and then expanded into businesses of their own (self-made men). Some truth (p13). Industry owners Most factories and industries in Worcester are locally owned. Generally, the resisted outside takeovers, but some merged with other local companies. Worcester’s elite (capitalists) generally attended the same church (Union Church), went to WPI, and might have been related by marriage. (Strong business and social contacts among upper class in Worcester). This group strongly opposed to organized labor. Formed/joined several associations, including National Metal Trades Associate (NMTA) to resist organized labor.(p15) NMTA – blacklists union workers Worcester owners also use paternalism and welfare capitalism to keep workers down. Workers (p16) Working class in Worcester is ethnically diverse and continually changing Vast majority of workers were foreigners after last half of 19th C. Irish and French-Canadians (both Catholic) were the first large group of immigrants, doing laborer’s work. Settled in the East side. In 1880s and 90s, large groups of Protestant Swedes move into area, either north or south of city. Their Protestant heritage comes at odds with Irish and F-C’s (Catholic/Protestant tensions between Irish and Yankees was fading out, Swede’s revitalized it). The Swedes generally got jobs as skilled mechanics in metal trade. After 1890 many other immigrants from southern and eastern Europe move in (p17) Lithuanians, Poles, Finns, Armenians, Italians (unskilled work), Jews (tended to open their own small business). Worcester has a very low union enrollment and low labor political support Manufactury owners played different ethnic groups against each other to weaken labor Ethnic communities and institutions provided an alternate to trade unions (p27) Changes in Worcester working class after 1880 1. insularity of some groups, especially Irish, breaks down with later generation 2. large number of new immigrants, first Swedes, then S. & E. Europeans What ethnic groups had in common: churches, families, saloons, cafes, lodges (31) Chapter 2: The rise of the saloon Saloons become center of male second (social) life. (Rosenzweig does not clearly show how saloons in this way differed from taverns, pubs, etc. of earlier times and other places; on p 58 he states that in a saloon everyone was equal – perhaps this was not so in earlier taverns) From 1820s on, middle- and upper-classes promote temperance. This is thought to be thought of a social control of the working class. shebeen – ethnic Irish drinking location usually established in the kitchen of a widow. Support of a shebeen supported the widow, and therefore was in part charitable Allowed women (especially Irish women) to sociably mingle with males in places that served alcohol; in fact women were in charge. p46 – increased wages of labor led to increased alcohol consumption p48 – saloon keepers did not make much more money then working-class p48 – Rosenzweig states that the word saloon derived from French salon in the 1840s, but dismisses Martha Washington’s “salons” of the 1780s. Check more into Martha Washington. p51 middle class drank at home temperance movements form for a variety of reasons: 1. If “all men are equal in front of the bottle” (p61) then removing social drinking aided in the creation of an elite class 2. Ultimately, saloons provide an alternative, rather than oppositional, outlet for ethnic culture in comparison to mainstream, middle-class American values. p64. Chapter 3: Immigrant workers and the Fourth of July July 4th was one of the few holidays most workers received. Any other summer holidays were probably company sponsored picnics or outings, and therefore part of a paternalistic system. Working-class ethnic groups tended to insulate themselves from other groups and celebrated together. This reveals deep cultural cleavage, which helped keep labor disorganized. Middle- and upper-class began to leave the city for the holiday, or sought out exclusive clubs, and therefore did not participate in parades, etc. p66-67 Most immigrants in Worcestor attempted to adopt their traditional, often agrarian, holidays to the city’s industrial life. Working-class celebrate 4th loudly, with alcohol, fireworks, guns, cannon, music, picnics, parades, etc. Arrests for drunkenness and vandalism increase on July 4th. Ethnic ties are usually reasserted in the early-mid 19th C. Middle-class tend to be more subdued. Questions / Problems 1. Rosenzweig does not mention that in German immigrant areas, it was acceptable to women to accompany men to beer gardens, taverns, etc. Perhaps this was because of the small German population in Worcester. note- he does mention it on p63 2. On p49 Rosenzweig states, but does not prove or argue, that the rise of the saloon came out of the subordination of the working class and their reaction to increased real wages and increased leisure time.

