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menuAmerican Social History Project  ·    Center for Media and Learning

  • Historical Eras > Industrialization and Expansion (1877-1913) (x)
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We found 10 items that match your search

A Reformer Deplores the Poverty Caused by Industrial Progress

Henry George was a reformer and utopian whose 1886 New York City mayoral campaign as the Workingman's Party candidate had the makings of a popular uprising. Although George finished second, behind Democrat Abram S. Hewitt and ahead of Republican [...]

Chinatown's Groceries Thrive in San Francisco

San Francisco's Chinatown was a thriving commercial center for Chinese immigrants in California. By 1856, there were already thirty-three Chinese-owned groceries and general stores that sold a wide variety of goods and foodstuffs, mostly imported [...]

"Sister Carrie" Enters a 19th Century Temple of Consumerism

The heroine of Theodore Dreiser's Sister Carrie is a small-town girl thrust into the big-city life of a bustling late-nineteenth-century Chicago. In this passage Carrie, on the verge of poverty after losing a job in a garment factory and desperately [...]

Diners Describe the First Chinese Restaurants in America

The first Chinese eateries in America sprang up in 1850s California and catered to Cantonese miners and railroad laborers. Known as "chow chows" (Chinese slang for anything edible), they were identified by yellow triangle signs. By the 1880s San [...]

W.E.B. DuBois Critiques Racial Accommodation

The most influential public critique of Booker T. Washington’s policy of racial accommodation and gradualism came in 1903 when black leader and intellectual W.E.B. DuBois published an essay in his collection The Souls of Black Folk with the [...]

Diners Describe the first Chinese Restaurants in America (with text supports)

The first Chinese restaurants in America sprang up in 1850s California and catered to Cantonese miners and railroad laborers. Known as "chow chows" (Chinese slang for anything edible), they were identified by yellow triangle signs. By the 1880s San [...]

The Theater Draws Immigrants and Tourists to Chinatown (with text supports)

During the 1870s and 1880s, San Francisco's Chinatown included as many as four theater companies that regularly performed Chinese operas and other entertainment. Tickets to evening performances usually cost 20-25 cents for Chinese (50 cents for [...]

A Reformer Describes Child Labor in the Coal Mines

John Spargo's The Bitter Cry of Children, published in 1906, was among the most influential and widely read accounts of child labor written during the Progressive era. Spargo described work at the coal breaker, the area outside the mine where coal [...]

Jacob Riis Describes "The Street Arab"

In this excerpt from How the Other Half Lives, his famous 1890 book about urban poverty, Jacob Riis describes the army of young newsboys and bootblacks who worked and lived in Manhattan's streets. Later in the book, Riis praises the work of the [...]

Immigrant Women in the Land of Dollars (Excerpt)

This excerpt from Elizabeth Ewen's Immigrant Women in the Land of Dollars describes the economic relationships of working-class immigrant families at the turn of the century. The female head of the family played an important economic role, often [...]