Urbanization and Its Challenges

Review Questions

Which of the following four elements was not essential for creating massive urban growth in late nineteenth-century America?

  1. electric lighting
  2. communication improvements
  3. skyscrapers
  4. settlement houses



Which of the following did the settlement house movement offer as a means of relief for working-class women?

  1. childcare
  2. job opportunities
  3. political advocacy
  4. relocation services



What technological and economic factors combined to lead to the explosive growth of American cities at this time?


At the end of the nineteenth century, a confluence of events made urban life more desirable and more possible. Technologies such as electricity and the telephone allowed factories to build and grow in cities, and skyscrapers enabled the relatively small geographic areas to continue expanding. The new demand for workers spurred a massive influx of job-seekers from both rural areas of the United States and from eastern and southern Europe. Urban housing—as well as services such as transportation and sanitation—expanded accordingly, though cities struggled to cope with the surging demand. Together, technological innovations and an exploding population led American cities to grow as never before.