The Park and the People: A History of Central Park by Rosenzweig & Blackmar, Roy & Elizabeth
Josh Britton's Notes: In the historiography, Central Park is often the story of the landscaped environment, or a tale of the “great men” of the park: Frederick Law Olmsted, Andrew Green, Robert Moses. In this mammoth monograph, Rosenzweig and Blackmar seek to tell the social history of the park, and focuses not just on these men and other elite figures important to the park design—Calvert Vaux emerges as a democratic hero, as does Fernando Wood in saving the park from budget cuts—but also the story of the people displaced to make room for the park, the workers who labored to build the “natural” environment, and above all the users of the park. In fact, their thesis seems to be that users were able to direct the meaning of, access to, and structure of the park throughout its history. The elite designers, park commissioners, Robert Moses, or the Central Park Conservancy never fully had their own way; Central Park, as “the people’s park” was responsive to the public. Rosenzweig and Blackmar also note how that definition of “public” changed over time. The park was the idea of a narrow group of elites, and though many were genuinely civic-minded, there were a few that considered their property values if a great city park was built—this led to controversy over “where” the park would be. When the eventual site was selected, the many homeowners who lived there were unceremoniously moved, including places like Seneca Village, a stable African-American community, ripped up wholesale for the park, a process the authors liken to twentieth-century urban renewal Similarly, the park, in its design and strict rules from the earliest days were intended for an elite public—only in the 1880s after the candidacy of Henry George and the rise of labor were the parks made more democratically accessible; even then, the use of the park for recreation and things like the Central Park Zoo remained contested between elites and working people. Even Robert Moses, who under a two-decade tenure as Parks Commissioner had autocratic control of the parks was vulnerable to public pressure—and also helped make more space than ever before accessible for recreation for all classes. The twentieth-century history of Central Park is a story of adjustment: adjusting to the park’s new users, including homosexuals, and minorities; to increased fear of crime (as opposed to an increase of crime, which was also present); to more demands for the use of the park as public space (including long-banned political protest). The fiscal crises of the 1970s spurred the creation of the Central Park Conservancy, whose Board of Trustees took charge of the park in a public-private partnership. While this led to some removal of control of the park from the public, even the Conservancy has proved responsive to public pressure about the use of public space. Ultimately, Blackmar and Rosenzweig agree that Central Park is New York’s most democratic space; it is the people of the city who make it so. Preserving Central Park is essential to preserving the democratic possibilities of the city—and making it livable. This is excellent social history and connects to Rosenzweig’s other work; as well as texts by David Nasaw, Kathy Peiss and Witold Rybcyzinski.

Cradle of the Middle Class by Ryan, Mary
Ryan presents a frontier in Onieda County, New York, between 1790 – 1860. She shows that the first generation to settle the area typically had large families, and the women were often isolated. To combat the isolation, the women often were more attentive to religious matters and attempted to raise their many children to the same. This created an environment were a large percent of the population (of the second generation in the 1820s) would be receptive to the Second Great Awakening. Ryan also shows that the first generation's artisans ('old' middle class) attempted to make sure their children would be in the 'new' middle class (white collar – clerks) by a number of methods: - limited family size (average a little over three children) to allow their resources to be used to better educate the male children - children, especially males, lived with the family longer, in part to obtain an education - mother's took over the responsibility of indoctrinating the children with middle-class values use of schools and business schools was made to educate boys to be clerks Ryan argues that the initial settlers to the frontier maintained a household economic system – or corporate family economy – carried over from their New England heritage, that was based on the family unit and not individualism. This family system was based upon discipline rather than love. The introduction of factory labor initially attempted to follow this system, with whole families working in a factory and compensation often not in cash but in goods and/or services useful to the whole family.

Streets, Railroads, and the Great Strike of 1877 by Stowell, David
Stowell initially states that Railroads were the Industrial Revolution incarnate and discusses how expanding railroads in urban areas infringed upon the pre-existing street culture, which he identifies with the Domestic Sphere. When the Strike of 1877 manifests itself, Stowell demonstrates that those who destroyed railroad property often were not strikers but women, boys, and youngmen from various walks of life, venting for past grudges against the railroads. This is the principle behind his Two Currents theory. In reality, although he says the streets had a Domestic Sphere component to them and mentions women in the mobs scenes, the main, NON-STRIKING, mob members seem to have been boys and young men, suggesting more of a gang/male street culture retaliation against what the railroads had done to street life and what corporations had done to various work envirnments.

