Discuss the positives and negatives of city life in America in the late 1800s and early 1900s.

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pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The main positive of city life during this time is that cities were where economic opportunity and cultural activities were to be found.  Living in a city meant having access to more kinds of jobs.  It also meant having more in the way of cultural and entertainment options.  This was the age in which professional sports was starting to become more important.  So were things like theatrical performances and Wild West shows.  These things were moe commonly available in cities than in rural areas.

On the flip side, life in the cities could be very harsh.  Poor people in cities lived in squalor.  This was the time of packed tenements with poor sanitation.  It was a time when people were having to work in terrible conditions for low pay.  For many, cities were a horrible place to live.