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									Time Travelers: Teaching American History in the Northwest, 2007
Regional Learning Project, University of Montana

Time Travelers
Professor Jeff Wiltse

Week 3
Urbanization and Immigration

   I.    Introduction
         A. Unit one; lecture three
                  1. On urbanization and immigration in the Northwest during the late
                      nineteenth century.
                  2. Along with industrialization and technological advances, large-
                      scale immigration and the growth of cities transformed American
                      society between about 1870 and 1900.
                  3. Start by explaining the main points I cover about these two topics
                      in my U.S. history courses and then focus on immigration and
                      urbanization in the NW during the late nineteenth century.
         B. Three main points about Urbanization in late nineteenth century U.S
             history
                  1. America accelerated towards becoming an urban nation during
                      the late nineteenth century.
                        a. Percentage of population rural vs. urban
                              •1870: 25% urban; 75% rural
                              •1900: 40% urban; 60% rural
                              •1920: Slightly over 50% urban; slightly under 50% rural
                              •10 million city dwellers in 1870; 30 million in 1900
                        b. Emergence of large metropolises throughout the country
                              •New York
                              •Chicago
                              •Atlanta
                              •Los Angeles
                  2. Cities became recognizably modern during the late nineteenth
                      centurythey look like cities do today
                        a. Growth of suburbs
                        b. Cities became socially segregated
                              •Class segregation and ethnic/racial enclaves
                        c. Tall building enabled by steel frame construction, plate glass
                            windows, and elevators.
                        d. Electricity illuminated cities
                        e. Modern entertainment and recreation
                              •Amusement parks, dance halls, parks, playgrounds, and
                                  swimming pools
                  3. The dramatic urban growth of the late nineteenth century caused
                      and exacerbated many serious social problems.
                        a. The massive influx of people into cities overwhelmed urban
                            infrastructure during the late nineteenth century.
                              •Insufficient housing led to severe overcrowding.


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Time Travelers: Teaching American History in the Northwest, 2007
Regional Learning Project, University of Montana

                            •Vast majority of working-class housing lacked bathing
                                facilities.
                            •Inadequate sewage and garbage disposal
                            •Pictures in Jacob Riis' How the Other Half Lives
                      b. As a result of these physical conditions, cities were deadly
                         places during the late nineteenth century
                            •Ghastly high death rates from infant mortality, TB, cholera,
                                and typhoid.
                      c. Cities were also quite disorderly during the late nineteenth
                         century
                            •High crime rates
                            •Disasters such as fires and earthquakes
                            •Centers of labor violence
                            •High alcohol consumption and prostitution was
                                commonplace
         C. Three main points about immigration in late nineteenth century U.S.
            history
                 1. Beginning of large-scale immigration to the United States
                      a. 2.8 million in the 1870s
                      b. 5.2 million in the 1880s
                      c. 3.7 million in the 1890s
                      d. Beginning in the late nineteenth century and continuing until
                         the 1920s, 14 percent of people living in the U.S. were
                         foreign and 34% were either immigrants or the children of
                         immigrants.
                 2. The U.S became a remarkably heterogeneous society during this
                    period.
                      a. Asian immigration
                      b. Shift in the origins of European immigrants
                 3. Nativism--meaning anti-immigrant sentiment--began to take on
                    racial overtones
         D. Main points about immigration and urbanization in the Northwest
                 1. The Northwest exemplifies all of these national trends, which is
                    contrary to common perceptions about the region.
                      a. Rates of urbanization—percentage of total population living
                         in cities—in the Northwest were about the same as national
                         averages, but were actually increasing much more rapidly
                         than most of the rest of the country.
                            •In 1880, only 9% of WA's population lived in cities. By
                                1900, only twenty years later, 40% of the states'
                                population lived in cities.
                            •In Montana, 35 percent of the states population lived in
                                cities in 1900, just below the national average.
                      b. The Northwest was more ethnically and racially diverse than
                         the rest of the country, on average.