The Origins of the Urban Crisis: Race and Inequality in Post-war Detroit by Sugrue, Thomas
Josh Britton's Notes: Preface In the Preface, Sugrue uses a recent trip to Detroit, visiting his grandparents’ old neighborhood to explore the state of Detroit both today and during the decades he covers in the book. Sugrue argues that inequality is at the base of the urban crisis: flight of jobs from the city, workplace discrimination and residential segregation devastated Detroit and other cities; that the resource hording of the suburbs had a very distinct racial element and reduce the cities themselves to poverty. Sugrue notes the still prevalent belief that poverty is the fault of the poor and fail to recognize, at its heart, the problem of racial inequality of the cities is a political problem. Inequality, which was a key element of the New Deal programs, became institutionalized in the cities and it started the process of mapping racial division on the city itself. Suburbanization and deindustrialization in the postwar years joined together to create the crisis of the American city; exemplified by Detroit but experienced by cities everywhere. Finally Sugrue sees some positives in the redevelopment plans of major cities (though noting most are dependent on flash) but he cautions that these projects have not brought many jobs to city residents themselves and the process of inequality remains influential in shaping the way the city develops today. Introduction In the Introduction, Sugrue introduces his case study, the city of Detroit and seeks to understand the forces that transformed it from a pre-war boomtown to an exemplar of the “urban crisis.” In brief, Sugrue argues that the coincidence and mutual reinforcement of race, economics and politics set stage for the crises that collectively would be known as the urban crisis. Sugrue pinpoints three interrelated processes: deindustrialization, workplace discrimination and residential segregation as structural forces behind the urban crisis, but also suggests that agency, choices made by individual people affected the way these structures shaped the postwar city. The two competing rationales for the New Deal, black desire for economic and residential equality vs. white privileging of property and race set the stage for conflict, as the New Deal coalition and liberalism itself fell apart. The national discourse between blacks, whites, government, business and labor saw these forces take shape and the choices each made affect the structure of the city. White perception of black inferiority hardened the divisions and set the stage for the city as it exists today. Chapter 1 World War II era Detroit was a booming town. The defense industry helped the city recover from the Depression and there was a high demand for blue collar labor in the city’s industrial sector, dominated by the auto manufacturers. The housing of the city was dominated by working-class enclaves. Nice, small fram/brick bungalows were the most common type of housing in the city. Ethnic distinctions were finally disappearing to be replaced by a more pervasive distinction between black and white as blacks streamed into the city as part of the “Great Migration” and the opening up of industrial/manufacturing jobs for African-Americans as a result of the demand for labor engendered by the war. This process was aided by unionization, civil rights activism and the Fair Employment Practices Commission (FEPC) which acted as a government “pressure group” to end discriminatory hiring. Of course, as this process occurred it heightened racial tensions that existed between white and black Detroiters. The tension boiled over at the height of World War II as a series of “hate strikes” (Strikes in protest of hiring black workers) and the nation’s biggest race riot rocked the city. The race riot demonstrated the deep social tensions that existed in Detroit and demonstrated that, despite black hopes for equality in the postwar city, that they were going to face a very serious fight to assert themselves. Chapter 2 Housing was referred to as Detroit’s “time bomb.” As blacks poured into the city, they found it very difficult to find adequate housing. Financial difficulties, overpriced rentals, moves by the real estate industry and reluctance of banks to offer African-Americans loans came together to reinforce spatial segregation of the city. Blacks were confined to a few areas; Paradise Valley, the original center of black settlement, with a vibrant social life, but poor conditions; the black West Side, originally an attractive working-class community, strained by HOLC classification and overcrowding; 8-Mile Wyoming a former farmland where the city’s poorest blacks lived and Conant Gardens, the sole middle-class black enclaves. In their effort to find suitable housing, blacks contended with builders who refused to build affordable houses for blacks, private real estate interests who refused to even show certain neighborhoods to black customers and encouraged “restrictive covenants” which refused to sell houses to blacks, government officials and agencies like the Federal Housing Administration that refused loans to blacks, and zoning, which was used as “non-discriminatory” way to control the character of a neighborhood. These difficulties, coupled with the inability of blacks to get loans to improve their existing houses, led to overcrowding which led to a deterioration of the housing, which in turn fueled prejudice against blacks as responsible homeowners. Furthermore, slum clearance and urban redevelopment cleared “blighted” areas (which were almost always African-American) without providing adequate housing for the residents they displaced, further putting strain on existing black housing. Public housing projects were inadequate, and blacks often faced higher