This chapter covers the effects the “market revolution” had on American urban society, as well as the responses of people to the process. The most fundamental effects were in immigration and the changes it caused in the nation’s ethnic makeup, in the growth of cities, social and political troubles, and in changing working conditions that brought labor unrest. Responses to all of these changes were particularly manifested in new types of community groups: labor unions, big-city machines, social reform organizations, Utopian settlements, antislavery societies, and the women’s rights movement. In this energetic search for continuity, social connection, and social order, Americans tried to come to terms with what was clearly a new age.
After reading this chapter you should be able to:
List the changing patterns of immigration and the ethnic composition that resulted from these changes.
Outline the changes in American cities and the resulting effects on living patterns, class structure, politics, and popular culture.
Trace the development of labor unions and the development of big-city political machines.
Explain the connection between religion, reform, and social control and illustrate how these were manifested in different reform organizations.
Explain the connections between reform and utopianism and illustrate how these were manifested in a variety of Utopian communities.
Trace the development of antislavery sentiments and abolitionism, and illustrate how these were manifested in numerous groups.
Demonstrate how reform ideas and groups helped to encourage the women’s rights movement, using specific examples such as the Seneca Falls convention.
Connect the wider social changes and the responses to them that are discussed in this chapter with the “Market Revolution” covered in Chapters 11 and 12.