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Time Travelers: Teaching American History in the Northwest, 2007
Regional Learning Project, University of Montana

                             •Native-born whites, European immigrants, Asian
                                 immigrants, Native Americans, black Americans, and
                                 even immigrants from Mexico.
                             •In 1900, 28% of Montana population was foreign born and
                                 62% were foreign born or the children of immigrants.
                                   -This was nearly twice the national average.
                             ∙Northwest states had large Indian populations in relation
                                 to most other U.S. states. (1900 statistics)
                                   -MT11,300
                                   -ID4,200
                                   -WA10,000
                       c. Rapid urbanization caused the same social problems in
                           Northwest cities as in cities elsewhere in the United States.
                       d. The point is that when you teach students about late
                           nineteenth century immigration and urbanization in your U.S.
                           history class, you can use regional examples.
                  2. Distinctive features of urbanization and immigration in the NW
                       a. Completion of the northern transcontinental railroads--the
                           Northern Pacific in 1883 and the Great Northern in 1893--
                           spurred population growth and, in particular, urban
                           development in the Northwest
                       b. Several reasons why:
                             ∙Made it easier to get to the NW
                             ∙Enabled economic development, which tended to
                                 concentrate the population.
                             ∙Created hubs at the points of terminus and other points
                                 along the line.
                       c. Example of Tacoma
                             ∙Tacoma was the terminus for the Northern Pacific
                             ∙Population1880: 1,000; 1890: 36,000
                             ∙During the late 1880s, the English writer Rudyard Kipling
                                 and a companion visited Tacoma. The observed: "They
                                 are all mad here, all mad. A man nearly pulled a gun on
                                 me because I didn't agree with him that Tacoma was
                                 going to whip San Francisco on the strength of carrots
                                 and potatoes. I asked him to tell me wha the town
                                 produced, and I couldn't get anything out of him except
                                 those two darned vegetables."
                                 -One point: boosterism that accompanied the growth of
                                     cities in the NW
                                 -Second point: growth was based upon the coming of
                                     the railroad, not the economic vitality of the area.
   II.   Immigrants in the Northwest
         A. In-class immigration exercise
         B. Northwest states had large immigrant populations
                1. Statistics for 1900


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Time Travelers: Teaching American History in the Northwest, 2007
Regional Learning Project, University of Montana

                       a. MT28 percent foreign born; 62 percent foreign born and
                          children
                       b. WA22 percent and 47 percent
                       c. ID15 percent foreign born
              2. Most of the European immigrants living in the Northwest in 1900
                  were "old immigrants," mainly from northern and western Europe.
                       a. Scandinavian, English, Irish, and German.
                            •An especially large Scandinavian population by 1900.
                       b. Many immigrants who eventually settled in the NW
                          followed a step migration
                            •First settled in the upper Midwest, especially Minnesota,
                                Wisconsin, Iowa, and Illinois.
                            •Then, with the completion of the transcontinental
                                railroads, moved further west to MT, ID, and WA.
                       c. Southern and eastern Europeans began to arrive in the
                          1890s but did not arrive in the NW in significant numbers
                          until after the turn of the century.
              3. There were also large numbers of Asian immigrants living in the
                  Northwest, both Chinese and Japanese.
                       a. Numbers (1900 Census)
                            ∙WAover 9,000 people of Japanese or Chinese
                                ancestry.
                            ∙MT4,200 people of Japanese or Chinese ancestry.
                       b. Some came as miners and others came to work on the
                          railroads.
                       c. Those who stayed typically opened small businesses, such
                          as laundry houses and restaurants.
                            ∙This was “woman’s work” that the larger society would
                                permit Asian men to do.
                            ∙Also, the commercialization of washing and cooking
                                made sense in a largely bachelor society.
         C. Unbalanced gender ratios
              1. One of the most consequential social characteristics of immigrant
                  communities (and the NW generally) was that men far
                  outnumbered women.
                       a. WA's Chinese and Japanese population in 1900: 8,982
                          men and 264 women.
                       b. Butte's Irish population in 1900: 5,200 men and 2,400
                          women
                       c. Overall in 1900
                            ∙MT150,000 men; 93,000 women
                            ∙ID93,000 men; 68,000 women
                            ∙WA304,000 men; 214,000 women
              2. Consequences
                       a. Need for prostitution