costs than white class counterparts in seeking to get their own home. Of course, these conditions were not inevitable, but the result of choices made by the government and the private housing market. Ultimately, the increasing liberalism of the 1940s and the increasing number of blacks led some people to suggest that poor living conditions were only temporary, but as blacks started to “invade” white neighborhoods, it set off a political battle that put white Detroit against black Detroit. Chapter 3 Public Housing (the wall on p 65) In this chapter, Thomas Sugrue looks at the case of public housing in postwar Detroit. He notes that the end of World War II brought thousands of returning veterans to the city along with the war workers already present there. In seeking to solve the deepening housing crisis, city and federal officials had to deal with the dual legacies of the New Deal: the desire to provide aid (which included housing) for the poor versus the privileges and rights that accompanied private home ownership. This battle split much of Detroit, including at times, the black community. Generally though, the battle lines were drawn between African Americans, labor and city planning on one side—those who favored public housing, versus its opponents, working and middle class homeowners, who generally organized into neighborhood groups. After setting up this conflict, Sugrue spends the rest of the chapter looking at case studies to see how it played out. The first case study, 8 Mile Wyoming, featured blacks who wanted and felt deserving of the aid to make them responsible private home owners versus the Citizens Housing and Planning Commission (CPHC- the leading advocate in public housing), who wanted the land for white public housing and black community leaders who wanted black public housing to ease the crisis. In this particular case, the sides reached a compromise, which was unlikely in cases in the decade to come. A symbol of this is the immense wall built between black and white areas. Built to ensure FHA loans to white homebuyers, it acts a potent symbol of both racial and housing issues Detroit faced. For example, the Sojourner Truth controversy, one of the few victories for African-American public housing advocates, came at a heavy cost. Conflict between blacks and whites who opposed it and asserted their privilege of whiteness led to a full-scale riot. In the aftermath, white officials would be hesitant to support public housing fearful of the political and social costs. Such was the case in Oakwood, where white working-class immigrants united to assert their white private homeowner privilege to protect their neighborhood from black incursion—this issue helped elect Edward Jefferies as mayor The political costs became apparent as white middle and lower class voters allied in voting into office conservative candidates who opposed public (black) housing—indicating a breakdown in the New Deal coalition. Labor retreated from the fight to build integrated housing and public housing and black housing got tied up in voters minds. The election of pro-business Alfred Cobo spelled the end of public housing in Detroit. Its results were an increase in black-white tensions and further segregation. Black public housing was concentrated in the inner city, leaving the periphery for white settlement. Furthermore, the housing crisis in Detroit was bad as ever. Ultimately, public housing failed in its purpose in Detroit, a counterpoint to other failures that would form the urban crisis in the years to come.

The Unheralded Triumph: City Government in America, 1870-1900 by Teaford, John
Josh Britton's Notes: The consensus about municipal government in America during the years 1870-1900 is that it was, in contemporary James Bryce’s words, a “conspicuous failure;” hopelessly corrupt, profligate, and inefficient. While historians have modified this and added nuance to the portrayal of urban machines and reformers, they too have been harshly critical of the functioning of city government. Yet, in these same years, urban services were extended to more city residents than ever before and many of the proudest buildings, parks and monuments in our cities today are products of this time. In fact, historian Jon Teaford argues, municipal government was an “unheralded triumph” during this period, able through a complex and balanced system of government, which in Teaford’s words, “accommodated everyone, but satisfied no one.” While their power declined citywide, aldermen retained the ability to protect and serve the interests of their wards, and were often able to create a local power base from these actions. Elites generally served as mayor and managed citywide interests, while experts largely directed new, professionalizing segments of city government, like public health or public works. State legislatures were not anti-urban, intent on depriving the city of power, but rather it was the city itself that directed the special legislation passed by the legislature. Political bosses, businessmen and special lobbying interests all had the ability to influence urban government as well. All together, this system allowed the city to survive its transformation into a heterogeneous metropolis. Teaford further attempts to debunk some of the enduring myths about city government of the Gilded Age; machines were not some centrally organized tightly run organization but were rather fragile, easily fragmented coalitions of local forces; a powerful boss like Richard Croker could emerge, but even then they were vulnerable to factionalism. Similarly, the “good government” forces had to compromise and accommodate other elements of governments; finally, the forces of home rule and administrative supervision both had a goal of giving the city some degree of stability; home rule could easily