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Growth of Cities Essay

During the American History years of 1865 through the 1900’s, there were many developments contributing to the growth of cities. Many of these came from advancements in technology. Another important part is the urban politics that greatly influenced much of the growth of the cities. One of the great and gateway technologies founded during this time was steel. Steel contributed a lot to the look of cities. Steel allowed cities to not only expand left and right, but up and down as well. Skyscrapers would not be possible without the invention of steel.

Since it was light and cheap, it was ideal for buildings. It also allowed the creation of bridges. A good example of this is the Brooklyn Bridge, which was created using steel and allowed the passing of the East River and connected Manhattan and Brooklyn. Another important discovery during this time was electricity. Without electricity, cities would not be able to stay powered and illuminati efficiently to enable a huge growth. With the new AC electricity flowing in cities, it allowed the whole city to remove candle lights and replace it with light bulbs.

Electricity and steel contributed to the creation of the elevator. The elevator made skyscrapers even more efficient by removing the need to climb up and down flights of stairs. This improved much of the layout of future cities and buildings. Another very important factor of the developments of cities is advancements in communication. The telegraph greatly improved communications throughout the whole world. No more would people have to wait for the post to come, which often took 5-7 or more days.

With the telegraph, information was transferred at a quicker rate, which allowed the spread of new methods of technology to be spread. It also allowed communications with bigger cities, to smaller cities, at a faster speed, which helped the smaller cities take after other cities. The telegraph allowed multiple company buildings to be built in cities, and be run by the same person, without that person being there. This caused many new buildings rise up in multiple cities. This would include banks, corporations and even factories.

Straying away from technology, an important factor that influenced much of the developments of cities, was urban politics. Public schools were being built all over the city. This caused much better education and more political figures were taking control. This led to much of the big important buildings everywhere in cities, such as official offices, official’s mansions, such as Rockefeller’s, and much more. However, in turn, corruption and greed played a huge part in the influence as well.

An excellent example of a corrupt, high ranked official, is Boss Tweed. Not only was he a democratic politician, he was the “boss” of Tammany Hall, director of the Erie Railway, the Tenth National Bank, the New-York printing company, and a proprietor of the Metropolitan Hotel. Due to his wealth and his desire to get richer, he encouraged the expansion of the railway and the spread of the Tenth National Bank. Since he had the printing company on his side, he could influence much of the public to use his bank.

Tweed’s greed and money developed much of New York city and shaped it to be the city it is today. All in all, American History was forever changed during the years of 1865 through the 1900’s. Without much of the developments that occurred, cities would not have been so populated and efficient. Without advancements in technology and the constant doings of urban politics, cities could not have prospered as much as they did. There is no doubt that American Cities were influenced and shaped by these things.


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