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Time Travelers: Teaching American History in the Northwest, 2007
Regional Learning Project, University of Montana

                            b. More transient and less stable populationcontributed to
                                social disorder.
                                  •One historian of Butte described that city's skewed
                                      gender ratio as "a formula for disorder."
                            c. Encouraged native-born whites to support woman's
                                suffrage.
           D. Interesting anecdotes
                  1. So many Irish immigrants came to Butte in large part because
                      Marcus Day, the head of the Anaconda Company until 1899 was an
                      Irish immigrant himself and recruited Irish miners.
                  2. Immigrants from the Basque region of Spain settled in Boise
                      beginning in the late 19th century and turned it into one of the
                      nation's leading centers of Basque culture.
                  3. Many Italians settled in Walla Walla, where they grew the sweet
                      onions that the city's would become famous for.
III.   Urban Growth
           E. Population growth in Northwest cities
                    1. Seattle1880: 3,500; 1900: 81,000; 1910: 237,000
                    2. Spokane1880: 350; 1900: 37,000; 1910: 104,000
                    3. Boise1880: 1,900; 1900: 6,000; 1910: 17,000
                    4. Butte1880: 3,400; 1900: 30,500; 1910: 37,000
                          •Some local historians claim that Butte's population in 1905 was
                              close to 100,000.
                    5. Helena: 1880: 3,600; 1900: 11,000; 1910: 10,000.
           F. What do these numbers mean?
                    1. One historians described the change that occurred in Seattle
                         between 1880 and 1900 this way:
                          •"The straggling village of wooden structures and dirt streets
                            had blossomed into a metropolis of brick and stone, its
                            thoroughfares bustling with trade and commerce. There were
                            substantial business blocks, pretentious residences, churches,
                            schools, a university, and social organizations--all symbolizing
                            economic achievement and cultural refinement--electric lights,
                            gasworks, and factories and plants manufacturing everything
                            from soda water and cigars to furniture and stump pullers. An
                            expanding network of streetcar lines encouraged the growth of
                            new neighborhoods at the city's edge."
                    2. As this quote suggests, Seattle, Spokane, and Butte became
                         entrepots of commerce, culture, and society.
                          a. Centers of tradewhere farmers could sell their produce
                              and residents could purchase French fashions.
                                •Seattle's Pike Place Market began shortly after the turn of
                                    the century.
                                •By the turn of the century, Butte had some of the best
                                    shops in the West.



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Time Travelers: Teaching American History in the Northwest, 2007
Regional Learning Project, University of Montana

                          b. Sites of economic diversification and engines of regional
                             economic development.
                               •Matured beyond mining camps and timber towns, which
                                   was how they began
                               •Cultivated of a commercial middle class.
                          c. Centers of culture and entertainment
                               •Building of operas, theaters, amusement parks
                               •Establishment of universitiesUM: 1893; Montana Tech
                                   in Butte: 1893; UW: 1861 and grew tremendously at the
                                   end of the century.
                          d. Centers of social interaction, communication, and
                             information exchange
                               •Reflected in the building of restaurants, saloons, and
                                   brothels
                                     -Butte had 300 saloons at the turn of the century.
                               •Proliferation of newspapers and telegraph offices
                    3. Diversity of people and cultures
                          a. A historian's description of the population of Butte around the
                             turn of the century: Butte's "ethnically mixed population
                             included, in addition to pimps and prostitutes, such exotic
                             specimens as 'Turkish peddlers,' 'palmists' and 'fortune
                             tellers,' 'hurdygurdy' men, Hungarian opera singers,
                             countless musicians, artists, and 'theatrical' people, 'circus
                             acrobats,' a German feather dyer, gamblers, and faro
                             dealers, 'bushelmen,' scavengers and vagrants, and at least
                             one 'duelist." (Emmons, 72)
                          b. Passage from Mary MacLane’s The Story of Mary MacLane,
                             112-14.
   IV.   Butte, Montana
         a. For the rest of the lecture, I will focus on one city in particular--Butte,
            Montana--in order to highlight some of the characteristics of urban
            development in the Northwest.
         b. Butte in the 1870s
                  i. In the mid-1870s, Butte consisted of, according to one historian, “a
                      scattering of wretched building [standing] forlornly along the
                      furrowed slope of russet hill.”
                 ii. The two most important structures were the “Hotel de Mineral” and
                      William Clark’s bank, which was housed in a log structure.
         c. In the twenty years between about 1880 and 1900, Butte was transformed
            into a modern city.
                  i. Butte had electricity and streetcars by the early 1890s.
                 ii. William A. Clark began construction of an amusement park for
                      Butte--Columbia Gardens--in 1899.
                iii. Streets of uptown Butte were lined with imposing brick and stone
                      Victorian styled buildings.



