|Prepare For Class
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Chapter 24: Life in the Emerging Urban Society
- Taming the City
- Industry and the Growth of Cities
- The challenge of urban growth was felt first and most acutely in Britain.
- In the 1820s and 30s people in France and Britain began to worry about the condition of their cities.
- Rapid urbanization without any public transportation worsened already poor living conditions in cities in the nineteenth century.
- Government was slow to improve sanitation and building codes.
- Public Health and the Bacterial Revolution.
- Advances in public health, urban planning, and urban transport ameliorated these conditions by 1900.
- Edwin Chadwick in England advocated improved sewage systems.
- Louis Pasteur in France discovered that bacteria caused disease (1860s).
- Urban Planning and Public Transportation
- In Paris and other European cities urban planners demolished buildings and medieval walls to create wide boulevards and public parks.
- Mass public transport, including electric streetcars, enabled city dwellers to live further from the city center, relieving overcrowding.
- Rich and Poor and Those in Between
- Social Structure
- Wealth was distributed very unevenly throughout Europe.
- Only 20 percent of the population was middle class or wealthy.
- The Middle Classes
- The urban middle class was diverse.
- The upper middle class included the most successful industrialists, bankers, and merchants. Increasingly, it merged with the aristocracy.
- Middle ranks included doctors, lawyers, and moderately successful bankers and industrialists.
- The lower middle class included small business owners, salespeople, store managers, clerks, and other white-collar employees.
- Middle-Class Culture
- Middle-class people were loosely united by a certain style of life and culture.
- They were also united by a shared code of behavior and morality.
- The Working Classes
- Skilled workers lived very different lives from the semiskilled and unskilled.
- Skilled workers’ income approached that of the lower middle classes.
- Skilled workers tended to embrace the middle-class moral code.
- Semiskilled and unskilled workers included many different occupations, from carpenters and bricklayers to longshoremen, street vendors, and domestic servants.
- Domestic servants were a large proportion of the population.
- Working-Class Leisure and Religion
- Working-class leisure included drinking in taverns; watching sports, especially racing and soccer; and attending music hall performances.
- Working-class church attendance declined in the nineteenth century.
- The Changing Family
- Premarital Sex and Marriage
- For the middle classes, economic considerations continued to be paramount in choosing marriage partners through most of the nineteenth century.
- Increasing economic well-being allowed members of the working class to select marriage partners based more on romance.
- Prostitution was common.
- Middle- and upper-class men frequently visited prostitutes.
- Kinship Ties
- Kinship ties helped working-class people to cope with sickness, unemployment, death, and old age.
- Gender Roles and Family Life
- The status of women changed during the nineteenth century.
- The division of labor became more defined by gender.
- Economic inferiority led some women to organize for equality and women’s rights.
- As society increasingly relegated women to the domestic sphere, women gained control over household finances and the education of children.
- Married couples developed stronger emotional ties to each other.
- Child Rearing
- Attitudes toward children also changed during this period.
- Emotional ties between mothers and infants deepened.
- There was more breast-feeding and less swaddling and abandonment of babies.
- Increased connection often meant increased control, including attempts to repress the child’s sexuality (for example, to prevent masturbation).
- Science and Thought
- The Triumph of Science
- Theoretical discoveries resulted in practical benefits, as in chemistry and electricity.
- Scientific achievements gave science considerable prestige.
- Social Science and Evolution
- Charles Darwin formulated his theory of evolution by natural selection.
- New “social sciences” used data collected by states to test theories.
- Auguste Comte’s “positivism” presented the scientific method as the pinnacle of human intellectual achievement.
- Social Darwinists such as Spencer applied Darwin’s ideas to human affairs.
- Realism in Literature
- The Realist movement in literature reflected the ethos of European society.
- This was an expression of writers who sought to depict life as it really was.
- Realism stressed the hereditary and environmental determinants of human behavior.