The Unfinished Nation: Chapter 18 The Age of The City
Chapter 18 Main Themes:
A thorough study of Chapter 18 should enable the student to understand:
Blackface Term for heavy makeup applied to whites (and even to blacks) to darken their skin to appear black in minstrel shows. Al Jolson, arguably the most famous minstrel singer of his time, was a white man who used blackface.
Dime Novels Cheaply bound and widely-circulated books at the turn of the century. Dime novels became popular after the Civil War and frequently contained detective stories, tales of the "Wild West," sagas of scientific adventure, or novels of "moral uplift."
Immigrant Ghettoes Close-knit ethnic neighborhood enclaves within cities.
Suburb A residential area adjacent to, and dependent on, a city. In some cases, suburbs are absorbed into the city as it grows; in other instances, suburbs form their own municipal governments or draw services from county governments.
Tenement Originally a term for any building in which multiple families resided, tenement eventually came to refer to the overpopulated slum housing available to new urban immigrants.
Triple Deckers Term used to describe the cheap three-story wooden buildings available for immigrant housing at the turn of the century.
Urban Unless otherwise specified, a Census Bureau term referring to any city or town with a population exceeding 2,500. The term must be used with care because this definition includes many places normally thought of as small towns. The "urban" developments described in this chapter occur mostly in big cities with populations exceeding 100,000.
Vaudeville A form of theater adapted from the French and consisted of a variety of acts such as musicians, comedians, magicians, and jugglers. Vaudeville was the most popular urban entertainment of the early twentieth century.