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Time Travelers: Teaching American History in the Northwest, 2007
Regional Learning Project, University of Montana

                       a. One of those brick buildings, which opened in 1898, was the
                          six-floor $600,000 Hennessey Department Store which
                          carried a wide array of luxury goods. It opened in 1898.
              iv. Expansive red light district with saloons, brothels, and gambling
                   dens.
                       a. One historian of Butte claims that early in the twentieth
                          century, the city had the second largest red light district in
                          the country, behind only New Orleans.
         d. Social differentiation
                i. Butte also developed during these years a variegated social
                   orderformation of distinct social classes
                       1. A large class of laborers and hangers on, consisting of many
                          different ethnic and racial groups.
                             ∙In descending order of population: Irish, Cornish,
                                  Germans, Swedes, Norwegians, Jews from Eastern
                                  Europe, Finns, Italians, Chinese, Japanese, Croates
                                  and Serbians, Black Americans, Native Americans,
                                  Lebonese Christians, the list could go on and on.
                             ∙It has been claimed that 42 different languages could be
                                  heard in Butte around the turn of the century.
                       2. There was also by the 1890s a stable middle class of
                          merchants, lawyers, bankers, and businessmen.
                       3. A small wealthy elite, consisting of mine owners, bank
                          owners, and business owners.
                       4. Cities enabled this class diversification to develop in the NW.
               ii. Like other cities at the time, the social geography of Butte reflected
                   these social divisionsresidential segregation.
              iii. Class
                       1. Butte had shanties and ramshackle homes along Dublin
                          Gulch, the Cabbage Patch, and many other neighborhoods.
                       2. Imposing mansions and middle-class homes along the west
                          side.
              iv. Most interestingly, however, were the ethnic neighborhoods that
                   developed in Butte between 1880 and 1900.
                       1. Many noteworthy Irish enclaves, such as Dublin Gulch.
                       2. Williamsburg was a German enclave.
                       3. Meaderville was a famous Italian colony
                       4. Slav immigrants typically settled in McQueen
                       5. Many black residents lived in Cabbage Patch.
                       6. Notorious Chinatown
                       7. Finns settled in an area along East Broadway, which came
                          to be called “the Fish” because people said it had Finns on
                          both sides.
                       8. There was even a small neighborhood called “Little
                          Lebanon.”



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Time Travelers: Teaching American History in the Northwest, 2007
Regional Learning Project, University of Montana

                       9. Between 1890 and 1910, a large encampment of Native
                          Americans lived on the flats south of the city, near the city
                          dump.
                            •They were Cree, Chippewa, and Meti Indians, most from
                                Canada.
                            •Every year in July, the Indians hosted a two-day
                                celebration, that we might today call a cultural fair, at
                                the Marcus Daly Race Track.
                                  -Thousands of city residents attended the annual
                                     event.
                                  -The local Indians staged horse races, performed a
                                     ceremonial war dance, and cooked an Indian
                                     barbeque for the city.
                            •The cost of admission was apparently one dollar, which
                                was a primary source of income for the Native
                                Americans.
               v. In short, Butte was astonishing diverse.
               vi. Key pointButte was not a melting pot
                       1. Geographically divided along ethnic and racial lines, which
                          perpetuated and reinforced ethnic cultures and contributed
                          to the maintenance of ethnic identity as well.
                       2. Socially divided along ethnic and racial lines as well: Ancient
                          Order of Hibernians for the Irish and the Sons of St. George
                          for the Cornish.
                       3. Furthermore, there was considerable animosity directed
                          towards later immigrants, especially Italians and Slavs.
                            ∙Much of the animosity resulted from job competition and
                                concerns that more recent immigrants were willing to
                                work for less and thus depressed wages.
                            ∙But the animosity directed at Italians and Slavs also had
                                racial overtones.
                                  -One headline in the Butte Evening News read: “The
                                     Story of Butte Bo-Hunks: The Dark Skinned
                                     Invaders”
                                  -Butte resident Gertrude Atherton referred to
                                     immigrants from eastern Europe as “dark men, an
                                     inferior class . . . who live like pigs.”
         e. Like other American cities during the late nineteenth century, Butte
            suffered from deadly social problems.
                i. Butte was a particularly rough, dangerous, and disorderly place.
                       1. Half of the inmates at the state penitentiary came from Silver
                          Bow County and more than half the inmates at the state
                          hospital.
                       2. The mortality records for Butte around the turn of the century
                          show that deaths from acute alcoholism, drug addition,



