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  • Historical Eras > Industrialization and Expansion (1877-1913) (x)

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New York

In this painting, George Bellows, a member of the "Ashcan School" of early twentieth-century American artists, depicts the hustle-and-bustle of Union Square, already surrounded by skyscrapers and billboards. The members of the Ashcan School were [...]

"Street of Gamblers (By Day)"

This photo of Ross Alley shows the preponderance of male immigrants in San Francisco's Chinatown. While outsiders dubbed this a "bachelor society," many Chinese immigrants had left behind families in China. Arnold Genthe's original caption for this [...]

"Chinese Butcher and Grocer Shop, Chinatown, S.F."

In the late 1880s, when this photograph was taken by Isaiah West Taber, there were over 20,000 Chinese living in California. Many settled in San Francisco's Chinatown, where markets, temples, theaters, and restaurants supplied a thriving commercial [...]

"Consumer's Guide"

The Sears, Roebuck and Company catalog dates back to 1888, when Richard Sears first used a mailer to sell watches and jewelry. The U.S. Post Office provided a boon to the mail order business by allowing mail order publications to be classified as [...]

"'The White Man's Burden' and Its Critics"

Jim Zwick is an American Studies scholar and author of Confronting Imperialism: Essays on Mark Twain and the Anti-Imperialist League and Mark Twain's Weapons of Satire: Anti-Imperialist Writings on the Philippine-American War, as well as numerous [...]

"Life in the Shop": The Story of an Immigrant Garment Worker

Clara Lemlich ignited the 1909 walkout of shirtwaist makers with her call for a general strike. This piece was first published in the New York Evening Journal, November 28, 1909.

"Russian Jews as Desirable Immigrants" (Excerpt)

Ida Van Etten was a writer and the first Secretary of the Working Women's Society of New York. In this excerpt from an article published in Forum, Van Etten defends the character of the Russian Jewish immigrants that were then arriving in New York [...]

Background Essay on Late 19th and Early 20th Century Immigration

This summary of late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century immigration describes the "new immigration" that originated from Southern and Eastern Europe. The essay also outlines American responses to the new wave of immigration, including some of [...]

"Our America" (Excerpt)

Nuestra America/Our America, one of Martí's most important writings, first appeared in La Revista Ilustrada de Nueva York on Janurary 1, 1891, and on January 30 of that same year in El Partido Liberal of Mexico. Written as the Cuban [...]

Background Essay on Jacob Riis and Lewis Hine

This short essay describes Jacob Riis and Lewis Hines, two important documentary photographers of the turn of the twentieth century.

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