Chapter 24 - Life in the Emerging Urban Society

    Taming the city

    1. Industry and the growth of cities
      1. Deplorable urban conditions of congestion, filth, and disease existed long before the Industrial Revolution.
      2. The Industrial Revolution and population growth made urban reform necessary.
        1. In Britain, the percentage of population living in cities of 20,000 or more jumped from 17 percent in 1801 to 54 percent in 1891.
        2. Housing was crowded and poor, and living conditions unhealthy.
        3. Many people lived in sewerage and excrement.
      3. What was responsible for the awful conditions?
        1. A lack of transportation, which necessitated the crowding, and the slowness of government enforcement of sanitary codes contributed to the problem.
        2. The legacy of rural housing also contributed to the problem.
    2. Public health and the bacterial revolution
      1. The reformer Chadwick was influenced by Bentham's ideas of the greatest good for the greatest number.
        1. He believed that cleaning the city would curtail disease.
        2. He proposed the installation of running water and sewers.
      2. New sanitation methods and public health laws were adopted all over Europe from the 1840s on.
    3. The bacterial revolution
      1. The prevailing theory of disease (the miasmatic theory) was that it was caused by bad odors.
      2. Pasteur's theory that germs caused disease was a major breakthrough, and its application meant disease could be controlled through vaccines.
      3. Based on the work of Koch and others, the organisms responsible for many diseases were identified and effective vaccines developed.
      4. Lister developed the concept of sterilization of wounds.
      5. Mortality rates began to decline rapidly in European countries.
    4. Urban planning and public transportation
      1. Better urban planning contributed to improved living conditions.
      2. After 1850, Paris was transformed by the urban planning of Haussmann and became a model city.
        1. Broad, straight, treelined boulevards cut through the center of the city.
        2. Parks were created throughout the city.
        3. Sewers were improved and aqueducts built.
      3. Zoning expropriation laws were a major tool of the new urbanism.
      4. Electric streetcars revolutionized urban life and enabled the cities to expand.

    Rich and poor and those in between

    1. Social structure
      1. Between about 1850 and 1906, the standard of living for the average person improved substantially.
      2. But differences in wealth continued to be enormous; society remained stratified in a number of classes.
    2. The middle classes
      1. The upper middle class was composed of successful business families who were attracted to the aristocratic lifestyle.
      2. The middle middleclass group contained merchants, lawyers, and doctors--people who were well off but not wealthy.
      3. Next came the lower middle class: shopkeepers, small businessmen, and whitecollar workers.
      4. Experts, such as engineers, chemists, accountants, and managers, were also considered members of the middle class, as were those in public and private management.
      5. Teachers, dentists, and nurses rose up the ladder to become middle class.
    3. Middle-class culture united these sub-classes
      1. The middleclass lifestyle included large meals, dinner parties, servants, an interest in fashionable dressing, and good education.
      2. Their code of expected behavior stressed hard work, selfdiscipline, religion, and restraint from vices.
    4. The working classes
      1. The vast majority of people (4 out of 5) belonged to the working class, yet the class had varying lifestyles and little unity.
      2. The most highly skilled workers constituted a fluid "labor aristocracy."
        1. They developed a lifestyle of stern morality.
        2. They considered themselves the leaders of the working class.
        3. They had strong political and philosophical beliefs.
      3. Next came the semiskilled and unskilled urban workers.
        1. Many workers in the crafts and factory work were part of the semiskilled.
        2. Domestic servants, mostly female, were a large unskilled subgroup.
        3. Women employed in the "sweated industries" were another large group.
      4. Drinking was a favorite leisure activity of the working class.
        1. Drunkenness often resulted in fights and misery
        2. But the "drinking problem" declined in the late 19th century; Cafes and pubs became respectable, even for women.
        3. Pubs became centers for working class politics
        4. other pastimes included sports and music halls.
      5. In Europe, church attendance by the working class declined, while in the United States churches thrived as a way to assert ethnic identity.
        1. By the latenineteenthcentury European urban working classes became less religious and more secular.
        2. This was partly because of lack of churches, but also because the church was seen as an institution that upheld the power and position of the ruling elites.
        3. Religious organizations linked with an ethnic group (e.g., Irish and Jewish), and not the state, tended to thrive.