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Time Travelers: Teaching American History in the Northwest, 2007
Regional Learning Project, University of Montana

                           syphilis, suicide, stabbing, and gunshot wounds were
                           common.
                       3. Fight between Jack Gallagher and G. H. Ward
                             ∙Settled their quarrel in an unsanctioned boxing match.
                             ∙Ward broke Gallagher’s arm in the 60th round.
                             ∙Gallagher killed Ward with a blow to the temple in the
                                 105th round.
                       d. One historian writes that “violence was open, unflinching,
                           [and] usually casually disregarded.”
               ii. Butte was also overcrowded and unsanitary
                       1. Listen to these vivid descriptions of the living conditions in
                           Butte's slums.
                             •"The 700 block on North Wyoming Street was described
                                 as 'very dirty, many people keep hogs and covs, slops
                                 and refuse thrown into alley.' Ridgely Avenue 'would
                                 require a boat to get through.' The houses fronting on
                                 Mullin Street had 'piles of decayed meat in the alley;
                                 manure is very much in evidence.' The was 'so much
                                 refuse in the alley that it is almost impossible to drive
                                 through. People also have pigs.'"
                             •Harper's Magazine described miners cabins as "perched
                                 on rocky ledges, crowded into narrow gulches,
                                 unpainted, blackened by smoke, unrelieved by tree or
                                 shrub or grass plot, the . . . were like hovels--untidy,
                                 neglected, and oppressive."
                       2. Overcrowding: in 1890 in one Irish working-class ward, there
                           were 141 houses and 1,134 people living in them.
              iii. These conditions contributed to ghastly high rates of fatal diseases
                       1. Typhoid fever was common.
                       2. Rates of tuberculosis and related upper respiratory diseases
                           were twice the national average.
                       3. In total, Butte had a higher overall death rate than New York
                           City; Newark, NJ; and Gary, Indiana.
              iv. Moral “problems”
                       1. As one historian has written, “drinking, carousing, whoring,
                           and gaming seemed to be the favorite avocations of the
                           city’s sizable working class.”
               v. As I will lecture on in a couple weeks, Progressive reform was, in
                   part, a response—led by the middle class—to the disorder, death,
                   and “immorality” that they believed characterized urban life at the
                   end of the nineteenth century.
   V.    Conclusion: topic for discussion with students
         a. Immigration
                i. Is large-scale immigration a good thing for American society?
               ii. What are the benefits and costs of immigration?



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Time Travelers: Teaching American History in the Northwest, 2007
Regional Learning Project, University of Montana

              iii. What Americans benefit from large-scale immigration? What
                   Americans are harmed by it?
              iv. Why does the United States cap the number of immigrants that
                   come to the country each year? Are caps a good thing? Why or
                   why not?
         b. Multiculturalism
                i. Should immigrants to the United States attempt to maintain ethnic
                   cultures and identity or should they be expected to acculturate to
                   “American ways,” whatever that means, and assimilate into
                   mainstream Americans society?
               ii. Are social and cultural diversity good things?
              iii. Are there potential costs to promoting social and cultural diversity?
              iv. What is the glue that binds Americans together, that gives them a
                   sense of common identity and interest?




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