be turned into stagnation by a reluctant group of voters and the administrative supervision that empowered experts to make decisions in their fields were also flawed in some ways. Yet, by and large, the system as it was constituted in this period worked. In the second part of his text, Teaford discusses some examples of how it worked; utilizing technology to improve everything from water and sewage services to mass transit and even street and lighting improvements; moreover, explicitly comparing American cities to European ones in the same time frame, Teaford finds American cities to be superior in application of technology, social services (apart from sources of control like the police and charity—indicating a lack of concern over poverty) and he largely dismisses the negative image that municipal services of the time had, then and now. Despite a period of heavy indebtedness following the Depression of 1873, cities managed to operate in a fiscally conservative manner and keep taxes low while expanding services. So why did people consider government a failure? Teaford argues its because of Victorian cultural absolutism. No group got everything it wanted, and the process of accommodation and compromise was seen as somehow dishonorable; any group could be frustrated by any of the others. Teaford concludes by suggesting that if we want to see the positive, triumphant legacy of late nineteenth-century city government, look at what it left behind; from the great Boston public library to the Brooklyn Bridge, and beyond. Teaford’s points are well made, although his desire to counter the past historiography might lead him to overstate his case. Certainly, there is a ring of truth in his contention that machines were largely alliances of localized forces, a lot of the evidence suggests they had more power than he concedes. Moreover, his dismissal over complaints over the American streetcar system ignore the very real corruption and poor conditions that made them so notorious—despite European imagination. Nonetheless, his thesis about how city government effectively balanced many heterogenous interests while maintaining solvency is a welcome corrective to a lot of the historiography on nineteenth-century city government.

JUH 22 (1996) 702-719 by Tilly, Charles


Places of Their Own: African American Suburbanization in the Twentieth Century by Wiese, Andrew
Josh Britton's Notes: In this synthetic study of black suburbanization across the entire twentieth century, Andrew Wiese takes up Charles Tilly’s challenge to examine how social processes play out in a local context. Wiese’s thesis is that black suburbanization began as largely a working-class phenomenon and evolved with the emergence of a new black middle class into a process with deeply embedded class and racial meanings—of which the struggle for “a place of their own,” that is, claiming spatial equality took on race and class dimensions. Wiese explicitly rejects scholars who argue that black suburbanization indicates an abandonment of “the black community.” For him, suburbanization is tied up very much in the black experience. Wiese begins with the earliest black suburbanization; that which occurred in the wake of the Great Migration. Working-class African Americans found the only space they could afford was on the metropolitan fringe on undeveloped, unrestricted land; near the large industrial plants or tony upper-class white suburbs in which they worked. For these early suburbanites, many of whom came from the South, living outside the city was personally attractive, and if they built their own homes (as they often did) very cheap. These homes became part of an economic survival strategy and an important part in building a black community. Wiese sees the move to these black suburbs to be “geographically conservative.” That is, they remained close to existing black settlements. This was caused by white racism and restrictions that limited black movement. This pattern would be repeated throughout every wave of black suburbanization, demonstrating how social processes and agency are limited by the choices of the past—although Wiese is very clear that he believes black suburbanites are exercising agency by claiming place. The emergence of a black middle class out of World War II transformed patterns of black suburbanization. Like white suburbanites, they sought to escape the city and claim a space for themselves worthy of them as a class; however, Wiese argues that black suburbanites recognized the racial dimensions of their struggle for housing and many, from the first “pioneers” in white suburbs to those who created black-only suburbs in the South expressed racial pride and the sense of racial uplift in their actions. Housing also became a central issue in the civil rights movement and whether it was through integration of racial uplift, many black suburbanites had their racial identity strengthened by the difficulties they faced in trying to earn a space for themselves. As Wiese notes, however, structural factors limited their ability to choose anywhere to live and despite the boom in settlement, new black suburban areas cropped up next to existing ones. The 1980s and 1990s saw the greatest boom in black suburbanization yet, with class issues becoming even more important to need for suburban space. With this, however, comes the fear that black identity is being threatened. Many remedies are being proposed, such as the “territorial nationalism” expressed by residents of Prince George County, but black suburbanites everywhere are struggling to find a third way between racial assimilation and economic marginalization. Wiese’s work brings a historicism to black suburbanization by demonstrating its historical, working class roots and raises important issues of place and its relationship to racial equality.