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Life in York City (1989-1945), Essay Example

Pages: 3

Words: 919

Essay

New York City was consolidated at the start of this time with the merge of five boroughs. The city became the capital of public communication, finance, and trades, as well as the center for popular culture and high culture. The headquarters of some of the largest corporations in 1920 were located in New York City. The resident experienced social upheaval due to heightened European immigration. Later, around 1920, New York witnessed an influx of African Americans that was attributed partly to the Great Migration from the Southern States and the Harlem Renaissance. During the Great Depression, the city suffered, which resulted in changes such as the end of the eight-year political dominance. One thing that stood out was the cultural diversity that could be noted among the residents.

This begin of this period witnessed the Ragtime Era, where New York experienced advancement and also faced some catastrophes. The consolidation of the municipals can be attributed to higher physical connections between these boroughs. During this time, life in New York varied among people, and it only depended on the class that a person identified with or their wealth (Guglielmo 15-42). The people of this period saw the building of the city subway in 1904 that marked the start of what became a force development and population dispersal. For instance, Williamsburg and Manhattan Bridge in 1903 and 1909 respectively further connected Brooklyn and Manhattan. These developments saw the construction of the Grand Central Terminal that was the largest train station as of 1st February 1913. This was followed by Pennsylvania station that was a couple of blocks to the South.

The city also witnessed an increase in European immigration. However, several catastrophes arose that were a massive blow to New York City. For instance, more than 1,000 people, mainly German Immigrants, died when a steamship caught fire and burned in the East River on 15th June 1904 that marked the start of the end of the community in little German. The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory caught fire on 25th March 1911 that killed 145 mostly Jewish and Italian female workers (Guglielmo 111-130). These resulted in significant advancement in not only the city’s fire department but also in workplace regulation and building codes. The International Ladies’ Garment Workers’ Union also spurred at this time. The city fared well in terms of development such that the United Kingdom borrowed a massive loan from the New York Stock Exchange to finance its reconstruction of South Africa.

Another thing that impacted the lives of New Yorkers was the Jazz culture and music. This period is termed as the Jazz age. Immigrant families continued to come to the city and establish themselves. The 1920 census showed Brooklyn as the most populous borough, thereby overtaking Manhattan. However, the 1924 Immigration Act saw an abrupt halt on immigration from Eastern and Southern Europe (Wilder 181-198). The region was becoming overcrowded. Instead, major domestic movements to the city continued as the Great Migration of the Blacks led to the flowering of the African American culture in the Harlem Renaissance.

The existence of radical groups, however, possessed a threat to the residents of this city. For instance, the bombing of Wall Street on 16th September 1920 killed several people and injured many. This act was perpetrated during the busy lunch hour, which targeted a large number of ordinary residents. This was the first deadly politically-driven attack on American soil (Clement 95-100). This had a devastating impact on the resident, and despite 20 years of investigation, no perpetrators were caught, and the file was rendered inactive. Music and art also evolved, and the city became known for its impressive and daring architecture. As a result, skyscrapers transformed the skyline. Opportunities spurred in the city that caused it to grow outward, thereby replacing most of the farmlands with residential development.

Education was actively promoted through free public schools up to high school. Progressive reformers assumed that ignorance wasted the community and that learning advanced personality as well as the capability need to modernize the city (Koegel 276-338). As a result, public school enrollment rose from about 553 thousand to 1.1 million between 1900 and 1930, although it then declined slightly. Apart from the comprehensive learning that incorporated high schools, academics, and technicians, the system also includes training in other skills such as music, needle trades, science, printing, cooking, art, and special schools for the impaired children as well as great evening programs for adults.

The Great Depression and Second World War affected the whole world, and New York was no exception. This commenced with the crash of the Stock Market in 1920. Many people lost their jobs, and poverty struck the city. The economic decline put pressure on the leaders. New York City changed the life of many immigrants and became a culturally global city with an influx of artistic, intellectual, and musical European refugees, which started at the end of the 1930s. The 1939 world’s fair depicted a high point of technological optimism that aimed to mark the end of the depression. However, the beginning of World War II changed its theme.

Work Cited

Clement, Elizabeth Alice. Love for Sale: Courting, Treating, and Prostitution in New York City, 1900-1945. Univ of North Carolina Press, 2006.

Guglielmo, Jennifer. Living the Revolution: Italian Women’s Resistance and Radicalism in New York City, 1880-1945. Univ of North Carolina Press, 2010.

Koegel, John. Music in German Immigrant Theater: New York City, 1840-1940. Vol. 62. University Rochester Press, 2009.

Wilder, Craig Steven. In the company of black men: the African influence on African American culture in New York City. NYU Press, 2001.

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