    The changing family

    1. Premarital sex and marriage
      1. "Romantic love" had triumphed over economic considerations in the working class by 1850.
      2. Economic considerations remained important to the middle class.
      3. Both premarital sex and illegitimacy increased.
      4. After 1850, illegitimacy decreased, indicating the growing morality and stability of the working class.
    2. Prostitution
      1. Men commonly turned to prostitutes because marriages were so often made later in life, especially in the middle and upper classes.
      2. Brutal sexist behavior was a part of life.
    3. Kinship ties
      1. Marriage and family ties were often strong.
      2. Kinship networks were an important source of mutual support and welfare.
    4. Gender roles and family life
      1. The preindustrial pattern of women working outside the home disappeared, except for workingclass women.
      2. Women became fulltime mothers and homemakers, not wage earners.
      3. Women were excluded from good jobs; the law placed women in an inferior position.
        1. A wife in England had no legal identity and no right to own property.
        2. In France, the Napoleonic Code gave women few legal rights.
      4. Women struggled for rights.
        1. Middleclass feminists campaigned for equal legal rights, equal education, access to the professions, and work for women.
        2. These women scored some victories, but still in Germany in 1900 women were kept out of universities and the professions.
        3. Socialist women called for the liberation of workingclass women through revolution.
      5. Meanwhile, women's control and influence in the home increased.
        1. The wife usually determined how the family's money was spent and made all the major domestic decisions.
        2. Running the household was complicated and demanding, and many women sacrificed for the welfare and comfort of their husbands.
      6. The home increased in emotional importance in all social classes; it symbolized shelter from the harsh working world.
      7. Strong emotional bonds between mothers and children and between wives and husbands developed.
    5. Child rearing
      1. The indifference of mothers toward their children came to an end--as mothers developed deep emotional ties with their children.
        1. There was more breastfeeding and less swaddling and abandonment of babies; fathers were urged to help in child rearing.
      2. The birthrate declined, so each child became more important and could receive more advantages.
        1. The main reason for the reduction in family size was the parents' desire to improve the family's economic and social position.
        2. Children were no longer seen as an economic asset.
      3. Many children were too controlled by parents, however, and suffered the effects of excessive parental concern.
        1. Prevailing theories encouraged many parents to think that their own emotional characteristics were passed to their children; thus, they were responsible for any abnormality in the child.
        2. Parents were obsessed with the child's sexual behavior--particularly the possibility of masturbation.
        3. Relations between fathers and children were often tense; fathers tended to be very demanding.
      4. In studying family dynamics, Freud developed his theory of the Oedipal complex: that a son competes with his father for his mother's love.
      5. Workingclass youths had more avenues of escape from family tensions than middleclass youths.

    Science and thought

    1. Scientific knowledge expanded rapidly--resulting in new products.
    2. The triumph of science
      1. Theoretical discoveries resulted increasingly in practical benefits, as in thermodynamics, chemistry, and electricity.
      2. Scientific achievements strengthened faith in progress and gave science unrivaled prestige.
    3. Social science and evolution
      1. Many thinkers, such as Comte, tried to study society scientifically--using data collected by the government--and find general social laws.
        1. Comte argued that the third and final stage of knowledge is that of science, or what he called the "positivist method."
        2. Positivism would allow social scientists to develop a disciplined and harmonic society ruled by science and experts.
      2. Theories of dynamic development and evolution fascinated the nineteenth century.
        1. Building on the ideas of Lyell and Lamarck, Charles Darwin theorized that all life had evolved gradually from a common origin through an unending "struggle for survival" that led to the survival of the fittest by natural selection.
        2. Social Darwinists, such as Herbert Spencer, applied Darwin's ideas to human affairs.
    4. Realism in literature
      1. Realism, which stressed that heredity and environment determined human behavior, replaced romanticism as the dominant literary trend from the 1840s through the 1890s.
      2. Realist writers, led by Zola, gloried in everyday life, taboo subjects, and the urban working class.
      3. The realists were strict determinists and believed that human actions were caused by unalterable natural laws.
      4. Balzac and Flaubert, along with Zola, were the leading French realists.
      5. Mary Ann Evans (George Eliot) and Hardy in Britain, Tolstoy in Russia, and Dreiser in America were also great realists.


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