HIST 1830 Midterm
October 18, 2011
Prompt: A.) Explain the photo below of an immigrant family in terms of three important perspectives from the readings, lectures, and discussions.
Urbanization and Industrialization sparked economic change that freed the United States from reliance on European capital, none of which is possible without the influx of immigrants that provided cheap labor for all American industries. Although immigration did fill the needs of American industrialization, it also brought urban growth and housing issues and corruption in municipal governments. Immigration affected three separate sectors of America during the 19th and 20th centuries, which included municipal politics, industrialization, and urbanization. In the following paper I will describe how immigrant families were affected by the pressures of machine politics along with the struggles they encountered through the industrialization and urbanization of America.
I will begin by briefly describing the photo of the immigrant family. In the picture are four family members, a mother and her three children, and no father is present. They are all dressed modestly and appear to be traveling. The photo gives a sense of poverty, and that the family has just recently arrived to America looking for work, common to most immigrants during the 19th and 20th centuries.
Machines in the late 19th and early 20th centuries ran urban cities, and immigration was an integral part of their system. Machines were disciplined political organizations that controlled the support of a public body along with businesses to help with campaign efforts. Every political machine was run by a ‘boss’ or small group of leaders. Their job was to command enough votes to maintain political control over the city. They deployed smaller bosses on a more personal level to manually address supporters throughout the city. Over time immigrants began to fill the rolls of smaller bosses because...